CISS Programs and Events

Academic Workshops

English Courses

English Language workshops are available for 10-weeks in the Fall and Spring semesters. These workshops can be used to improve the communication skills needed to engage in university coursework. Conversation partners will join each class to provide opportunities for practice, feedback, and questions. Registration for the workshop series is highly recommended in order to guarantee a seat. Register here.

Students who have not scored high enough to be screened by the microteaching test should attend at least 8 workshops. Additional language courses are available - please visit the UCAELI website for information.

English Language Workshops

Location: CISS Building - 2019 Hillside Road, 2nd Floor Conference Room

Dates: September 6 - November 8 2023, 10 weeks

Days: Wednesdays

Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Course Fee: Free

Course Description: These workshops will help participants develop the speaking skills needed to convey their ideas clearly when presenting in front of an audience. Students will practice presenting information relevant to their field of study and be actively involved in self-assessment and peer assessment. Content will be adapted to suit the group's needs.

CISS Coffee Hour

Travel with us to a new place every month! CISS Coffee Hour brings together students, staff and faculty to connect with each other, enjoy refreshments and learn more about a country, culture or student group through an informal and fun presentation.

CISS Coffee Hour schedule

We are always looking for students willing to share about their home country, traditions, holidays and language.  Presenting at a CISS coffee hour is a great way to gain public speaking practice and to network with the UConn community.


Nadine Boudissa, International Advisor, ISSS

Jeannie Slayton, Director, Intercultural Programs & Support


International Student Advisory Board

The International Student Advisory Board was created to build relationships and foster improved communication between international students, CISS units, and the University community. Learn more, here.

International Student Move In Day

Each fall, UConn students, faculty and staff help to welcome new international students on the Storrs campus as they move in to their residence halls, and get settled before international student orientation begins in August. A sign-up form for those interested to volunteer will be available in the late spring.

Contact: Jeannie Slayton, Director, IPS,

International Student Support Group

Feel Stressed?

Student Health and Wellness and Intercultural Programs and Support are offering an International Student Support Group for UConn international students.

Our intention is to support international students by providing a safe and comfortable space for them to discuss various concerns and to connect with each other.

When: Every 1st Thursday of the month, from 4:15 - 5:15 pm

Where: Center for International Students and Scholars, Room 202


Jeannie Slayton, Director, IPS,

Michelle Chen, Mental Health Clinician, SHaW,


OPT and CPT Workshops

ISSS offers workshops throughout the year on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) benefits for F-1 students. Come learn how to apply for authorization to work or train in off-campus positions related to your academic major. Workshops are offered in-person at four campuses and virtually.

OPT and CPT Workshop Schedule

Contact: Dana Foster, International Services Coordinator,

UCAELI Conversation Partners

Who are Conversation Partners?

Conversation Partners are people of all ages who are interested in meeting people from different cultures. Previous volunteers have included university students and staff, local middle school and high school students, and other members of the community. Informal conversation with fluent English speakers is an important aspect of learning the language. Students need to hear English and practice with their peers in personal and informal settings. Many of our previous students and Conversation Partners have formed lasting friendships. Volunteering to be a Conversation Partner is a way to experience another culture without ever leaving the Storrs campus. Who knows, you may end up visiting our students in their countries someday!

What do Conversation Partners do? 

Conversation Partners play an important role in UCAELI students’ English education. Objectives for the Conversation Partner time connect with UCAELI’s Communication Skills course objectives. Partners who join Conversation classes will be guided by a UCAELI instructor on how to participate in each class. Generally, partners will be placed with a small group of UCAELI students who will have some questions or conversation strategy to practice relating to something they are learning in their Communication Skills classes. Topics and activities vary from discussions about culture, current events, academic subjects,  and university life.  The commitment to being a Conversation Partners is flexible. Partners may join classes regularly or just once or twice, however partners are encouraged to let the Conversation Partners Coordinator know in advance about their level of commitment so that teachers can plan lessons accordingly.

What do Conversation Partners get from the experience? 

  • Learn about other cultures
  • Make new friends from all over the world
  • Help international students participate more fully in the UConn community
  • Gain experience in providing language feedback, explanations, and suggestions in a language learning classroom
  • Participate in UCAELI activities outside of classes

What are the opportunities for Conversation Partner Volunteers? 

The UCAELI program is for adult learners of English who are mostly between 18–24 years of age. Many of these students are preparing to enter a college or university in the U.S. Others are improving their English skills for professional purposes or simply to be able to communicate better. This program is offered year-round in four sessions. Students in the program study English 22 hours per week from Monday through Friday.

A UCAELI instructor facilitates the class, so no preparation or previous experience is necessary. The one requirement of volunteer partners is to speak in English!

Interested in being a Conversation Partner?

Please click here to apply!