iCU (Now I See What You Mean) features individual stories by international students shared among international and domestic students. The goal of iCU is to provide opportunities for domestic and international students to engage in meaningful interaction.
Events are paid for by the Student Cultural Programming Fee.
All events held on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Asian American Cultural Center/International Education, 1210 West Nevada Street (unless indicated otherwise).
September 20: Jamaica's Cultural Mosaic: Exploring Asian Influence in a Caribbean Island
Postdoc researcher Joseph Tingling will explore the lasting impact of Asian culture on Jamaica, celebrating the contributions of Chinese, Indian, and other Asian communities to the island's customs, traditions, and way of life. This will be encapsulated by an overview of the various known cultural aspects of Jamaica and noted events and individuals. Cosponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center, and ISSS.
September 27: It’s all about plantains and bananas!
If you only know the taste of ripe bananas, you’ll be surprised by what you have been missing. You are invited to taste some of the yummy recipes with sweet and savory flavors of these fruits - a very versatile staple food in many countries around the globe. Sponsored by International Education and International Student and Scholar Services.
October 4: Hands-A Chronicle of Cambodia: A Cultural Journey with a Sweet Ending
Learn about Cambodia through Mary’s personal journey as she discusses her Cambodian roots and shares more about her heritage and the history of Cambodia. Engage in a hands-on experience of making Num Kom, a traditional Cambodian dessert. Cosponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center, and ISSS.
October 23 (Monday, 3-5pm): Cherished Elders: A Chongyang Celebration of Gratitude
The Chongyang Festival (重阳节), is an annual lunar festival to honor the elderly in Chinese culture, which falls on Oct. 23 this year. Join us to learn about the festival and craft heartfelt cards or other sentimental tokens for your grandparents or other important elder figures in your lives to express your gratitude. All materials and special snacks are provided. Sponsored by International Education and Asian American Cultural Center. Paid for by SCPF.
November 15: Traditions of Indian Marriage
January 25: Argentina
Canceled due to weather. This event is being rescheduled for Saturday, April 29 from 12:30-2:00 pm at AACC. Lunch will be provided.
Have you ever asked yourself what you know about the eighth-largest country in the world - Argentina? Join our students from Argentina to learn their perspectives about the culture, food, music, landscapes, their love for soccer, and much more. Co-sponsored by International Education, CLACS, and ISSS.
February 22: Mongolian New Year – Tsagaan Sar
Unlike most Asian cultures, Mongolians celebrate the first day of the Lunar New Year (or Tsagaan Sar) following the Mongolian lunisolar calendar. Join us at the AACC to learn more about this celebration by indulging in traditional cuisine like buuz, aaruul, and uul bov while learning about its origins and significance. Co-sponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center and International Student and Scholar Services.
March 1: The Rise of K-pop and Korean American Music
We have all heard PSY’s Gangnam Style, BTS’s Dynamite, and Blackpink’s Kill This Love being played in parties, stadiums, and on radio. But what is K-pop and how did it become popular in the United States? Come and learn about the history of Korean music, how K-pop became a global obsession, and how it has also led to the rise of Korean American music. Co-sponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center and International Student and Scholar Services.
March 22: Hidden Gems of Hungary
What Hungarians would like you to know about their country? Eva would share her perspectives on history, culture, and traditional foods. Come and enjoy the dishes while exploring the hidden gems of Hungry! Co-sponsored by International Education and International Student and Scholar Services.
March 29: Keeping the Cultural Connection – Indian Food
Food plays a vital role in shaping the culture of many regions and groups. Among the Indian population, food is especially important in connecting people to their culture. This presentation will explore a short history behind Indian food and focus on people's personal relationships with Indian food. You will learn how you can make Indian food at home and hear personal stories behind the food. Co-sponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center and International Student and Scholar Services.
April 26: The Culture of Catalonia (Spain)
Catalonia is a region in the northeast of Spain that has its own language and culture. One of their biggest traditions is the Diada de Sant Jordi (St. George's Day), the Catalan version of Valentine's Day that is celebrated during World Book Day (Apr. 23). On this day, people give each other roses and books. Come to this event to learn about Catalonia and do some Sant Jordi related crafts! Cosponsored by International Education, European Union Center, and International Student and Scholar Services.
