Chat Mates provides opportunities for international students to enhance their English conversation skills and for domestic students to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures, improve their communication skills and gain leadership experience.

How does it work?

All UQ students can participate in the group and there are absolutely no costs involved in doing so. For 7 weeks (usually weeks 3-10) culturally diverse small groups of approx. 10 students meet for 1-2 hours per week. In these small group sessions you will get to have interesting discussions about cultural differences, global issues and other topics surrounding the engaging backgrounds of your group. Each group consists of 2 Students Leaders who are native English speakers or have an excellent command of the English language to help stimulate and drive the conversation with the remaining non-native English speaking students.

Why should I get involved?

Group Leaders (Native Speaking English Students or those with an excellent command of the English language)

  • Develop a deeper understanding of other cultures.
  • Expand your range of social contacts and global networks.
  • Improve your communication skills with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Gain leadership and group facilitation experience.
  • Automatically become a UQ Student Leader including receiving access to all the training, personal development opportunities and awards which that entails.
  • Understand the issues and difficulties facing international students while they adjust to new cultures and in particular Australia.
  • Assist international students in improving their verbal communication skills and therefore have a more interactive and enjoyable experience in Australia.
  • Undergraduate students can also use Chat Mates as a verified secondary (1 semester) or primary (2 semesters) activity in the UQ Employability Award

“The leadership experience through the role of a group facilitator have been one of the best experiences gained at UQ. I was able to enhance my creative thinking and communication skills through organising the sessions. It was also very interesting to hear stories of people from different backgrounds and helped me to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures.” - Chat Mates Leader

Group Participants (Non-Native English Speaking Students)

  • Build your social networks through friendly interaction with other students.
  • Improve your verbal English communication skills and receive feedback from native speakers.
  • Increase your confidence while you work to improve your pronunciation and fluency.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of other cultures while you share your culture and experiences with others.
  • Learn everyday Australian terms and phrases so you can understand the funny things we say.
  • Learn more about the Australian culture.

"Chat Mates was excellent! I now know lots about Australia as well as other different cultures, backgrounds & countries. I expanded my social circle and enhanced my social skills to help me step outside my comfort zone. Highly recommend." - Chat Mates Participant

How do I register?

Group Leader (Native English)

Students who are interested in becoming a Mates Mentor please click below for more info. Registrations are now open for Semester 1 2018.

Register here 

Group Participant (Non-Native English) 

Chat Mates for Semester 2, 2017 are now closed. Registrations for Semester 1 2018 will open by O Week 2018.

Register here 

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