In today’s connected society, speaking one or more foreign languages is a huge plus, especially if you’re a frequent traveler. There are several language learning resources available for free on the Internet, but immersion is still considered the gold standard for learning a new language quickly.
That means you must travel to a foreign country and spend a few months fully immersed in the language and culture. It was really only a matter of time before someone made a CouchSurfing clone offering travelers free accommodation in foreign countries in exchange for teaching their host their native language—it’s called TalkTalkBnB.
TalkTalkBnB is a French non-profit that connects people who want to learn new languages with travelers from all over the world. It’s the brainchild of Hubert Laurent, who wants “to create a large international language-learning community based on practice and sharing.”
Of course for the concept to work the involved parties have to be open to a degree of risk—you’re basically inviting or going to live with a foreign stranger for free after all. To help ensure the safety of its users, the website has a special security page with tips and precautions everyone should follow. It includes a “Women Only” function that lets women traveling alone filter profiles and messages from male members.
The TalkTalkBnB community was officially launched in March 2016 and quickly gained over 6,000 members across 50 countries. Laurent’s goal is to promote meaningful dialogue and cultural exchange as a way of easing tension and misunderstandings among people of different cultures. If you’re interested in trying it out, check out this one-minute video explaining the whole process and sign up to create your profile.