September 7: Mid-Autumn Festival
Join us to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival! In the session, you will have a chance to taste different types of mooncakes, try origami arts, as well as make the snow-skin mooncakes by yourselves. Also, the story and the agricultural significance behind the festival will be shared and discussed during the event.
September 14: Türkiye
What comes to mind when you think of Türkiye? Istanbul, Cappadocia, Troy, Turkish coffee, Turkish delight, baklava, shish kebab, Turkish bath? Türkiye is a unique country that has hosted many nations throughout history and connects two continents with its territory both in Asia and Europe. There are also many spectacular places and cultural elements found there. With this presentation, you will get to know this magnificent country, whose hospitable culture is admirable, and which reflects Rumi's words, "Come, come, whatever you are, come again" by inviting people of every nation to see it.
September 28: Jordan
Jordan is a small yet a very vibrant county with rich history and welcoming people. It is located in the Levant region at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. This contributed to flourishing of ancient civilizations where ruins are still standing as a testimony of those who called this land home. You will learn about the Arabic language and Jordanian culture. In this interactive session, you will get introduced to the most popular food and listen to music.
November 2: Exploring Indian Philosophy of Non-Dualism (Advaita Vedanta) in Everyday Life
In recent times, the eastern philosophy of non-duality has gained traction amongst those exploring spirituality. This complex concept, however, is discussed at an abstract level, and consequently made to seem unattainable or impractical in day-to-day life. The presenter shares her contemplation on the subject, the little ways in which she has managed to use the idea of non-duality in daily life and tries to connect it to psychology. The talk has nothing to do with religion.
November 9: The Philippines - The Melting Pot of East and West
The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia, comprising ~7600 islands, more than 120 spoken languages, and very diverse culture. Filipinos are mainly of Malay descent, but Spanish and American influences are also present in our names, culture, and food. The country has a very rich history from trading, being colonized by Spain, USA and Japan and gaining independence in 1946. Filipinos take pride in their beautiful beaches, powerful and beautiful volcanoes and mountains, hospitality, and resiliency. Being a country close to the Pacific Ocean, it is also one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and has seen powerful typhoons the recent years. Come explore this country with us!
February 16: Uganda at a Glance
Uganda - the “Pearl of Africa”, is a landlocked country with fresh rivers and lakes. You can enjoy the sun all year round as the Equator runs right through it, while awed by the snow-capped mountains. Ugandans are proud of their diverse culture, natural beauty and hospitality. "We don’t wear Rolex, we eat Rolex!" Come and learn more about Uganda and its people, culture and fun facts as Patrobas tells his stories.
March 2: Singaporean Culture and Food Night
Singapore is a tropical city state whose residents enjoy many benefits of its location and cosmopolitan development. Its history is rich with stories and influences the way the country maintains its sovereignty, cultural norms and ethnic makeup. Come learn about the Singapore’s history, society, iconic neighborhoods, and diverse cultures! Dishes common to the country will be cooked and served for participants.
March 9: Korean Spirit “Han (한)”
For this session, the presenter will share her understanding about Korean spirit, “Han (한)”. Come and join us to learn the presenter’s interesting interpretation of her being a Korean and how it guides her to understand others and social issues. She will also talk about her understanding of “K-pop” through “Han”!
March 30: Secrets of Spain
What do you picture when you think about Spain? You probably know about running of the bulls, soccer teams, flamenco, paella, and Madrid and Barcelona. But have you heard about “silvo gomero", the whistled language from the Canary Islands, or Perez the little mouse, the Spanish tooth fairy? Please join us for a traditional Spanish "merienda" (afternoon/evening snack) to learn about the little-known regions, languages, traditions, and cultural aspects of Spain.
April 6: Fika Like a Swede
Fika like a Swede with Prajna, as she presents her personal experience living in Sweden for 5+ formative years. She will share her learning from the social culture of Sweden. What is Fika, and what role does it play in different social settings? How to make new friends in Sweden? What is the work culture like? Can you greet strangers with a smile? What is small talk and are Swedes good at it? What should you NEVER ask a Swede? Get your answers to these, many more and anything else you have wondered about Sweden @ the iCU talk.
September 1: Sri Lanka
Known as a beautify tourist destination and the producer of world's finest "Ceylon Tea" and Ceylon Cinnamon", Sri Lanka has a documented history of 3000 years. A small island nation, with its important location on the ancient "Silk Road" trade route, it has been an independent country except for a few times in history. Come join us to learn the rich culture, traditions and languages with unique features and influences from many other nations for over a thousand years.
