Hello language afficionados. My name is Antoine. I am very pleased to get the opportunity to organize the upcoming AvaLingua Exchange (ALE) events together with Thijs and Sophia. About myself: I have a background in law and litigation. My passion for languages started during my law study, because language and words are important tools in legal matters. I started to study Spanish after having a vacation in Costa Rica in 2003. With my knowledge of Spanish I was able to follow some basic lessons in Quechua. Beside that I try to understand the system of other languages, e.g. Nahuatl. I like to be at the ALE meetings because of the inspiration I get from the participants and their stories. There is always a great atmosphere at the meetings! In my free time I like to play some volleyball, to listen to music (my favourite is Mercedes Sosa) and to read biographies and art books. Hoping to see you soon at the next ALE meeting! Or in Quechua: huk punchau caman!
Hi! My name is Thijs. I have a background in psychology and IT, and have been interested in language for a long time. Together with the rest of the team, I'm happy to be part of AvaLingua Exchange. It's fun to organize it and meet new people, and help each other this way. Connecting all kinds of people is something I also enjoyed when organizing laughter workshops, in the past. Language and laughter: two universal ways to bring people together! I enjoy music a lot, as well as photography, playing guitar and practicing various Cheng Hsin skills. And... learning Swedish. See you at the meetings!
Hey! I am Sophia. Three years ago I went to Mexico and lived there for a year working as a volunteer in an orphanage. Coming back, I moved to the Netherlands and wanted to practice my Spanish and Dutch here. That’s how I found out about AvaLingua Exchange: I met many nice and inspiring people there and I think it is a really good opportunity to practice languages in a relaxed, unstressed but very practical and productive way. At the moment I am studying Psychology. Apart from that I like to make music (I play the cello), do sports and to connect people from very different contexts in life and… of course I love languages!
Team member: Kiki
Hola todos! My name is Kiki. After my internship in Ecuador in 2015, I decided it would be good to keep on practising my Spanish. Soon I learned I could do this at AvaLingua Exchange (ALE). I was quite nervous the first time: two hours of talking to total strangers in a foreign language... Was this really such a good idea?! Now, 4 years later, I know it was. I met a lot of people - I even became good friends with some. The relaxed, non-scholastic atmosphere at ALE really helped as well! My Spanish is still up to date and I also organized the events for one year together with Thijs, Avalon and Manu. And I am still a big fan! I visit the events quite often and like to help organizing them from time to time and meet new 'strangers' here.
I love to write blogs for my own website and for FollowFox024. Or I go sporting. Running around in Nijmegen became my own business. I guide people through the city with my company Nijmegen Running Tours. It is a great way to see the city in a different, quick and healthy way. I explain a lot about the sights and hot spots we see when running. The remaining time I work as a physical therapist, see friends, go traveling, drink coffee or am busy daydreaming. Hope to meet you at ALE one day and learn about your interests!
Hi everyone! I’m Avalon, a Dutchie who has been living in many different countries, who loves to discover new cultures and different ways of thinking. I’m a cultural anthropologist and teach Dutch to foreigners. I grew up close to the sea, which is one of my favorite places to be!
In 2014, I organized the first AvaLingua Exchange Meeting (called Language Exchange Nijmegen) in Nijmegen, only because I wanted to meet Spanish speakers. It turned out that a lot of people showed up at that first meeting and because I enjoy organizing and connecting people, I decided to make it a weekly event. During the last years it was not only me who organized the meetings, but many people helped me during the time I was abroad or at the other side of the country: Emilie, Jana, Suzanne, Janice, Robert, Manu and Kiki, thank you! Right now, Antoine, Sophia and Thijs are in charge of the meetings in Nijmegen and Fiona and Marleen in The Hague. Since October 2018 I'm organizing the meetings in Rotterdam, together with Emma and Özlem.
It’s always an honor for me to organize the meetings. Every meeting I have the chance to meet wonderful people from different countries. I see a lot of happy faces and all the time new friendships are made and we speak a lot of languages. LANGUAGES, FRIENDS & CULTURES. Connecting these that's what it's all about and my main objective in life.
In this video, the participants of AvaLingua Exchange Nijmegen explain you what AvaLingua Exchange is all about, who they are and why they are joining the weekly meetings! It would be great to see you around soon!
Pablo - Chile
My name is Pablo, I am from Chile. I recently moved to the Netherlands looking for new challenges, I chose this country because of their very well-known educational system, environmental responsibility and international atmosphere. From my first week here I started to go to language exchange meetings in Nijmegen. I love that I could known people from all over the world and at the same time I could improve my English and help others with their Spanish. The best thing that you can do when you are starting a new life in a new country is to meet new people and make contacts, this is why this meeting was a perfect match for me, I killed two birds with one stone.
Christel - The Netherlands
French and Spanish, those are the languages I’m learning to speak at the AvaLingua Exchange meetings. Yes, it can sometimes be very scary and difficult, especially because my level of Spanish is quite low. But speaking a foreign language with native speakers, having a drink together, comparing each other's cultures and chatting together, isn’t that the whole point of learning languages? I learn a lot, I laugh about my mistakes and after one hour of clumsily trying to speak Spanish or French, I’m grateful to help others with their Dutch. I meet so many interesting people from all over the world. Just around the corner in a nice café!
Mayerly - Colombia
Hi i am Mayerly, I am from Colombia. I arrived to Netherlands to get to know the culture, customs and specially for living the experience, to travel and to know the more emblematic places from Europe. When I got to AvaLingua Exchange I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to increase my level in English but I did not know that behind that I had the opportunity to meet people so wonderful that will be part of my group of friends. AvaLingua Exchange for me has become a space where I can share the most beautiful from my native language and I can transmit the culture, habits, lifestyles we have in our country.
Marieke - The Netherlands
My name is Marieke and I recently moved to Nijmegen for my studies. I used to go to a language cafe when I spent two months in France last year, which was a great way to practise my French and meet people. I was therefore happy to hear that a language exchange already existed in Nijmegen as well. So far I have participated every week and I really enjoy it! The atmosphere is great and I like the fact that you can both practise a language and help others with a language you already speak. It’s the perfect way to meet people, learn more about other countries and cultures, and of course improve your language skills!
In Nijmegen, the AvaLingua Exchange meetings take place at Guesthouse Vertoef.
Close to the city center as well as the railway station, it's a great spot if you're looking for a place to stay in Nijmegen, or just want to grab a drink and a bite at the bar. You can also check their work area downstairs, for a booth to study/work in, or to arrange a meeting for your team.
Guesthouse Vertoef, pronounced 'vertoof', is derived from the old Dutch verb 'vertoeven', which means 'to stay pleasurably' and this is exactly what they stand for.
For more info, check their website!
To keep you updated about the AvaLingua Exchange meetings you can also download the Uniyard app!
What is Uniyard? Uniyard provides a unique social network platform for local students:
- Find the most interesting events in your town and easily export them directly to your personal agenda.
- Discover student discounts and special deals in your town.
- Buy and sell anything from and to other students
For more information, have a look at the website.
Spaans y más
Together with Spaans y más we used to organize monthly Spanish nights. During those nights you have the opportunity to learn and practice Spanish in an interactive way. At the same time the Spanish/Latin culture is central in those meetings. We organized nights with: songs, movies, native speakers, games and dancing! Let's see if we can work together more in the future again!
For more information about Spaans y más, have a look at their website.