The English Conversation Club (ECC) will continue in its virtual format throughout the summer, and organizers are looking for both native and non-native English-speaking participants. Interested participants can learn more about the program online. The virtual gatherings have averaged between 15-25 participants throughout the semester when OIS moved all of its programs online in response to the global pandemic.
Why did you decide to continue ECC throughout the summer?
One of the main reasons we decided to continue with ECC throughout the summer was the need for community and interaction between our students. Throughout the semester, ECC was always our strongest virtual program because of the community that had existed pre-pandemic. Now with the semester over and students having a lot more free time on their hands, it offers a chance for students, scholars, dependents and community members to continue to interact. One student expressed that ECC was the only other interaction they had besides their academic advisor. In times like these, we need to stay connected, and ECC helps with that.
Who do you hope will participate in the virtual sessions?
We would love for ECC to serve as a space for anyone who wants to feel connected to others, learn about a new culture or enhance their English conversation skills. ECC is a relaxed space for all: students, scholars, dependents and community members.
What do you envision as the future of these online gatherings for OIS?
Our ECC meetings usually end at the end of each semester and don’t begin until the following semester. Additionally, once our students return home, they are no longer able to participate in ECC since the meetings of in-person. We believe that this has opened up an array of opportunities that we had initially not considered: for example, the possibility of continuing meetings over the summer, hosting weekly virtual ECC meetings for our community who have returned home, or even the possibility of allowing prospective students to learn a bit more about the resources our campus offers through these virtual meetings. We believe these online options will mesh will with our in-person meetings as well and help provide additional opportunities to interact with our international community.
What’s the schedule for future virtual gatherings?
Throughout the summer, ECC will meet weekly on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM. Interested participants can join by using the link go.ncsu.edu/ecccentennial.