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Language Labs

The American-English Language Labs program (Language Labs) provides current international students at UGA a comfortable and reoccurring space to practice their American-English language skills and ask questions to clarify points of confusion related to the complicated nature and nuance of conversational English and U.S. cultural concepts. Additionally, this program provides the opportunity for international students to build a sense of community with other international students as we know that UGA’s international students are spread out across many different academic programs and physical locations on campus.

Program Details

  • This program is free and open to all international students enrolled at UGA.
  • Language Labs will begin in September 2021 and run on a monthly-basis through the end of classes in May 2022.
  • Up to three Language Lab rooms will be available each month (on the same date/time) and each room will have at least one instructor. Instructors are current international and/or American student volunteers who have been selected by the Department of International Student Life (ISL).
  • Each Language Lab room will have no more than 20 international student participants in order to keep the experience as individualized and comfortable as possible. If student interest in the program warrants, additional rooms and instructors will be provided by ISL to meet the demand.
  • Involvement is based on student interest and availability – meaning you can choose to come to as many or as few language labs as you wish!
  • While each monthly Language Lab will have a theme or topic that the instructor will briefly teach, the majority of the time will be unstructured to allow for students to interact with eachother and the instructor(s) informally to seek out assistance with specific questions or challenges.

Language Labs Schedule - Fall 2021

All international students are welcome to join for any of the following Language Labs Sessions. Please click the register links to register for each session you would like to attend.  

  • Monday, September 20th (5-6pm): Common U.S. Values. Led by Caroline and Trinity. Register here.
  • Tuesday, September 28th (5-6pm): Communication, Manners and Etiquette. Led by Laura and Kaila. Register here.
  • Wednesday, October 6th (5-6pm): Football and Other Popular Sports. Led by Shruti and Hermela. Register here.
  • Tuesday, October 12th (9:30-10:30am): Small Talk. Led by Trinity and Manasa. Register here.
  • Thursday, October 14th (6-7pm): Tailgating. Led by Caroline and Eniola. Register here.
  • Tuesday, October 19th (5-6pm): Superstitions. Led by Lindsey and Kaila. Register here.
  • Monday, October 25th (5-6pm): Halloween. Led by Shruti and Shufan. Register here.
  • Monday, November 1st (5-6pm): Healthcare in the US. Led by Shufan. Register here.
  • Tuesday, November 2nd (6-7pm): Pop Culture. Led by Hermela and Lindsey. Register here.
  • Tuesday, November 9th (12-1pm): Movies and Idioms. Led by Manasa and Laura. Register here.
  • Monday, November 15th (6-7pm): “Bon Appetit!” All Things You Should Know When Eating Out. Led by Eniola and Trinity. Register here.
  • Monday, November 22nd (5-6pm): Thanksgiving. Led by Caroline and Shruti. Register here.
  • Monday, November 29th (5-6pm): “Finger Licking Good!” Popular Dishes in the US. Led by Kaila and Hermela. Register here.

Language Lab Instructors

Caroline Campbell - Language Labs InstructorMy name is Caroline Campbell and I am a second-year undergraduate student at UGA. I am studying Classics and I plan to attend nursing school after graduation. I grew up in a family that hosted Chinese medical students every year for a month and this sparked my interest in studying other languages and also helping those learning English with their own language skills. I understand how difficult it is not only to learn another language, but also to learn what the cultural norms are. I love running, playing guitar, drinking tea, and being a UGA student. I am so excited to help you gain confidence in your language skills and cultural understanding.


Hey everyone! I am Hermela Beyene, a third-year student studying Arabic and Biology. I gained an interest in exploring different cultures from my time living in different countries and as a language labs instructor, I am very excited about getting to meet people from diverse backgrounds. I will be doing my very best to help you understand the nuances of the English language and American cultural references while maintaining a welcoming and fun learning environment. I am ready to answer all questions, address all curiosities or just be a listening ear to practice on. Looking forward to meeting you all! 

Kaila McgintyI am Kaila McGinty, a writer, cultural anthropologist, and social justice advocate originally from Atlanta, Georgia. I gained interest in different cultures after living in Turkey and Japan, and I have been happy to find that I am able to build on that interest! here at UGA. I am honored to walk with international students as they navigate Athens’s culture, and will do everything in my power to ease the transition to college in the States, help where I can, and fill in the gaps of American culture and the English language!

Lindsay Long - Language Lab InstructorI am a third-year student immersing myself in the UGA and the surrounding Athens community through being involved in many different capacities on and off-campus. I am studying Mass Communications with a certificate in Leadership and Service.  I am very passionate about people and learning from other cultures and personalities. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the international community through language lab instruction. You will learn American phrases, culture references, and things to equip you to go into the community and feel confident about speaking to native English speakers. I want this to be a safe place for all, come with any and all questions. I am here to be your friend and I come with a lot of energy and excitement to get to know you!

Shufan Zhang - Language Lab InstructorRemembering my first experience dinning in an American restaurant and one year later bringing my family to the same place, I realized how much I had transformed. Living and studying in a foreign country alone post not only challenges that are not taught in textbooks or practiced in the TOEFL exam, but also opportunities to exceed expectations. Now, reflecting on my journey to be a PhD student at UGA as an international student, I would love to share my journey overcoming unexpected difficulties and culture shocks to help other international students to get to what they desire in life. Being around students with a diverse cultural background made me a listener, giver and student who continues to grow. To always be the better version of me, I joined ISL. Excited to meet you all in a ISL program events!

Trinity Gates - Language Labs InstructorTrinity Gates is a second-year at UGA pursuing an undergraduate degree in International Affairs. Trinity’s favorite things at UGA include the trees, the Georgia Museum of Art, and sports games-especially basketball games! She has lived overseas in England, Germany, and Japan. She loves exploring other cultures and traveling. In addition, she is also an avid reader, amateur art lover, and major foodie!

Hi! I’m a 4th-year undergraduate student originally from Johns Creek, GA. I have been involved in many other ISL initiatives, such as the World Leader program, and currently also work for ISL as a Communications Intern. I really enjoy getting to know and learn from the diverse students that make up the international community here at UGA and am committed to helping build a more inclusive and engaging environment for all students on campus. Outside of my advertising and marketing classes, I love to read (ask me for a book recommendation!), play pickleball and try new cuisines. I’m so excited to be able to offer myself as a resource and friend through Language Labs and I can’t wait to meet you!

I’m Eniola Olubunmi and I’m from the Nigeria and the UK. I am about to start my second year at UGA and am majoring in Accounting with a Certificate in Legal Studies. I enjoy crocheting, reading and trying new things in my free time. I’m extremely excited to be part of this program and have the opportunity to meet and learn with everyone.

Manasa Vemaraju is from India and is a rising third-year student pursuing a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major. She is also pursuing a double minor in French and Women’s Studies. She loves the French language, Taco Bell, watching Rom-Coms and meeting new people. She loves the feeling of connection when people across cultures find something in common that makes them feel at home even if they come from far away.

Olá! I was born in Brazil, and I am a third year PhD student in the Portuguese program, with a Spanish minor, at the Romance Languages department. I research contemporary Latin American women’s literature and graphic novels, migration narratives and representation of marginalized identities. Back in Brazil, I taught languages and Brazilian literature in high school. At UGA, I am a Portuguese and Spanish Teaching Assistant, Portuguese tutor at the Flagship program and I was president of the Brazilian Student Association 2019-2020. I love learning about new cultures (currently studying French) and especially how much we all have in common despite being so different. I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about books and comics with enthusiasm and terrible jokes.