September 22: Paraguay - The Heart of South America
Paraguay is a land of tereré, of chipa, and of the sweet guaraní language. Its people are very hard working and are known for their hospitality and making every visitor feel like at home. Join us to experience a little bit of the Paraguayan culture, including some food, drinks, crafts, music and maybe even a traditional dance! Be prepared to learn tons of fun facts about Paraguay and have fun!
November 17: Canada - A Land of Many Nations
A brief history and cultural overview of Canada presented through memes and informational videos. This presentation will dive into the many cultures and ethnicities present throughout Canada, discuss certain Canadian-isms, and address current social justice issues.
Wednesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 pm (Central Time) via Zoom. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for event links.
February 24: Myth About Egypt Debunked
Ancient Egypt was among the first civilizations ever established in the world. Beginning in around 3000 BC, Ancient Egyptians pioneered many developments and sustained an advanced society. Today, Egypt is home to a quickly growing 100 million people! Egyptians have heritage in Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Europe. As a country deeply influenced by immigration, colonization, and trade, Egypt's vast and rich history is surely something unique. Join us to learn about common misconceptions about Egyptian people and their culture and to learn more about the organization on campus representing its Egyptian students, the Egyptian Student Association or ESA.
March 17: Bulgaria - A Country of Boundless Beauty and Culture
Bulgaria was established in the year 681. One-thousand three-hundred forty years have passed since then and Bulgaria has changed a lot. Yet, at the heart of Bulgarian are the traditions practiced generations ago. And our incredible land has lots of hidden treasures. Join us understand how history has influenced Bulgarian culture and discover the boundless beauty of this hidden gem of a country!
April 14: Vietnam
If you have ever heard of Pho, Ao dai, or Ha Long Bay, you are probably referring to some of the most unique aspects of Vietnamese culture and natural heritage. Situated in Southeast Asia - next to China, Laos, and Cambodia - Vietnam is a country full of scenic destinations from busting city views, exotic tropical beaches and islands, to verdant paddy fields. Along with rich layers of history, extraordinary cuisine, and very welcoming people, this is one location your would not want to miss. Join us on a journey to the one and only Vietnam.
April 28 Romania: Slow Leisure in Modern Times (Rescheduled from Fall 2020)
Walking through the phenomena associated with slow travel leisure in Romania, you will learn about how slow food and tourism can thrive in a country that seeks to maintain its traditional heritage while progressing forward with modern times. You will also visit the forests and explore the untamed nature of the country while learning some fascinating facts.
February 5: Malawi: Culture, Tradition and Beauty of the Warm Heart of Africa
Experience the diverse cultures and traditions of Malawi. Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, and is well known for the beautiful Lake Malawi which has clear beautiful waters, beaches and a myriad of fresh water species of fish that are not found anywhere else. Malawians are warm, friendly and absolutely welcoming, hence the country is known as the warm heart of Africa. Co-sponsored by Center for African Studies, Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, and Asian American Cultural Center.
February 26: Fighting Cholitas – Indigenous Women of Bolivia
Cholitas are indigenous Aymara and Quechua women identified by their distinctive outfit with high blower hats and puffed skirts. Come find out about the story behind these strong Bolivian women who break stereotypes and overcome struggles such as sexism and discrimination on a daily basis. Co-sponsored by La Casa Cultural Latina, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Women’s Resources Center, and Native American House.
March 25: A Peek into Venezuelan Culture
Yes, you have heard a lot on the news about Venezuela. What are the perspectives from our students? Come and explore the importance on the current political and economic crisis the country is facing. We will also learn about its beautiful rich culture and enjoy some homemade Venezuelan food.
April 15: Bengali New Year – Pohela Boishakh 1427
Pohela Boishakh 1427 is Bengali New Year 2020. Celebrated on the 14th of April nationwide in Bangladesh and in some parts of India with singing, processions, and fairs, this is the biggest cultural festival in the country. “Mangal Shobhajatra” organized by the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka, is recognized as a cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO. Traditionally, people of all walks of life welcome the new year wearing new dresses and enjoying traditional foods
May 6: End of the Semester Celebration
September 16: Peru – Unknown Treasures
Wanting to learn amazing features beyond ceviche, Cusco and Machu Picchu? Join us for a night of discovering the unknown treasures of Peru with personal stories of diversity: new places, food and people.
