Speaking Freely: Travel Without a Suitcase

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Speaking Freely

Get a taste of a new language and culture without leaving home! Speaking Freely is available to all NYU undergraduate and graduate students and staff free of charge. The 75-minute language coaching sessions meet once a week for approximately ten weeks each semester at various locations on campus. Each week, you'll learn how to communicate on a different topic, or you might enjoy a related activity—a movie, concert, or neighborhood visit—as part of a small informal language group. No books are required and there’s no pressure of grades!


Speaking Freely offers sessions in many different languages, including Arabic, Cantonese, Czech, English, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, Swahili, and Spanish. When planning your Speaking Freely schedule, please keep in mind that languages may vary each semester. Please see the schedule for meeting times and locations. It's the perfect way to meet people and try out a language and culture before you study abroad or visit another country.


Speaking Freely is a fun way to gain an introduction to a language, and also improve your language skills if you already have the basics. The sessions emphasize conversational knowledge, learning practical words and phrases you might use when traveling or studying abroad, as well as vocabulary related to various aspects of art, history, and culture.

At least two levels of coaching are offered for most of the languages, and a third or fourth level is offered in some languages, depending on instructor availability.

Level 1 is a basic introduction for those who have no experience in the language. Topics include travel, fashion, food, film, money, music, and sports.

Level 2 is slightly more advanced, and meant for those who have completed Level 1 or those who have a little experience in the language. Topics include family, friendship, relationships, customs and traditions, health, and leisure activities.

Level 3 is meant for those who are fairly proficient, and have studied the language for a couple of years or more in high school or college. Topics are determined in concert with the language coach, and based on student interests.

Level 4 is for proficient speakers and the session will be conducted entirely in the language. Topics are determined in concert with the language coach.