Even though Zurich itself is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, its status as one of the most important financial centres and high quality of living make it a truly global city. That is definitely good news for any language learners who are able to find conversation partners with great ease.
If, however, you would like to participate in a bigger language exchange event and combine practicing your target language with socialising, try attending one of the events organised by Zürich’s Language Exchange.
Even older than Zurich German Conversation Group, Zürich’s Language Exchange has been around since 2011 and has amassed quite a following over the years. It now connects almost 3000 language learners and provides weekly events for conversation practice and cultural exchange.
Even with such a large membership, the core group is still rather tight-knit and even share a Slack channel for coordinating different events. If you would like to join the channel, simply message the admin of the group.
In addition to simple language practice, you are also free to participate in events focused more on socialising and general discussion.
Despite being a language exchange group, there are really no regularly scheduled language exchange events. That doesn’t mean that they don’t take place but, rather, that they are more unpredictable and don’t take place in one specific location.
The only event that takes place regularly is the weekly Reading and Discussion Session which, unfortunately, is held in English. Although, if you’re trying to read a book in target language, you would probably find a native speaker to help you out at that event.
To take part in any of the events organised by this group, you’re expected to first apply to join and be approved by the main organiser. To do that, simply click on the “Join us!” button on the right side of the screen, answer a few short questions about which languages you’re looking to practice and wait to be accepted. Since the locations of their events are only shown to members, joining the group is really a necessary prerequisite.
As we mentioned above, since this group does not feature any (but one) regular events, it’s difficult to predict when the next language exchange might take place. The easiest way to find out when your target language is going to be practiced is to keep an eye on the group’s upcoming events calendar.
To take part in any of the events, you are expected to RSVP to let the organisers know you’re coming. To do that, simply choose an event in their calendar, and click “RSVP Now”.
From past events, you can see that the most common language to be practiced is German but, if that is your goal, you might be better off attending one of the regular events by Zurich German Conversation Group.
This group is one of the most popular and active language exchange groups in Zurich and their events are often attended by around a dozen of people. The events are well-organised and participants are expected to keep to a set of rules when attending. This ensures that everything goes smoothly and everyone can enjoy themselves.
Photo credit: Zürich’s Language Exchange photo album.