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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time committment?
Groups usually meet for an hour a week, but it is up to you and your group how long to meet.

Can I join more than one group?
Yes! At the beginning of the registration period, you’re limited to one group, to ensure that everyone has a chance to join their first-choice conversation circle. However, as long as there are enough spaces available, you may join up to three groups per semester. (However, please only sign up for three groups if you’re sure that you can commit to regularly attending all three every week.)

When do we start meeting?
Please start meeting during the first week after the leader application deadline. Leaders should e-mail the members of their group every week to confirm the meeting day, time and place. See the “Information for Leaders” section for tips on arranging your first meeting.

How long do the groups last?
While the program is technically run semester-by-semester, we hope that circles continue to meet even after exams have finished. It is up to you to keep the group active, so let us know if you need new members or are having any problems.

What if I miss the leader deadline?
We’re all about making exceptions! If you’ve missed the leader deadline but still want to get involved, just email the Conversation Circles coordinator at

I decided I can’t be a leader anymore. What should I do?
Please notify us as soon as possible if you change your mind about leading a group. That way, we can reassign your group to a new leader.

My group leader hasn’t contacted me yet. What should I do?
You may e-mail or call your group leader. If you don’t get any response, e-mail us ( and we will try to contact him or her. If your leader doesn’t respond, we may recommend that you switch to a different circle.

Can I be reassigned to a new group?
Please e-mail us ( if you are having problems with your group or would like to meet with a group at a different time.

I’m not taking any classes at the ELI. Can I still participate?
Yes! Please fill out an application! As long as we have spots available, we welcome all University of Michigan students and visiting scholars.

Do I need to fill out a new application each semester?
Yes! All leaders will need to fill out a new application each semester, and participants will need to sign up again each semester. That way, our information will always be the most current.

Can I keep meeting with my old group?
If you would like to continue meeting with a group from last semester, talk to your group leader about arranging a convenient meeting time. Your leader will need to fill out a new application (specifying the time you agreed on), and you’ll need to re-join their circle. Of course, you can always continue hanging out together outside of the conversation circles program, too!