Group photo of BEARchats Fall 2017 Country Cats Presentation

BEARchats Group Picture

The University of Cincinnati's BEARchats Conversation Partner Program creates cross-cultural friendships and enhances student understanding of the University of Cincinnati's diverse student body.

As the University of Cincinnati becomes an increasingly global university, these cultural exchanges will form a foundation of cultural diversity and awareness for our students as they leave the university to take on the world.

For more information or if you have any questions, contact Lavanya Varma (

What Do Conversation Partners Do?

International students are paired with a native or fluent student from the United States. Partner pairs will meet for one hour each week. Through meeting with your partner in a non-classroom setting, you will learn new English words and phrases in addition to exploring American culture. This will help you settle into the University of Cincinnati's diverse student body!

Domestic students meet and talk with an international UC student about everyday life. Partner pairs may cover topics ranging from American sports to social norms or customs that are new to students from another region or culture. You are not required to teach your partner English. Just be open-minded and engaged!

Why BEARchats?

Domestic Students

  • Help a student orient themselves in another country
  • Learn about new cultures, traditions and languages
  • Create an impressive profile with global perspective

International Students

  • Familiarize yourself with American culture.
  • Connect with new groups of students and friends
  • Learn about available resources in the University and fun activities around you.

Group Activities

BEARchats also organizes bi-weekly group activities throughout the year called Country Cats Presentations. Students from different countries and backgrounds are encouraged to educate other students about various facets of their country such lifestyle, history, cultures, food habits, religions etc. At every presentation, students can enjoy food from that particular country's cuisine. In the last two years, students have presented about India, USA, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Nepal, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa, Cameroon and Costa Rica.

As a part of the program, BEARchats members are also given the opportunity to go on outdoor social activities at reduced prices to encourage social interactions and help develop their social skills.

How do I Start?

Register for BEARchats

The BEARchats program accepts applications throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters. Based on their applications, students are assigned partners for the semester. 

Applications are now live and will be open until Sunday, September 8th! To register for BEARchats Fall 2019, please use the buttons below to take you to the appropriate application. Please note: you must be logged in to your UC CampusLINK account to access the applications.