Welcome to Culture Swap! You are among the first to discover our one-of-a-kind platform for cultural exchange. As we’ve just launched, we don’t have many questions from our online community yet, but we’ve spoken to tons of people about Culture Swap offline and noticed a handful of questions kept coming up, so we thought we’d address them here. If you have any questions of your own, feel free to email us and we’ll make sure to answer them as soon as we can. Thanks for visiting!
Do I have to pay to be a part of Culture Swap?
No, membership to Culture Swap is 100% free. This means you can sign up, create a profile, browse, favorite and message other members without paying a single cent. While you do get access to all of our standard features free of charge, we will be offering premium services in the future, such as account verification.
If you have joined Culture Swap as a Home Cook, we will verify you as a user, free of charge, the only money you will spend to participate in Culture Swap exchanges is what you spend on groceries to host an extra person at your table. But that’s not all, when you schedule exchanges regularly with us, we’ll help you out with the cost of extra groceries.
For members who’ve joined Culture Swap as Food Loving Guests, booking a meal with one of our hosts costs around $10 per person. When you book exchanges with us regularly, we’ll send you discounts and even vouchers for free bookings!
What makes Culture Swap different from a typical language exchange?
First of all, Culture Swap focuses on one language at a time, as opposed to the many languages you find people speaking at language exchanges. Culture swapping is meant to be a personal experience, whereas a language exchange normally involves a large group gathering. Traditional language exchanges are a great place to gain exposure to a foreign language and meet new people, but many people find it difficult to understand what’s being said in such a busy, noisy environment and the mix of languages can make your brain work overtime. As a language learner, a Culture Swap exchange allows you to give your full attention to the language of your choice by connecting you with a native speaker who is personally interested in your culture and happy to speak with you in your target language. For people who like language exchanges for their social and cultural aspects, but don’t feel like speaking a foreign language, you can sign up as a native speaker to meet locals, experience their food culture and learn about their traditions while helping them learn your language!
How do I know I'll have anything to talk about with my exchange partners?
Each of our members fills out a simple profile which includes a section about their personal interests. You can search members by interests and hobbies and find cultural exchange partners that you know you have things in common with from the start. We also have an online messaging system so you can chat with potential exchange partners before committing to an in-person Culture Swap exchange. Assuming you get along well during your first cultural exchange, you can set up more exchanges in the future or even pick a reoccurring time to get together regularly. If you leave a Culture Swap exchange feeling like you didn’t click with your partner, that’s okay too; you don’t have to meet with them again if you don’t want to. There are no limits on how many cultural exchanges you participate in or how many people you partner with, so do whatever works for you!
Can I participate in a Culture Swap exchange with multiple people?
Our platform is set up to focus on one-on-one and small group cultural exchanges. If you want to coordinate a Culture Swap exchange with multiple people, you are welcome to do so, but the number of people who can join you is limited depending on each individual host’s preferences. Culture Swap is all about bringing people together, so as long as you invite others to an exchange with that in mind, everyone should have a great time!
Do you have a minimum age? What if I'm not old enough?
We do. Our minimum age is 18. For safety reasons, we don’t have account options for native speakers that are under 18. If you are under 18 but want to participate as a home cook and practice speaking a language, a parent or guardian can sign up and specify that they are looking for a native speaker on your behalf, but that they will be cooking. If you are a parent who wants your children to practice a language, just create an account and fill out your profile in a way that makes it clear that you are looking for someone to speak in the target language with your children while you prepare a meal to share with them.
What if there aren't any members in my area yet?
While we plan to offer Culture Swap exchanges all around the world, since this is a new concept, there may not be members in your area yet. But don’t worry, we’re working hard to grow the Culture Swap community! If you just can’t wait to have exchanges in your city, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if there’s anything we can do.