I think that almost of all people here want to practice language with native speakers or a partner from another countries. However does anybody feel shy or hesitate? It's pretty hard to create interesting conversation as your friends in routine life. And sometimes, it's a bit complex. For example your style talking is really normal in your country but it's so strange even weird for foreigners. How do you overcome it well?
I think it is true that many people on Italki have trouble wanting to talk with others in private. I have trouble with this sometimes, even though I am a teacher. Too many stories about bad things happening on the internet. However, it is important to have a little courage and just start talking. Here are some good starter questions:
How are you? (Easy one everyone knows.)
What do you like to do for fun? When you use this one, and someone names an interest that you have, say something like, "cool! I like to do that too."
How did you find Italki?
Why are you studying...? (Insert language.)
I know it's hard, but with English speakers at least, a smile goes a long way. Hope this helps a little bit.
Interesting debate, I think it's good be polite and carefully. We need courage to speak in foreign language. We need also patient with each other, and open mind, be curious about other culture can help us.
In fact, i don't know how to behave with people from another country. You've opened a good debate Amy. I think people should be sincere and friendly as first step for a good approach! But i've noticed that many people in italki have not desire to speak with others in private, also many speeches are useless.