In 1993 Minnesota English Center, home of the ESL program at the U of M, created a face-to-face Tandem program to match native speakers of English here on campus for conversation in each participant's native language. Soon after, the Language Center received a grant to use technology to facilitate international communication between language classrooms and expanded the program. The first exchanges used email to communicate, a new innovation at the time, and were managed by a grad-student. Local exchanges and classroom exchanges continued in this way throughout the years until distinct F2F and C2C programs were created. Many programs branched off from the TandemPlus program including language focus groups, virtual language workshops, and CLIC, a Chinese immersion program focused on high school students.
The current TandemPlus matching software was introduced between 2013-2015 and the TandemPlus Student Group was officially established in 2015. The program continued to grow with the F2F matching pool topping over 700 students a semester. In 2023, the new PLP initiative was launched to help students better study for their language classes on campus. Today, students throughout the world participate in TandemPlus every semester. The program continues to be a robust asset to the Language Center and to students everywhere learning foreign languages.