Face-to-Face Individual Exchanges FAQ

Registration Questions

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When does Face-to-Face (F2F) Registration Open?

Registration for F2F exchanges opens on the first day of class of both the University of Minnesota's Fall and Spring semesters. In the Summer semesters, registration opens on the first day of the primary session but is not open during the May session.

Registering for the program during a given semester is an agreement to participate throughout that semester — meaning that successful partnerships continue for the duration of a single semester.

When does registration for F2F close?

Registration typically closes at the halfway point of the semester, a few months in. This varies by semester. Registration eventually closes as there is increasingly less and less time for participants to meet with new partners if registered too late in the semester.

How much does registration for F2F cost?

TandemPlus Face-to-Face is a free and voluntary program that exists to benefit the individuals who participate. We will not charge you for anything. The program is free, registration is free, attending our student-led events is free.

Where do I register?

You can register by clicking the "My TandemPlus Account" menu button on this website (located on the top, right-hand side). This will open the TandemPlus Matching Software. From there, you can register with either your UMN Internet ID or a personal email address.

Registration will prompt you to fill out a profile where you will need to provide your language, gender, and age preferences, times of availability, and additional information such as hobbies, travel limitations, etc. View our tutorial page for specific instructions on how to register.

Do I need to re-register if I have been in the program in the past?

If you participated in TandemPlus Face-to-Face (different from Class-to-Class) at any time in the past, all you have to do is log back into the TandemPlus Matching Software ("My TandemPlus Account") during the semester for which you want to participate. You will be prompted to update your profile to reflect your current information and preferences. Once you do so, you'll once more be in the pool of participants seeking new partnerships.

Who can register?

Everyone! TandemPlus F2F is open to UMN domestic students, international students, members of the greater Minnesota and national community, and participants who are abroad (via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, WeChat, etc.). We invite anyone interested in language and/or culture exchanges to join the program.

Partnership Questions

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How do I get a partner?

How do I get a partner?

There are two basic ways to get a partner during the semester that you are participating in.

  1. Use the "Search for a Partner" Tab in your account
    • Note: you will only be able to see information on participants who match your profiles specific preferences, including times of availability. You must also match their preferences.
    • If you send invitations to multiple people for a partnership, the first person who accepts one of those invitations becomes your partner.
  2. We find a partner for you.
    • This is the most common way to end up with a partner. We are able to sift through far more pairing options with the software on our end.

How do I contact my partner?

You will receive your partner's contact information via email (the email attached to your TandemPlus Account). The contact information will come in the form of your partner's email. It is up to you and your partner to contact one another and decide: when you meet, how often you meet, and what you do when you meet.

Please contact your partner as soon as possible after receiving a partnership email to begin establishing your partnership details. You can always reach out to [email protected] for suggestions.

Am I guaranteed to get a partner?

Not everyone who joins TandemPlus will be able to find a native speaking partner. This is due to a number of factors. For one, the program is voluntary, meaning no one is paid to participate. Also, for some language preferences, it is much rarer to find participants who match; for example, Polish is a very rare language in the program, and someone who speaks Polish and wants to learn Spanish would need to find someone who speaks Spanish, is currently participating the program, and who is also learning Polish. Rare combinations can be challenging, but we have other options available.

Peer-to-Peer exchanges available for those who are willing and interested in meeting other learners who are studying the same langauge —think 'study buddy'. This is a great option as it allows for participants to meet others who are dedicated to language study, and also allows you to easily meet others from different langauge levels and sections.

Cultural exchanges are another option that we offer — for those who we have few pairing options available, we can offer participation to others via a cultural exchange — this is often a popular option and many fun partnerships come about this way.

TandemPlus staff will continue to seek a partnership that matches your preferences throughout a semester. Our successful pairing rate each semester now falls in the 80-90% range. If we are unable to match you with a partner one semester, don't despair! New people join the program every semester and sometimes we have special opportunities available, such as English Conversation Hours.

What to do with my partner?

Ultimately, that's up to you and your partner! It's something you need to agree on.

For first meetings, we suggest a coffee shop, study space at the University such as the Jones Hall Study Lab (room 135), or restaurant near campus for a first meeting place. See the "I have a partner, now what?" tab.

What if I'm having an issue with my partner that I cannot solve on my own?

We are here to help. If for whatever reason your partnership is not working out for you, contact us at [email protected]. We will not ask questions or try to pressure you to remain in a partnership that you are not comfortable with. We will work with you to find a partner that suits your needs.

Can I have more than one partner?

Yes — please indicate in your profile a preference for "one or more partners". In the matching software, you will be able to look for up to one partner for each of the languages that you have listed.

While you cannot pair yourself a second time using the matching software, TandemPlus staff will regularly search for second partnership opporutnities and email participants directly with additional partnering options.

Program Questions

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Are there any requirements for being in the TandemPlus F2F program?

The only things that we require from our participants are:

  1. That they practice half of the time they spend with their partners in each person's target language,
  2. That they try to meet their partners throughout the entire semester (and let us know if they cannot commit to doing so at a later point in time).

There is a lot of autonomy for participants of this program. Some partners meet multiple times per week, while others meet only a few times per semester. How you go about practicing with your partner depends very much on both of your schedules.

Do I get class credit for participating in TandemPlus?

Most participants of TandemPlus will not receive any class credit for participating in the Face-to-Face program. However, sometimes instructors will ask their students to participate for extra credit opportunities, or as part of a multi-option class project. TandemPlus does not determine whether or not this is the case for your class.

Can my partner help me with homework / can my partner ask me to help with homework?

No. TandemPlus is not a tutoring program. Participating in it is not an opportunity to provide your partner with your language homework, papers, quizzes, etc., asking them to assist you. Your partner should not ask you to do the same. Plagiarism is against the Student Conduct Code of the University of Minnesota.

Is this a dating program?

No. This is a language and cultural conversation exchange program. Participants join this program to seriously take on their language practice, meet other language learners, and to have cultural exchanges for intercultural experience.