What is an intercambio, and why you must get one.
We are all trying to learn Spanish, and 99% of us are trying to learn so that we can speak with Spanish speaking people (I imagine the other 1% to be studying to be able to read some obscure academic texts only available in Spanish). The best way to improve at something is to do it, so it is vital to practice actually speaking the language. An intercambio is a language exchange partner. Someone who will talk with you in Spanish, an then in exchange you will talk with them in English.
During my first, blissfull months in Barcelona when I had no steady job and not much money to spend, I filled up my days with meeting intercambios for coffees and having long conversations about whatever. This habit has dropped away recently with work commitments taking more of my time. But today was a public holiday in Spain, so I called a friend of mine who started off as an intercambio, and we met for a good 90 minute chat over coffee and great ensaimadas.
We spoke 90% in Spanish and I hope this will help me to get out of the English speaking habit that I have fallen into recently.