INTO Conversation partners receive first semester challenge

The Marshall University INTO program sent out their first challenge to the participants of the Conversation Partner program on Tuesday.

The Conversation Partner program is a culture-themed program hosted by the INTO program since 2013. Participants will be matched up into pairs based on their interests. A common pair will usually contain one domestic student and one international student.

According to Marshall’s INTO student engagement coordinator, Kenneth Jones, the number of registered pairs is roughly 170.

Once a month, Jones will send out a “challenge” for partners to work on with each other. Some of the challenges in the past included geocaching, watching basketball games and making Halloween costumes.

Jones said he thinks the challenges create different outlet for conversation partners to interact with each other.

“I definitely think that adding the challenges add a different aspect to the program and make it a little bit more fun,” Jones said. “The challenges provide a goal for the student to complete together.”

The theme for the February Challenge is food. A pair of conversation partners will go out and eat at a restaurant one of them has not been to before. After that, participants can fill out a question form about their experience and send it to Jones, who will randomly pick two participants and give away two $25 gift cards.

Marshall senior and INTO member for three years, Travis Donahoe said he thinks the Conversation Partner program is one of the best ones Marshall has to offer.

“It has definitely been one of my favorite experiences,” Donahoe said. “I think sometimes students from the US stick in groups with other students from the US and getting a conversation partner is one of the best ways to start a friendship with an international student. It is a lot of fun, and it also helps to develop cultural fluency as you learn about your conversation partner’s country and culture.”

Students who are interested in the Conversation Partner program can sign up by filling out and submitting a form at the INTO front desk.

Son Nguyen can be contacted at [email protected].