It’s a new year. That means a fresh start at tackling a new foreign language or renewed efforts at honing your skills.
While taking language courses may be necessary to keep you on track, you might want to supplement your studies with a meetup or language exchange event now and then. Staying motivated is easier when you’re surrounded by people who are in the same boat as you, and the setting is relaxed and fun.
That’s why we’ve curated ten of the best meetups in cities around the world, from London to Seoul. Some meetups happen in person, others online; some are weekly, others happen every day. Browse through this list to find the perfect meetup near you, or spread the word.
1. DC Language Exchange: Washington, DC, USA
Want to learn or practice a foreign language and have the opportunity for a real language and cultural exchange? The DC Language Exchange is a group of people that get together to practice and learn new languages. Join them at their weekly language exchange meetings to brush up on a foreign language and learn something completely new about another culture.
Their members split into smaller practice groups to improve their French, Italian, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and many other languages, and you can also help other members to improve in your native language and learn about your culture.
They also have other evening and cultural events such as ethnic restaurant events, cultural activity events, cultural related classes, outdoor picnics and happy hours to promote language practice and cultural exchange.
→ DC Language Exchange: Washington, DC, USA
2. OH Yeah! English & International Language Exchange: Sydney, Australia
The main purpose of OH Yeah! English & International Language Exchange is to connect and have a good conversational skills, gain confidence and learn about other cultures. Their members comes from all over the world so an added benefit is meeting new people, mingling and having fun.
Their vibrant community are all passionate and enthusiastic people who love experiencing things that are different from what they already know and sharing their own experiences and stories with others. Try to imagine: If you are from overseas and want to explore all that Australia has to offer there is nothing better than meeting some locals and getting some ideas, recommendations or maybe even a friendly local to show you around.
If you’re an English speaker and eager to learn a new language such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, German, Spanish, Indonesian, etc., they usually have fluent speakers who are happy to help you out with some conversational practice.
→ OH Yeah! English & International Language Exchange: Sydney, Australia
3. Mammoth London Language Exchange: London, UK
Mammoth London Language Exchange is a fun way to practice a language and make friends at the same time. Their members are from all over the world including native English speakers. So you can learn and improve on any language you wish to.
They also organise many events, social, cultural, mixed sports games, day trips, theatre, museums, galleries, karaoke, language exchange, bowling, walks, club nights, movie nights, dinners, pub crawls and much more. If you’re new to London or not, single or a couple, any nationality or background, you're welcome to join their group to go to their weekly language exchange and social events.
At their meetups you can practise: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian Malay, Vietnamese, Turkish, Greek, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Latvian, Lithuanian.
→ Mammoth London Language Exchange: London, UK
4. SPEAK Lisbon Language and Culture Exchange: Lisbon, Portugal
SPEAK Lisbon - Language and Culture Exchange connects people that are interested in getting to know new people from Lisbon and its surroundings. Also, it goes way beyond that, to those interested in joining a multi-lingual and multi-cultural social group!
Join them on one of our Language and/or Culture exchange events. Respect is a must. They ask that you open your mind, have fun, learn about people's world and share yours.
They’re a community passionate about languages, cultures, diversity, and the world. They believe that throughout a learning and sharing process, they get to know other people, learn and explore common interests, break prejudices, misunderstandings and promote comprehension as well as cooperation.
→ SPEAK Lisbon Language and Culture Exchange: Lisbon, Portugal
5. SF Social and Language Lovers: San Francisco, California, USA
Let's get social. Let's also practice English or any foreign language. The SF Social and Language Lovers gather socially to chat, make new friends, learn about other cultures and explore new topics. They encourage you to share your English or foreign language skills while socializing and meeting interesting and worldly people.
Languages you may hear and be able to speak at their events are English, Spanish, Korean, Dutch, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish, Italian, Arabic, German, Thai, Russian and much more!
→ SF Social and Language Lovers: San Francisco, California
6. Spanglish Exchange Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spanglish is a language exchange that brings together native English speakers, native Spanish speakers, and just enough beer to make it less intimidating to practice a foreign language.
This Spanish meetup has a format of one-on-one “mini-conversations” that last for 10 minutes (5 in Spanish, 5 in English), and give you the chance to practice your conversation skills with multiple native speakers. The idea is that more is better!
→ Spanglish Exchange Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires, Argentina
7. Gangnam Social Language Exchange Meetup: Seoul, Korea
Meet new people, locals and travellers, practice speaking English, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, French or Spanish! Join social meet ups, and parties. They have two Language Exchange cafes and Pubs. One is Gangnam and one in Hongdae.
The whole space is designed for language exchange, and connecting people through events. They have meet ups every day in both locations. English, Korean meet ups are every day. Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French are throughout the week.
They have parties and special events on the weekends. Our members are about 30% Foreigners and 70% Koreans in their 20s and 30s. Not everyone is fluent in their target languages. All language levels are fine. Feel free to come alone and come late.
→ Gangnam Social Language Exchange Meetup: Seoul, Korea
8. Istanbul Polyglot Meetup: Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul polyglot meeting is for, of course, polyglots. The point is to love language learning. Polyglots generally know about 5-10-20 languages, but polyglot means the person who knows at least 2 foreign languages and tries to learn a lot more. PLEASE NOTE: This is not an English-learning group.
→ Istanbul Polyglot Meetup: Istanbul, Turkey
Learn exclusive insider secrets for how polyglots learn languages here.
9. Budapest Language Exchange and Friends: Budapest, Hungary
Do you live in Budapest and want to meet interesting people from other cultures, learn different languages, share culture and travel stories, and generally have a nice time?
Join this English/Hungarian/French/German/Spanish or Italian language practice group! (Or contact them to start your own.)
→ Budapest Language Exchange and Friends: Budapest, Hungary
10. Meet and talk cdmx: Mexico City, Mexico
This is a group to strengthen foreign language skills through conversation. Members of any level are admitted, the meetings will be in places of the cdmx.
The group has no cost but something must be consumed on the spot (it is quite cheap). The group will be organized and badges will be given according to the level they tell us they have.