For Katia Paz and Sangho Yun, meeting twice a week for coffee, Korean and English conversation is just a part of their routine. Every Monday and Friday, Paz, a freshman from St. Cloud studying nursing and Korean, and Yun, a PhD student from Seoul, South Korea studying electrical engineering, meet at a campus Starbucks for their TandemPlus language exchange.
At their meetings they speak half of the time in Korean and half of the time in English and both help each other to improve their language. Paz feels that she can comfortably ask Yun language questions and ask for clarifications on grammatical concepts, while Yun feels that Paz helps him by correcting mispronunciation of English words. They often talk about cultural, social, and political differences and both feel they have gained crucial cultural insight over the past few months. In addition, both participants feel that their confidence has greatly improved in speaking their second languages. Paz feels that due to her growing confidence she is "more vocal in class." Both students share the goal of using their second languages in a future career; Paz hopes to work at a base in Korea, and Yun hopes to use English regularly in a career for multinational technology company. Both participants feel that Tandem language exchanges are essential to improving their language.