Recognizing that relationship building will be essential to the success of any projects in this region, Elle has decided to rent a room from a local woman. She also continues to study language, culture and history at the university in town. Not only does this provide an opportunity to improve her language skills, it also creates an excellent forum for building friendships. Through contacts at the university Elle has been able to join an International Club and has also partnered with several local university students who wish to meet weekly to improve their English skills. Through the bitter cold days of winter, Elle has found abundant opportunities to deepen friendships. Sometimes they share a meal, play games, talk over coffee, or attend cultural events together. English is a valued commodity among local university students who recognize that English opens doors for international travel and work. Many club members hope to gain enough fluency in English to study abroad somewhere. Elle has been able to develop an informal language exchange with these friends. They help her practice speaking in the local language and she helps them improve their English skills. Her background as a native English speaker is invaluable in this region as local schools offer few opportunities for conversational practice.