California State University, Sacramento Sacramento State Leader

‘Clubs’ offer English skills, friendship to international students

Conversation Clubs Sacramento State takes pride in its inclusive, welcoming atmosphere – and that extends to students from abroad who come to the campus seeking to learn English as a key step toward pursuing educational and career goals in the United States.

Each week in Del Norte Hall, international students from the College of Continuing Education’s English Language Institute (ELI) meet with Sac State student volunteers for casual, friendly discussions about food, travel, holidays, and more.

The topics may seem trivial, but the experience is profound. Through these “Conversation Clubs,” ELI students are not only gaining critical English-speaking skills and confidence. They’re also building personal relationships that help them feel more connected to the campus as a whole.

“I was an international student myself, and I know how hard it is to just go out and talk to people,” says Alessandra McMorris, a senior academic specialist with ELI and a native of Brazil. “This is a friendly atmosphere and environment for our students to improve their listening and speaking skills. They also learn more about Sac State, and some of them make lifelong friends.”
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