Medellin is one of the most popular places to learn Spanish in South America and the home of Toucan Spanish School the largest Spanish School in Colombia. Students of the school are encouraged to participate in language exchanges organised by the school. However outside of Toucan Spanish there are language exchanges are available in all sorts of settings – formal or informal.
In our experience most residents of Medellin will gladly volunteer to converse with you with sincerity and patience. Best of all it’s free. Never underestimate how much you can learn from a conversation with every taxi driver, waiter/waitress or shop staff that you meet.
If you’d like a more social approach to a language exchange, there are several Facebook and Meet-up groups that promote various weekly language exchanges. The most popular language exchanges are advertised on this Facebook group Practice your English / Spanish in Medellin. You can also search on Meetup which has numerous groups each with a difference emphasis. Some of the language exchanges regularly have a turnout of over a hundred people keen to practice their English and Spanish skills.
More controversially, many travelers swear by dating as a means to a great language exchange. The smartphone application Tinder is a common way in Medellin to organize casual, easy meet-ups for coffee or drinks. As long as you’re respectful and upfront with what you’re both looking for, it’s possible that dating can be one of the most meaningful and fun ways to exchange languages. Feel free to bring along a computer or smartphone to have Google translate ease the language barrier.