Skip to main content

Language and Cultural Engagement Program

The Language & Cultural Engagement (LCE) is a free program open to all University of Adelaide students with opportunities for social interaction through language and cultural networking.

The LCE program has two distinct streams of engagement:

Language partnerships - are available for local and international students who may be studying a foreign language and wish to practice their language skills and fluency through a pair or group 'match'. The language partnerships stream is a fun and rewarding way to practice learning and speaking a language of your choice, develop friendships and improve your intercultural communication.

Social events on campus - aim to celebrate the multiculturalism that exists on campus and are run entirely by university students. Registering for and attending the LCE social events is a great way to make new friends, learn about different cultures while participating in activities, presentations and games. The regular, themed social events held throughout semester are designed to showcase particular cultures and include a sharing of regional cuisine.

How the program works

LCE - Brazilian night

LCE - Brazilian night

You may register for one or both streams of the LCE program using the online application forms available from this website. It is completely up to you to decide if you wish to register for the language partnerships or social events on campus or both streams of the LCE program.

An application form must be submitted for each stream of the LCE program that you wish to participate in.

By participating in the language partnerships and also joining the social events on campus you can enhance your global connections and intercultural competence and thereby enrich your whole-of-university experience.

Language partnerships

If you wish to develop your foreign language skills and choose to register for the language partnerships stream of the LCE program, you will be matched with a language partner or group. This usually involves an international and local student match. Sometimes, international and/or local students can also be matched with each other if language preferences are complimentary and a suitable international and local match cannot be found. Either way, you will receive an email with your language partner's contact details. While we try our best to meet your language preferences, please understand that not all first preferences can be met in all circumstances. The more flexible you are in providing details in your application, the easier it is to be matched. Language partners can meet as little or as much as they like - the time and place is up to you and your partner to agree and decide upon.

Social events on campus

If you do not speak a second language, you can take advantage of the LCE program by simply registering for the social events on campus. Once you have registered, you will receive an email confirmation welcoming you to the LCE program. You can then expect to receive regular email invitations by Event Managers (Student Leaders) to social events throughout the semester where you can meet with fellow students from different parts of the world and build your global connections. The social events are a great way to engage with other University of Adelaide students and even form your own language 'practice' partners.

Activities for language partnerships

Suggested discussion topics & activities

LCE event - group of students sharing a meal

Initial meeting

A good way to break the ice when you first meet your language partner is to share a little about yourself and your expectations.

For example you could talk about:

  • the course you are studying
  • how long you have lived in Adelaide
  • why you chose to participate in the LCE program
  • your reasons for learning another language
  • what your current language level is (e.g. 'I have been studying Mandarin for a year')
  • what aspects of the language you would like to focus on (e.g. basic comprehension, grammar, formal conversation, etc.)
  • how to write and pronounce your name.

At your first point of contact it is also important to discuss how often you would like to meet and what days/times you are available. Remember, this is a 'partnership' so it is important to consider the needs of your language partner as well as your own.

Group of students on the maths lawns

Beyond initial meeting

Below is a list of potential topics for discussion:

  • various aspects of your culture (e.g. family structure, food, how are meals organised, what people talk about when they first meet, how do people develop friendships...etc.)
  • education system (e.g. what is the university entrance exam like in your country? how are degree programs structured? what is the relationship like between students and lecturers? what is expected of students?)
  • learning style
  • countries/places that you have visited
  • your hobbies and interests
  • popular culture in your country (e.g. music, movies, arts, crafts and fashion...etc.)
  • popular sporting activities in your country.

Besides catching up on campus over a coffee, below is a list of activities that you may wish to explore with your language partner(s), to make your cultural engagement experience more rewarding:

  • go to a sporting event (e.g. footy, netball, soccer...etc.)
  • watch a film/movie (you may even wish to watch a film in the language that you are learning)
  • visit galleries and museums around Adelaide
  • check out various annual local events and festivals in Adelaide
  • explore food from different countries.

We hope you enjoy your experiences in the LCE program.

Terms & conditions

Please see the terms & conditions of the LCE.

How to apply

Apply for language partnerships

Apply for social events on campus

NOTE: Generally, we expect participants of LCE to be over 18 years of age. If you are under 18 years and are interested in participating in the program, please contact International Student Support on 8313 4828 or email for further information.

If you wish to discuss this program, contact staff at International Student Support via email or in person.