My name is Ivana, a Czech student from 4th year and I am going to tell you about my experience with the Tandem Motol Project (mutual language learning). Starting my second year in Motol I realised that, due to the intensive histology and anatomy hard work in 1st year, I had lost my previous skills in English.
I looked at some cheap and easy options of how to gain them back, but nothing seemed convenient for a med student. However, I saw a website connecting all Charles University students interested in mutual learning. In a few days I contacted a girl from Portugal, who was also studying in the Motol medical faculty.
Her name is Catarina and her motivation to improve the Czech language was an exam at the end of third year (which included communication with a real patient). I was highly impressed at how hardworking and dutiful she was. Up to that meeting all we had heard was that English speaking students are less prepared and less talented, but she completely changed my mind.
We used to meet once a week for a two-hour practice, 1 hour spent on Czech and 1 hour spent on English conversations. I helped her mostly with practising and pronunciation. The following June she got the best mark in the Czech exam and I got much better and self-confident while speaking in English.
I then came up with an idea to create a local project and a local website directly for Motol students. With two of my loyal friends, we managed to build a website a few months later. Currently, there are approximately 80 Czech speakers intensively looking for their tandem English speaking buddies. Will you be one of them?