Partners in Acquiring Language (PAL)

smiling man and woman with earphones

The Partners in Acquiring Language (PAL) program pairs up U.S. students with new international students at UC Davis for informal conversation practice for approximately one hour per week.  Because the experience is mutually beneficial, participants are considered to be Partners in Acquiring Language, or PALs.

Participants’ languages and cultures reflect the rich diversity of the UC Davis international student population.  For the past two years, there have been more than 250 international participants representing China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Colombia, Sweden, Kuwait, Malaysia, Iran, and Turkey.

International students appreciate the opportunity to converse on a one-to-one basis with a native speaker of English.  U.S. students have the opportunity to develop enriching friendships and learn about other cultures while also being able to help their “PAL” to increase English language skills and feel more comfortable in U.S. culture. 

PAL Program Requirements

For International Students

  • Be an undergraduate or graduate student in a degree-granting program at UC Davis; Or
  • Be an exchange student in a UC internationalization initiative, including the UC Education Abroad Program, the Global Study Program, or International English

For U.S. Undergraduate Students

  • Interest and native, or near-native, speaking skills in English.
  • Ability to meet in person for at least 45 minutes per week with an international student for informal conversation practice at a time and place that is mutually convenient for both of you (usually somewhere on campus).

    Optional:  You can receive one unit of credit on a P/NP basis by working with two international students. If you choose this option, you need to register for LIN 197T (juniors/seniors) or LIN 99 (freshmen/sophomores) using a CRN that you will receive after signing up. At the end of the quarter, you’ll be required to submit a summary and evaluation of your experience (300 word minimum) due the last day of the term.

Supplemental content