A.C.E.’s Language Mentor Program Kicks Off

Ali and Alicia

By Kate Spoor, Group Programs Coordinator: The A.C.E. Language Mentor program is an essential part of how A.C.E. students connect to the SPU community. Two weeks ago, we finished matching 21 A.C.E. students with 18 SPU students! The main goals of the program are to build friendships, strenghten community ties between A.C.E. and SPU, promote cross-cultural understanding, and provide extra opportunties for A.C.E. students to use English with a native speaker. Partners are required to meet each other at least once a week for an hour or more and are highly encouraged to partake in all A.C.E. sponsored activities. Also, language mentor partners are encouraged to explore Seattle together. Many of the SPU partners are freshman and new to the city themselves, so student pairs are able to get to know the city together.

Here’s what some of the language partners have to say already about the program:

“Ali and I, coming from very different backgrounds and experiences, had a very lucrative conversation about all of the “sticky” topics people often try to avoid when speaking to people of a different culture. Specifically, the topic of religion was most interesting to me. I enjoyed hearing what his country thinks of both Islam and Christianity, the stereotypes surrounding the religion, and the truths we overlook. It was a great conversation and really opened my eyes to Middle Eastern culture.” – Alicia Olson

Dana and Katie

“Since I’ve met with Dana (Hyunji) so far, we’ve walked up to Martin Square and visited Gwinn for a PB and J snack and talked about our different lives, why she is visiting and trying to learn English, and our families. I showed her the dorms up in Ashton and met some friends on my floor. Today a group of SPU students (3 girls, 2 boys) from 5th Ashton walked up to Starbucks in Queen Anne with Jason and Dana from A.C.E., and it was an absolute blast! We’re excited to meet again next week and possibly visit the Picasso exhibit at the Art Museum on a Thursday.” -Katie Zweber

We look forward to hosting A.C.E.’s International Thanksgiving Potluck with our Language Mentors next Tuesday, November 16! Stay tuned to the November calendar and your email boxes for details about this special, cultural event.

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