Mentee FAQs

Q:  How much is it?

A: Its $10 per month for 6 months for students and $15 per month for 6 months for professionals.  It's on a first-come, first-served basis. Although we're a small non-profit startup, we felt compelled to help in any way we can in this very difficult time. 


If you're a REFUGEE, it is FREE for you. Please let us know which organization referred you so we can confirm with that agency.


Please register here.

Q:  How am I matched?

A:  We match based on your goals as indicated on your registration.

Q:  Why do I need this program?  Do you teach English as a Second Language (ESL) class?

A:  We offer professional MENTORING and PRACTICE conversational English with an experienced American professional so you can excel sooner.  Like you, we used to be foreign born university students too.   We understand your challenges.  Our mentors will provide you with a safe and relaxed atmosphere to coach you with your career goals AND build your confidence in expressing your ideas in English.  Unlike in class, you can bring the topic or news article that's important you. Your mentor will NOT provide the article or topic for the session. However, we are not a tutoring service and don't teach ESL class.


Q: Who is my mentor?

A:  The mentors are seasoned American professionals with minimum 3 - 5 years of professional experience.  Some are current teachers, professors, executives, and professionals, usually with advanced degrees, who have years of work experience and life wisdom. He or she undergoes an interview process to be qualified as a mentor.  

Q:  I have registered.  How long before I can meet my mentor?

A:  Table Wisdom screens and matches every candidate  so it can take up to 3 weeks before we make an email introduction between you and your mentor.  But during the crisis, we'll be working hard to make it shorter. 

Q:  How much do you charge for mentoring and conversational English class?

A: Its $10/ month for 6 months for a student and $15/ month for 6 months for a professional.  You and your mentor will have 1 meeting per week, 30 minutes per meeting minimum.  Normally our students meet for 6 - 12 months.  But you don't pay again.  If you're not happy with your mentor, simply let us know and we'll give you another one within 21 days of meeting your mentor.  Or we return your money.  Group rates are available, though your sessions will remain one-on-one.   For more details, please go to our pricing page.

Q:  Why are the prices so low? 

A:  Since we are a cause-driven organization and our mentors volunteer their time, we can charge at a lower rate for your personal coaching.  Your mentors are American professionals and are screened before they become mentors.

Q:  How can I change my mentor?

A:  Simply let us know within four weeks of introducing you to your current mentor and will change your mentor.  We'll let your mentor know and you don't have to do anything else.

Q:  Can I bring my ESL material?

A:  Yes.  Bring any topic that you & your mentor agree to talk about.  For other potential topics, you can also follow our Facebook page.


Q:  Can I meet my mentor in-person?

A:  Due to liability issues, we ask that you only meet virtually.

Q:  What can we talk about?

A:  That depends on what you & your mentor would like to talk about.  You can bring news articles, books on American culture or life and anything that you would like to talk about.

Q:  Can my mentor help me prepare for my job interview?

A:  Yes simply ask your mentor to do a mock interview with you.

Q:  Can my mentor help me with my resume and/or cover letter?

A:  Yes simply ask your mentor to give you feedback on your resume and/ or cover letter.


Q:  What do I need to do to reschedule?

A:  Let your mentor know at least 48 hours in advance. But try to remain on-schedule all the time.


Q:  What kind of safeguards do you have in-place?

A:  We have expected behaviors for both students and mentors. If you feel uncomfortable in any of the sessions, then please contact us. 

Mentor FAQs

Q:  In addition to mentoring foreign-borns, what other programs do you have?

A:  In response to the 2021 Afghan Refugee crisis, we have launched a pilot program that matches you with a recent refugee to help transition in the US.  Please register here.


Q:  How is it different from the regular Table Wisdom program?

A:  Its similar to our 30 - 60 min/ week chat that allows for meaningful conversations during this crisis.

Q:  How am I matched?

A:  We'll do our best to accomodate your preferences on your registration profile which can be based on such parameters as profession and interests.

Q:  I don't like my partner. What should I do?

A:  Simply let us know.  And if we have someone available, we'll connect you with them.

Q:  What are we going to talk about?

A:  The topic depends on you and your partner. We provide some icebreaker questions and ideas to get the ball rolling, and we'll update our Facebook page with suggested topics -- including your suggestions!

Q:  What if I don't know how to use Skype, Face Time or any of the video-chat platforms?

A:  You are in luck!  Many organizations such as AARP, OASIS, community colleges, and the local libraries provide FREE​  (or charge a small fee) training.  Simply bring in your device or computer. And try to use headphones since it can improve the clarity of the video-call significantly.

Q:  Do I need to be over 50 years old?

A:  Not necessarily.  We ask that you're over 21 years old, fluent with the English language, have a minimum of Bachelor's degree and have over 3 - 5 years of professional experience.

Q:  I am, or know someone who is, interested in joining the program, where do I start?

A:  Click here to be a Mentor. 

Q:  What kind of safeguards do you have in-place?

A:  We have expected behaviors for both students and mentors. If you choose to meet in-person, you must meet in public spaces only.  But do NOT meet in-person during the COVID-19 crisis without checking the local health guidelines.  If you feel uncomfortable in any of the sessions, then please contact us.  

Q:  I’m not a teacher or an educator.  Can I still join?

A:  Yes.  We welcome ALL professions (especially if you're in STEM).  Plus, since this is conversational English skills, the focus is simply having a fun conversation. But here are a few tips from resources from University of Iowa, Carnegie Mellon University and Boston University.

Q:  What if my schedule is unpredictable?

A:  We know that you're busy and are always looking for ways to make our program flexible.  The commitment is once a week for at least 30 minutes. You and your mentee decide on the schedule.  Even if you're outside the country, you can still meet your student by video-chat if you have your device and a strong internet connection.

Q:  Is there a charge for the mentors?

A:  No.  Since our mentors are volunteers, we charge nothing to the mentors for recruiting and marketing to a foreign-born student or professional.  Except for refugees from partner organizations, however, we do charge our mentees a small fee to keep our lights on and to bring our program to where its needed . And since we are a cause-driven organization, we can charge lower than the market rate. 

Q:  Where do you find your foreign-born students or professionals?

A:  The students come from universities, Adult ESL programs and partner agencies. 

Q:  Do I need to travel to see my student?

A:  It is not necessary.  You can meet your student by video anywhere that you have a strong internet connection, including at your own home.

Q:  What are we going to talk about?

A:  The topics that interest you & your student.  He or she will suggest a the topic a few days in advance so that you can be prepared.  We also have additional topics on our Facebook page.

Q:  What if I want to change my student?

A:  Simply let us know and we’ll change the student for you.  We’ll let the student know & you don’t have to do anything.

Q:  What do I need to do to reschedule?

A:  Let your conversation partner know at least 24-48 hours in advance.


Have a question or want to learn more about Table Wisdom? Please feel free to send us a message,

and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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