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Language Café Volunteers

The Language Café was set up in 2013 by the Students' Union to facilitate informal peer-to-peer language exchange for students by giving them the opportunity to learn or practise a language in a sociable setting.

Language Cafe logo. Bird sitting on a cup.

Language Café volunteers assist with the running and facilitation of the Language Café and will gain experience of running events and facilitating language learning. As with all Students’ Union volunteering opportunities, there is lots of scope for your input, ideas and creativity!


How to apply

We are looking for Language Cafe Volunteers

Apply here »

For more information please email languagecafe@sussexstudent.com

The purpose of the role

A Language Café Volunteer is a student at the University of Sussex who assists with the running and facilitation of the Language Café. The Language Cafe Volunteers report to the Student Participation staff within the Students’ Union.

Main tasks & responsibilities

  • Assisting students’ language learning through activities at a specific language table

  • To assist the Language Café Leaders with any other tasks necessary to ensure the smooth running of the session as required.

  • Assisting with setting up and dismantling of the Languagé Cafe to include: setting up tables, decorating the room and distributing resources

Reasonable Adjustments/Access information

  • The Cafe is held in Dine Central in Bramber House which:

    • Location is wheelchair accessible

    • Disabled toilets can only be accessed via a lift

    • There is no background music but noise levels are often high

    • General info about building: Bramber House info

  • Time commitment: flexible around you and your needs. For any absences required contact languagecafe@sussexstudent.com

  • Assisting with setup: can be adjusted to needs.

  • You can book the coordinator in person here

  • Assistance with filling out the application form is available. Contact via email above or use booking link above

  • Feel free to contact the Language Cafe if you need any further adjustments or assistance

You would suit this role if you:

  • have a knowledge of at least one other language

  • are interested in language learning and helping other students to develop their language skills

  • want to develop your communication and interpersonal skills

  • would like experience that would contribute to your CV

  • want to find out more about the Students’ Union and how it runs


  • 2 hours per week for at least 5 weeks, 10 hours in total

  • We hold 10 language cafes a term in Week 2 to Week 11 on Tuesdays between 5.30pm to 7.30 pm

  • You can choose which 5 of these you wish to volunteer at, but you are welcome to volunteer at all of them

Support and training

  • One initial training session specific to the role

  • The opportunity to attend specialised skills and knowledge training sessions conducted by Students’ Union staff

  • Ongoing support from Students’ Union staff

Transferable skills gained

  • Teamwork

  • Verbal and written communication

  • Time management

  • Leadership

  • Creativity

  • Initiative

  • Active listening

  • Cultural awareness

Volunteering Recognition 

At the Students’ Union, we want to recognise the time and energy our volunteers give to improving life on campus and throughout their communities. We offer a wide range of internal volunteering such as clubs and Society Committee Members to Student Reps.

We recognise that when you graduate you want to stand out from the crowd, and that there is much more to University than a degree result. By introducing our new skills tracker, you can record your skills and capture the experience you are gaining outside of your studies through volunteering and be rewarded for that.Take part here

This Employability and Recognition Tracker allows you to reflect on the skills you have gained as a result of volunteering. This can help you when applying for jobs by demonstrating your experience and employability skills for life after graduation. It will also help you to identify the variety of transferable skills you are gaining as a volunteer and allow you to identify gaps in your experience. 

Progression Opportunities

Our Language Cafe is run by students for students and offers two different student staff roles: 

  • Language Cafe Leaders are responsible for devising and delivering language learning activities to facilitate language learning at the Language Cafe. The Language Cafe recruits 10 students as Language Cafe Leader recruitment opens the summer of 2020.
  • The Student Participation Administrator supervises the Language Cafe and is responsible for the recruitment, supervision, and training of Language Cafe Leaders and Volunteers. Recruitment for this will open in the summer of 2020.

Additional Information

Language Café Service Standards

Frequently asked questions for Language Cafe Volunteering