October 7: Incredible India – Unity in Diversity
India - the name of this country portrays the emphasis on unity. A diverse country with different religions, architecture, food, culture, languages, festivals, and music. It is more beautiful, generous, and welcoming than one can ever imagine. Come and experience the most important aspects of Indian - diversity as well as the importance of it in today's ever changing and globalized world.
October 28: A Peek into Venezuelan Culture
Yes, you have heard a lot on the news about Venezuela. What are the perspectives from our students? Come and explore the importance on the current political and economic crisis the country is facing. We will also learn about its beautiful, rich culture, including Venezuelan food.
November 18: Romania – Slow Leisure in Modern Times
Rescheduled for Spring 2021.
Walking through the phenomena associated with slow travel leisure in Romania, you will learn about how slow food and tourism can thrive in a country that seeks to maintain its traditional heritage while progressing forward with modern times. You will also visit the forests and explore the untamed nature of the country while learning some fascinating facts.
September 11: Luk Chup – Royal Thai Sweets
Luk Chup is a type of Thai dessert derived from marzipan, originally from Portugal, called massapão. Made only for the king, royal families and people in the palace in the past, Luk Chup has become a common dessert among Thai people. Join us to learn more about Thailand and make your own colored Luk Chup!
October 2: Colombia – What You Should Know!
Colombia is a country with high cultural and historic richness, where visitors are welcomed by warm and cheerful people. Owing to its location near the equator, Colombia offers astonishing biodiversity and a wide variety of climates. No matter what time of the year, you can experience any of the seasons in Colombia! Come and learn what you should really know about this country.
October 23: Kazakhstan – History, Culture, Tradition and Cuisine
Kazakhstan is the largest country in Central Asia and the world’s 9th. A beautiful country where you can find steppes, deserts, mountains, ancient sea, big rivers, snow leopards, it is home for nearly 131 ethnic groups living in harmony. Come and learn the history of nomads and sense a wild spirit of freedom to expand your knowledge about Kazakhstan, while tasting some tradition food!
November 13: International Cooking
It is International Week - let us celebrate with dishes around the world! Come and learn the world cultures and try Fairy Bread from Australia, Tortilla de patata from Spain, Soba noodles from Japan, Picarones from Peru, Pani Puri from India, Pretzels from Germany, Semmelknödel and Kaiserschmarrn from Austria, Nachos from USA, and dishes from Korea, China and many more!
December 4: End of the Year Celebration with the Serbian Culture
Serbia is a country at the cross-roads between the East and the West. Whether for its rich history and culture, its cuisine, fashion and hand-knit winter sweaters, or its great number of internationally known sports figures, we invite you to explore this mountainous country tucked in the Balkans. It is a small country but with amazingly hospitable and welcoming people, with a large heart. Come and learn about Serbia and try some delicious traditional food!
January 23: International Education Welcome – Open House
Join us for our welcome open house to kick off the Spring 2019 with International Education! Meet new friends, enjoy dinner, win door prizes and find your home away from home!
January 30: The Oasis of Qatif – Saudi Arabian Culture Night
Rescheduled for March 1 from 5:00-6:30 pm.
Enjoy some traditional desserts, dates, and tea while you learn about the Saudi Arabian culture! We'll be showcasing the treasured city of Qatif as seen through the eyes of a local. You could also get your name written in Arabic calligraphy!
February 6: Lunar New Year Celebration
Celebrate Lunar New Year with Chinese dumplings, Korean gimbap and Vietnamese spring rolls, while making your own New Year decoration with paper-cutting artwork, practicing calligraphy and playing mahjong!
February 13: World Music/Dance – Talent Show Night
Interested in performing? Show other what you’ve got: dancing, singing, stand-up comedy, playing musical instruments from around the world!
February 20: Articulate while Black – Exploring African-American English
Black History Month Special
Ever wonder about the richness of African-American culture(s), specifically African American English (AAE)? Come learn about the linguistic/functional features of AAE that often get stigmatized in our society. The geographical factors that typically influence language, and culturally relevant teaching practices will also be explored.
