Language Exchanges In Medellín
Language Exchanges in Medellin are a great and affordable way to improve your Spanish skills and to meet new people. Language exchanges are very common here in Medellín. Language exchanges or “Intercambio de idiomas” are a great way to improve conversational Spanish.
Your Spanish skill level doesn’t matter at all but it’s great if you can at least speak a little Spanish to have a conversation.
The idea of language exchanges in Medellin is surely to improve your language skills. Whether you are a foreigner that wants to improve his Spanish or a local who likes to improve his English. Both can benefit from a language exchange in Medellin.
Depending on the event it can be guided while playing games or just plain and simple talking to each other about any given topic.
Locals join those events to practice their English skills but also to meet new people from other countries. Expats and travelers are usually eager to improve their Spanish skills or are just happy to speak English again.
Language Exchange In Toucan Cafe In Medellin
My first language exchange experience was on a Thursday in Toucans Cafe next door to Toucans actual Spanish school in Poblado. Toucan Spanish has schools in Bogota and Cartagena too. They also offer daily cultural activities which are mostly for free.
The language exchange was for “free”, in order to participate, you had to purchase something from the Cafe that cost at least $5.000 COP. They have a great variation of coffees, teas, pastries and more. They are also vegan-friendly.
My experience was great. I was sitting on a table with Sam, waiting for the event to start. They brought two people to our table with whom we had great conversations.
Both of them were Colombians.
Since we haven’t had any instructions, we just started to talk in English and switched to Spanish after a while in order for both parties, to benefit from the event.
Both (a woman about 24 years old and the guy 18 years old) told us that they are joining the event frequently in order to improve their English. They also both had English classes in High school but since they can’t practice with anybody they join those events.
Usually you get to meet people from all over the world and every age, which is amazing.
Toucan offers their language exchanges every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s.
Each language exchange starts at 6 PM.
What Do Toucan Students Say About Toucan Spanish School?
“I did 20 hours of private lessons at Toucan, and it was great! I was more or less starting from scratch, but my teacher Leo was patient and funny and really helped me understand a lot of the grammar and concepts that I wasn’t getting from Duolingo.
If I hadn’t been so busy at work during my time in Medellin, I would have loved to take more classes, but I’m hoping to continue learning as I travel. I definitely recommend Toucan, and Leo specifically – thanks for making me feel welcome, and for helping me to be much more comfortable living my life in Spanish-speaking countries! “
More information about Toucan Spanish School
- Toucan Spanish, Language School
- Carrera 41 A # 10-28 (El Poblado)
- 6 PM – 8 PM
Colombia Immersion Language Exchange
I haven’t had the time to join one of the language exchanges from Colombia Immersion, but I took the chance to ask them directly what they do, where and how. I will surely join one of their future events.
Colombia Immersion has got language schools in Medellin in the neighborhoods Envigado and Laureles.
The language exchange happens every Friday at Colombia Immersion school in Envigado starting at 6:30 PM till 10 PM . They organize different cultural activities through the week in booth schools in Laureles and Envigado.
Most of the activities are completely free, the language exchange included. The only activity that has a price is their weekly field trip, although this activity is included for the students that take the “full immersion package”.
Each Intercambio has a different ice-break activity. When something relevant is happening in the city they relate the activity to this topic. The activity is divided into two parts, one in English (for Colombians) the other one is in Spanish (for foreigners). Sometimes, they include other languages such as Portuguese, German and French.
Due to the feedback on their website the students really enjoy their time at Colombia Immersion.
“Great place to learn Spanish! The instructors are amazing and the sense of community at this school is great. So, I can’t recommend it enough. I took 1 month of classes and developed much more confidence in my ability to speak while understanding Spanish in a conversational context. The classes are focused on learning conversational Spanish which I found to be perfect because I needed Spanish for travel, in addition to communicate along the way.”
More information about Colombia Immersion:
- Colombia Immersion, Language School
- Carrera 40 #40D Sur – 49 (El Dorado, Envigado)
- 6:30 PM – 10 PM
OSLA International Language Exchange
OSLA International is based in Estadio, which is known for its huge sport fields, the street la “setenta” where you find all the bars, restaurants cafes and more. OLSA offers another well known language exchange in Medellin.
Usually, there are more professionals and “older” people showing up for the language exchanges. You will see fewer backpackers and students compared to other language exchanges from what we heard. Although that is a generalization, and every single week is different.
At times they will give you a topic to speak about as an icebreaker. Also, they really try to make sure that you are changing languages frequently in order to really benefit from the language exchange.
OSLA International, Language School
- Calle 49B # 76 A – 05 (Estadio)
- 6:30 PM – 9 PM
Ondas Cafe, Hostel & Bar
The hostel, Cafe and Bar is only 5 minutes from La Floresta metro station away.
The difference to the other language exchanges is the variety of options you got at the same place. I think it is great that they combined three usually different places in one. (Cafe, Hostel & Rooftop bar)
On top of that, you got to have events like the language exchange every Wednesday and Friday on Ondas Cafe, Hostel & Rooftop bar.
The language exchange is more spontaneous and doesn’t have a script or anything. You will more likely meet people in their 20s or 30s, travelers and backpackers, instead of businessmen or entrepreneurs.
More information about Ondas Cafe, Hostel & Bar
- Carrera 81 45G-52 (Floresta)
- 7 PM – 10 PM
Dancefree in Medellin
This is not a typical language exchange like the others mentioned before. Dance free offers not only a language exchange but also a free dance lesson.
In case you’re not only interested in the language exchange but also want to practice your dance skills more often. Dancefree also offers free dance classes during the week, but without the language exchange.
Every Saturday in El Poblado you have the opportunity to benefit from the free language exchange and dance lessons. Dancefree is really near to Parque Lleras, which is a famous place to party, especially for foreigners.
Keep in mind that the entry is free until 9 PM after that they charge you COP 10.000 that’s about
3 USD .(includes one national, non-craft beer)
The language exchange starts at 8 PM and will continue till 9:30 PM. Like the other language exchanges you got to meet Colombians and foreigners to speak English and Spanish too.
After the exchange, you get to enjoy the free Salsa dance lesson. They will introduce you into the basic Salsa steps. Don’t worry if you’re joining the event by yourself, you get to meet a lot of people while changing dance partners from time to time. This way you get to practice a new language and learn some Latin moves at the same event.
More information about Dancefree:
- Dancefree, Dance Studio
- Calle 10A #40-27 (Poblado)
- 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM for language exchange, dancing afterwards
Conclusion – Language Exchanges In Medellin
In general, I really recommend language exchanges, not only to improve your language skills but also to meet new people from all over the world.
You never know who you are going to meet. Each weekend and each event is different. Some are more relaxed and have more backpackers and students that join. Other events are more moderated and the people who join are businessmen, entrepreneurs or older people in general.
Sam and I got to meet great people with whom we are still in contact. One of them, who is Colombian, we really consider a close friend. He really gives us the Colombian view on things and also helps us to understand the Colombian culture better. All in all, we had great experiences on every language exchanges we joined so far. Maybe you are going to meet your future partner, make good friends or just have great conversations.
In my opinion, you can only win by joining language exchanges in Medellin. Try it yourself and let us know about your experiences.