The University of Georgia hosts many organizations for students who want to learn different languages, as well as immerse themselves in other cultures, ranging from Korean to Russian. By attending these organization’s meetings, students can interact with native speakers, improve their conversational speaking skills and gain a better insight into the culture behind each language.
The Red & Black compiled a list of just a few of the language organizations available to UGA students actively pursuing a language to those who are just want to get involved with a new club.
Korean Language Society
Where: Joe Brown Hall, room 220
When: Mondays at 5:30 p.m.
During Korean Language Society meetings, members can enjoy Korean snacks, learn about Korean culture and practice speaking Korean with others. Each week, they discuss a different topic related to Korean culture, encourage speaking the language through scripted discussions and play games in Korean, Amanda Sol, the secretary of the society said.
The next meeting will focus on Korean foods, and members will learn the recipe for bibimbap, a Korean, mixed rice dish.
The Chinese Culture and Language Association
Where: Tate Student Center, 141 (Tate 138 for October meeting)
When: Once a month at 6 p.m.
The Chinese Culture and Language Association provides a space for Chinese-learners to meet and learn about Chinese culture and improve their Chinese listening and reading comprehension skills. During the meetings, Chinese-learners can interact with native Chinese speakers which gives students enrolled in Chinese courses a chance to practice speaking the language outside of class.
The club is starting a new program which will pair Chinese-learners with native speakers. This program was implemented to give students a better opportunity to meet other international students and practice Chinese, Calvin Huang, the public relations officer said.
The next meeting will be a game night on Oct. 21. Members will play board games to facilitate conversations between native speakers and Chinese-learners.
Japanese Conversation Club
Where: Joe Brown Hall, rooms 153 and154
When: Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
The Japanese Conversation Club meets every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. Each year, a new group of Japanese exchange students arrives from Japan, providing members with the opportunity to practice their Japanese with native speakers. They also host social events such as dinner and karaoke nights, takoyaki dinner parties, game nights and will take foreign exchange students to Stone Mountain.
The club’s president, Hitomi Ozama vice president of the organization said JCC is a way to learn more about Japanese culture outside of a traditional classroom setting.
“JCC gives people an opportunity to really immerse themselves in aspects of Japanese culture, especially thanks to the Japanese foreign exchange members who elevate our learning experience,” Ozama said in an email.
German Student Organization
Where: Joe Brown Hall, room 117
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The German Student Organization provides a space for anyone who is interested in German language and culture to interact. They host events such as German movie nights, German spelling bees, Oktoberfest and German jeopardy. They also provide plenty of opportunities to practice speaking German.
“I think it's just special because people tend to bring a lot of heart. We're a really small department so we don't have the biggest numbers … it’s really just an encouraging environment so we can try and promote literacy of the German language and literacy of a second language in general,” KT Hoovestol, the vice president and media coordinator, said.
The next meeting will not be an event, but a departmental social for the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies on Oct. 17 put on by the Russian Club and GSO. During the social, there will be food, lawn games, Battle of the Bands Karaoke and a tug-of-war competition between the members of both clubs. After that, a spooky German movie night on Oct. 24 will conclude the month’s activities. .
UGA Russian Club
Where: Joe Brown Hall, room 117 or POUCH on Broad Street
When: Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at either location
The UGA Russian Club helps connect Russian students and those interested in Russian culture and language through two different programs. One focuses on culture, and students watch movies, learn Russian trivia and, at times, participate in Russian-inspired activities such as painting Matryoshka dolls. During these meetings, students can occasionally try various Russian foods. The UGA Russian Club also hosts a conversation table where students can practice speaking with fellow students or, on occasion, native speakers.
The Russian Flagship Program works with the Russian club before conversation tables to share a cultural presentation about countries like Moldova and Uzbekistan, which many people may not have heard since they are smaller, post-Soviet nations, according to president Xzavior Goeman.
“It's just interesting to learn about Russian culture in general because it's so foreign to us … maybe people recognize the Russian nesting dolls and the Russian ushanka hat but no one really knows about the cuisine … or just the customs that the Russian people have,” Goeman said.
Where: Tate 140
When: Wednesdays at 5 p.m.
ASL Dawgs hosts activities and games which teach other students about American Sign Language and Deaf culture. They play the Telephone game, perform dramas such as a Deaf History Drama and Thanksgiving Drama, practice interpreting and translating and watch movies.
“We are a club that celebrates the language of the Deaf people, and we are different because we use hands as a primary mode of communication, not the mouth,” the president of ASL Dawgs Luke Bundrum, a senior majoring in social studies education and history, said.
The next event will be a Deaf Panel on Oct. 16 in Tate 480 featuring “four Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, Deafblind panelists sharing their life experiences and offering advice about interacting with D/HH/DB people,” Bundrum said.
Abby McGill contributed to this article.