International Programs


Volunteers Needed All Year Long!

Office Hours to register with the program:
Regular Office Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10AM – 3PM
Summer: Wednesdays only 10AM-3PM
After hours, leave a message at (510) 843-9716
Contact E-Mail:
Program Director: Elly Margulis

For International Visitors: To practice English and learn about American culture. Come by during office hours to register with the program.
For Volunteers: Help international visitors and their families improve their English conversational skills and understanding of American life. While international partners gain valuable practice speaking English, you can meet people from other cultures and build friendships.

English in Action volunteer, Felix Tsai, raises his glass with some of his program partners at the annual EIA Potluck in April.

English In Action Program (EIA): Volunteer tutors meet with one or more international partners at least one hour each week to converse casually, increasing participants’ competency in the English language. These meetings can take place at your convenience. To sign-up, stop by during office hours, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 10am-3pm (Summer hours vary), call (510) 843- 9716 or e-mail to

English-in-Action (EIA) is part of a nationwide program in which volunteers give their time tutoring University of California students, visiting scholars and their partners in English on a one-to-one basis or sometimes in a small group. Students at UC Berkeley Extension, adult school, local community colleges or private colleges may apply but cannot be given priority.

The program is staffed by volunteers who serve freely and without pay. Both visitors and volunteers benefit from this association. Visitors benefit by increasing their proficiency in English and their understanding of the American way of life. Volunteers enjoy the fulfillment that comes from providing someone with an invaluable skill and the unique opportunity to know someone from another culture. Both visitors and volunteers alike form a special relationship based on mutual respect and learning.

This program is free to all international members with a one-year membership in the YWCA (of $20). The following are the responsibilities of both visitors and volunteers:

  • Weekly conversation practice for one hour, any day and time suitable to you and your partner. Meetings can take place any day of the week.
  • Regular attendance at weekly sessions and the courtesy of phoning or e-mailing in advance, whenever possible, if unable to attend.
  • Bringing the program to the attention of other potential volunteers and students.
  • Prompt notification to your partner and to the English In Action (EIA) office of any change of address or contact information.
  • International partners must be YWCA members at a cost of $20 per person per year. This money goes to the YWCA, which supports the administrative costs of the English In Action program. This must be paid upon registration. Beyond this, the program is free.