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Too little time to read? Gringo Tuesdays are the best language exchange meetups in Medellin.
Whether you’re just visiting for a short time or you’re planning an extended stay in the city, it’s not a bad idea to check out a language exchange while in Medellin.
After all, you’re in Colombia. This is the perfect time to brush up on your high school Spanish or beat your current Duolingo score.
However, where do you start looking?
I’ve done the research and put together a comprehensive list of the best language exchange meetups in Medellin. Let’s check them out!
Just the name of this language exchange probably tells you a lot. Gringo Tuesdays are an English/Spanish language exchange night hosted every Tuesday at Vintrash bar, right here in Provenza!
There are so many reasons why I love this language exchange, starting with the fact that it’s FREE to join!
Speaking of free, if you want other free things to do around Medellin, I gotchu. Check out my guide to the top free things to do in Medellin.
Anyway, back to the language exchange.
Gringo Tuesdays kick off at 5 pm with small, sit-down groups. You can grab a beer and just talk – it’s that casual.
Then, at 9 pm, the party starts. This is when you and your newfound friends can dance the night away in Spanish or English!
Just keep in mind that if you only come for the party you’ll have to pay a $20,000 COP cover. My advice? Come early, make some friends, learn some Spanish, and then enjoy dancing until 2 am!
Most language exchanges involve coffee and conversation (or something along those lines). However, if you’re like me, that can put you to sleep pretty fast!
Although I love coffee, I find that sitting down and chatting in the later hours of the day is the perfect recipe for a nap.
The good news is that I came across Get Tandem. Get Tandem is a language exchange school with a twist – my kind of twist.
At this language exchange, you don’t just sit down and chat. Instead, you bond with your language exchange partner over Latin-style dance classes such as salsa and merengue!
What’s great about this language exchange is that you can actually do them virtually, too.
If you don’t have time to join a Spanish language and dance class in person, you can join FREE Zoom events. These are particularly handy because you can come home from a long day exploring the city and just pop these on.
Address: Cl 10A #40-27, Medellín, Antioquia
Another Spanish language exchange I love is run by Ondas Eventos. This language exchange is organized through Meetup, which is one of the most useful apps digital nomads can find.
This event takes place every Friday night right here in Poblado.
At the event, you’ll get a chance to mix and mingle with locals while practicing your language skills. The event takes place at 7 pm every Friday night, too, which means you can always attend next week if you miss a class.
If you do become a regular at the event, don’t expect the same crowd. Since it’s hosted at a hostel (Noah Hostel), most of the attendees are travelers who are just visiting for a day or two and are looking for something additional to do.
Still, it’s a great place to hang out and improve your Spanish. Plus, it’s a non-profit group that supports local businesses. That’s bonus points in my book!
Address: Cra 43E #12-11, Medellin, Antioquia
Another great language exchange is Tandem. This exchange works a little bit differently than most of the others on this list.
Tandem isn’t a formal event that happens every week at a specific time and place.
Instead, it’s a program that lets you connect with locals who are looking to learn your language. Then, the two of you set your schedule and plan when to meet up and connect.
What’s great about Tandem is that it’s for all languages, not just English. That’s a big perk for those of us who speak languages other than English or for anyone who’s from a country where English isn’t their first language!
You’ll have to sign up for the site in order to connect with partners. However, it’s definitely worth it.
In fact, I’ve made some great friends on the site! Plus, I love the fact that I can find meeting places that are close to home for both of us.
If you’re a little less into partying and a little more into language learning, you might want to check out Elefun.
Elefun is a Spanish school situated super close to the Marquee hotel, which plants it in a super convenient location for out-of-towners.
The Spanish school offers exchanges for both native Spanish speakers and native English speakers. It’s a slightly more formal setting for learning a language but is still a great place to go.
Don’t think that it’s all super serious, though.
Elefun also offers beer and homemade baked goods for sale at the language exchange. That can help you loosen up and relax as you try your hand at speaking Spanish!
These language exchanges are hosted every Wednesday night from 6 pm to 8 pm. I love that they’re slightly earlier in the day so that you don’t feel like you’re committing your entire Wednesday to the exchange.
Plus, the earlier schedule works well for those digital nomads who have to get up early to grind out some work the next day.
Address: Cl 11A #43d-96, Medellín, Antioquia
Going back to our casual language learning events, a great place to check out is Barrio Sur Bar.
This bar is conveniently located in Envigado, so it’s pretty easily accessible if you’re staying in one of Casacol’s properties.
Barrio Sur Bar hosts a free language exchange every Tuesday night at 7 pm. The exchange has a laid-back atmosphere and is designed for people to learn English or Spanish.
While the event is free to attend, I recommend buying a drink. It’s a great way to support the local bar and say gracias for hosting the event.
Plus, if you’re nervous, you won’t be after downing a drink or two from this bar!
Bear in mind that this is a sports bar. If there’s a game on, you might find your conversation focuses on football (soccer for the Americans out there) rather than Colombian culture.
The Wandering Paisa is another well-known language exchange in the city. As with many language exchanges, this is hosted at a local hostel.
This exchange takes place on Thursday nights starting at 8 pm. The exchange usually ends around midnight, so be prepared!
What I love about the Wandering Paisa language exchanges is that they don’t just focus on English and Spanish. Since anyone can join in, you’ll often come across languages such as Italian, German, French, and more!
Plus, several local language schools actually bring their students to the events. This makes it even easier to meet someone who wants to learn your language (or who can help you learn theirs).
Just be warned that this event is only for those older than 18. Alcoholic drinks are served at the event, which is why they have an age restriction.
They say practice makes perfect, and when it comes to learning a language, that couldn’t be more true.
Regardless of which language exchange you choose, I’m confident you’ll make some great friends and learn something new at these events.
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