Conversation Pal: Getting Connected

Make new friends while learning about different cultures.

Students were divided into six groups and named with different colors as group names. Each group had a stamp-like card. According to the clues given on the back of the card, they needed to search the exact location of the program or office within 40 minutes and obtain the medal provided by the staff.

This was a part of the Conversation Pal make-up session on Feb. 25, designed to make students better acquainted with the campus.
Raquel A. Parada Giacoman, the Conversation Pal program assistant said, “you have to contact each other by email or text message everyday,” but through such activities, “you just get together to have fun.”

Dongmei Liang
Members of Conversation Pal, participating in a stamp collecting game in the office of Marla Tembreull, Program Specialist III of International Education on Feb. 25, 2020.

Hayato Kondo, from Japan, came to EvCC five months ago. He joined Conversation Pal through a friend’s introduction. He mostly wanted to go to downtown Seattle, he said, “but I live in a dormitory and don’t have a car either. I am very happy to have a group of friends playing games together. And the program is exactly what I need.”

Intaree Chotikanjanarut from Thailand, a freshman at EvCC, wants to meet new people and improve her English skills.

At the beginning of each quarter, Raquel’s job is to group members depending on their different curriculum, cultural background, etc. “International students who want to improve their English communication skills must have the participation of American students or native language speakers.”

Alex Werner, a Native American student participating in this program for a third consecutive quarter said, “I love to meet different people from different countries. This time, I met some people from Germany and Japan, but they don’t show up often.”

Dongmei Liang
Marla Tembreull sitting in her office, Grey Wolf Hall 112 on Feb. 25, 2020.

Group members arrange their own activities, bowling, board games, hiking, or tasting different foods. Marla Tembreul, the program specialist for EvCC’s International Education department occasionally participates in their activities. Most of the time, students themselves run and lead the program. Trembreul laughs and calls herself “the second defense.”

In front of Tembreul’s office, there is a bulletin board filled with photos of gatherings and travel. “The difference is important. Here we can see the difference in the world through the eyes of others.”