Since Moscow is the economic centre of Russia and most of the county’s foreign trade goes through here, its inhabitants have long embraced the necessity of knowing English – possibly explaining the existence of several very well-established groups focusing on organising English- practice events. While the picture is not quite as rosy for any of the other major European or Asian languages, the Moscow Language Exchange group does offer a welcome opportunity for those as well.
Moscow Language Exchange is a popular Meetup group in Moscow that focuses on language exchanges that go beyond simply practicing English. It’s been active fine 2014 and has gathered more than 1,400 followers in that time.
While their calendar is not as jam-packed with events as the English-practice groups, they do luckily provide regular events for practicing your German, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, and other languages.
Currently, the organisers have two recurring events each week: Language Exchange Meeting and CouchSurfing’s Thirstday.
The Language Exchange Meeting which is open to all languages (there are separate tables for practicing the languages) takes place in the Moscow Hard Rock Cafe. The exact address is Arbat 44 and the closest corresponding metro station the Smolenskaya on line 3.
The other event on their regular calendar is actually not organised by Moscow Language Exchange but is instead a Couchsurfing meeting. But since that site brings together travellers from all over the world, it’s still a great place for finding language practice. These events take place at the Cafe Didu, at 24 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa. The closest metro stop is Chistye Prudy on line 1.
The regular Language Exchange Meeting takes place every week on Sundays and starts at 6 pm.
As you might have guessed from the name, Couchsurfing’s Thirstday is on Thursdays and begins at 8 pm.
For the most up-to-date info on future events, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the group’s upcoming events calendar.
The group organises regular and rather frequent events which is the good part. Additionally, their events (unlike the most popular English practice groups’) are free to take part in. You’re only expected to support the venue by buying a drink or a few snacks.
While officially, not many of the events have more than 10 people who have RSVP-d to take part, the actual number of participants is usually much higher. Although the group does optimistically promise the opportunity to practice any number of languages, actual results may vary, however.
Photo credit: Moscow Language Exchange photo album.