Conversation Partner Program


The Conversation Partner Program gives IEP students an opportunity to practice English outside the classroom through casual conversation with UO student tutors. AEI Tutors are native or near-native English speakers who can also help AEI students learn about university resources and ease students' transition to life at the University of Oregon.



All IEP students will be assigned a Conversation Partner who will provide each student with one 50-minute remote session per week, in which they can help students experience authentic conversation and social interaction, such as:

  • Practicing and improving English conversational skills
  • Learning about American culture
  • Getting involved on the UO campus
  • Receiving basic help with homework, presentations, vocabulary, and pronunciation
  • Bridging the gap between what is learned in the classroom and beyond


  1. All IEP students will automatically be signed up for a Conversation Partner. Please email as soon as possible during Week 1 if you do not want a Conversation Partner.
  2. The Conversation Partner Program resets every term. Thus, students have the opportunity to work with a different tutor each term. Students might not be able to have the same tutor every term due to scheduling conflicts and hiring fluctuations.
  3. A Conversation Partner will write to you at your UO email address to set up a date and time for your first meeting. Plan to talk with your Conversation Partner for one 50-minute session each week.
  4. Come prepared to each session with questions and/or ideas for how you want to spend your time. Conversation Partners do not prepare a lesson plan. Their goal is to help students develop conversational skills.
  5. Conversation partner tutors have a professional relationship with students. You can choose what you want to do with your conversation partner, but everything must be legal, safe, and public.

If things aren’t going well or you are having problems, please report this to the AEI Tutoring Office by emailing We will work with you to try to resolve issues.


Welcome to the Conversation Partner Program!

Please read the following policies and guidelines carefully so that you understand what the expectations are if you choose to participate in the program.

Conversation Partner Program Policies and Guidelines:

If your CP tries to contact you 3 times and you do not respond, you may be dropped from the program.

TIP: Check your UO email daily and respond to emails from your Conversation Partner quickly.

Communicate with your CP as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule a meeting.

Your CP will do their best to reschedule the meeting if you contact them BEFORE THE DAY of your meeting.

If you contact them the SAME DAY as the meeting, your CP is NOT required to reschedule.

If you miss a scheduled meeting and you don’t communicate with your CP that you won’t make it (also

called a “no-show”), you CANNOT reschedule that meeting.

If you arrive more than 10 minutes late to a meeting and you don't communicate with your CP that you

are running late, you will be considered a no-show, and you CANNOT reschedule that meeting.

If you don’t come to 2 or more scheduled meetings without communicating with your CP, you may be

dropped from the program.

TIP: Being sick, having a doctor's appointment, or having a meeting with an instructor or an administrator are all GOOD reasons to cancel or reschedule a CP meeting. Do not cancel or ask to reschedule just because you are tired or don’t want to meet that day.

If you arrive late, the meeting will still end at the scheduled time.

For example, if the meeting is from 4:00pm-4:50pm and you arrive at 4:05pm, the meeting will still end at 4:50pm. Tutors cannot stay later because you were late.

Conversation Partners cannot provide in-depth help with homework.

They can answer general questions about your homework, help with pronunciation of vocabulary, and help you practice the topics you’re learning, but they cannot work on the assignment with you, give you the answers, or help with writing. If you need help with your homework, please contact your instructor directly.

What you can expect from your Conversation Partner:

Your Conversation Partner is a UO employee who is a friendly face and a useful resource for your learning. You can ask them questions about Eugene, the university, the U.S., adjusting to a new culture, what they are studying, what they like and don’t like, what their families are like, etc. They are very good resources on slang and idioms, too!

However, please note that AEI Tutors are UO students also and their health and academic studies must take priority over anything else. This means that they might have to reschedule meetings sometimes. Please have patience and understanding with them.

Just like you, they should only change meetings for school-related or health-related reasons.

If they need to cancel a meeting, they must communicate with you as soon as possible and make every effort to reschedule the meeting so that you get all 6 meetings during the term.

If they are running late to a meeting, they should communicate with you as soon as possible. They also need to add extra time to the end of that meeting or to a future meeting so that you get a total of 50 minutes for all 6 meetings.

As university employees, AEI Tutors are expected to treat students and staff with respect and maintain professional relationships. They should not try to engage in any kind of personal relationship with you while working at the AEI.

If your CP is not meeting these requirements, or if you have other issues or questions, please contact the AEI Tutoring Office at