February 27: Korean Cultural Night
Ever wonder why so many foreigners travel to Korea every year? Come to Korean Cultural Night and we will give a hands-on experience. Try various Korean meals such as Tteok-bokki and Bulgogi. Learn about traditional and modern culture such as fashion and K-pop! Come enjoy a little taste of Korea with this event.
March 6: Temaki-zushi Making
Sushi is well-known throughout the world! If you think you have had real sushi (served with Teriyaki sauce), and believe it is everyday food that Japanese casually eat, you need to come to enhance your understanding of Sushi and learn the hand roll sushi that Japanese enjoy making by themselves at home.
March 7: Maslenitsa Celebration in Russia
* Thursday, March 7 from 4:00-5:30 pm
Maslenitsa is an Eastern Slavic folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. It is all about pancakes or blini. They are freshly made every day and supposedly symbolize the Sun, so by eating pancakes, people consume its warmth and energy. Come join us celebrate the festival and make/taste the blini!
March 13: International Board Games Night
Interested in playing some board games and making some new friends before spring break? We have Monopoly, Parcheesi, Scramble, Sudoku, Go, Chess, Checkers, Cirkis, Mah Jong, Tsuro, Balderdash and many more. You are welcome to bring your own board games too.
March 27: What’s My Name in Chinese?
Ever want to know the meaning of your Chinese friend’s name? Interested in getting a Chinese name yourself? Come enjoy a talk of Chinese names and their stories, and choose one for yourself via interactive activities with volunteers from Chinese Students and Scholars Association.
April 3: A Snapshot of Panama
Panama, a small country in Central America with the size of South Carolina, is the narrowest place of the Americas – with the distance 120 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic, hence becoming the bridge of the world! Panama is a hotbed of biodiversity, and home to many spectacular beaches, categorized as World Heritage by the UNESCO. Panamanian arroz con pollo, ensalada de feria, and patacones are popular national dishes.
April 10: Nepali New Year Tradition – NAYA BARSHA 2076
This year marks the Nepali New year 2076! Based on the lunar calendar, Nepali year begins with the beginning of spring and ends with autumn planting, a tradition started during Licchavi period by King Bikramaditya. Celebrated across the nation as well as by many Nepalese outside the country, the holiday is a fresh start to many community members, with food, dancing/singing, and temple visits for blessings.
April 17: Traditions and Culture in Chile
With a unique climatic and landscape variety, from the arid lands of the north to the lush scenery in the south, Chile is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Come to learn a little bit more about the culture, the people and the traditions of this place situated in the end of the world, while getting a "taste" of some traditional foods and dances.
April 24: Illinois Abroad - Students' Experience in the Middle East
Interested in studying abroad in the Middle East? Want to interact with students who have or students from the Middle East studying at Illinois? They will be sharing their experiences and tips, as well as the culture and landscape.
September 5: India to the United States – The Transition
Sai came in to Champaign-Urbana as a Masters student in Fall 2015 and he is a PhD student now. Come along and enjoy his talk filled with humor and valuable information: his adjustment to campus environment during his first year, involvement with campus life as the President of Indian Graduate Students Association, and some major differences in student life, both academic and cultural, in India and the United States. Sponsored by International Education (IE) and the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC).
September 19: Moon Festival Celebration with JFO
Moon Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated notably by Chinese and Vietnamese people. During this event, Jasmine Field Orchestra (JFO) will celebrate with us by performing classical Chinese folk music. Come learn about traditional Chinese instruments and famous Moon Festival celebration practices! Delicious Chinese cuisine will be provided. Sponsored by IE, AACC, and Jasmine Field Orchestra.
October 3: Hispanic Heritage Month with CAUSA
Come and join us to celebrate Hispanic heritage with Central American United Student Association (CAUSA). Sponsored by IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, Central American Union Student Association (CAUSA) and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS).
October 17: Warung Kopi, Nasi Sayur (Coffee Stands, Simple Curry)
Introducing the Diversity of Indonesia
In more than 6,000 inhabited islands of Indonesia, instant sachet drinks and simple curry are accessible to the diverse population, unifying the diverse nation. Come and learn about the diversity of Indonesia along with opportunities and challenges that come with the diverse reality, while enjoying some traditional food and drinks. Sponsored by IE, AACC, College of Education - Office of International Programs, and Indonesian Students Club (ISC).
October 31: Illinois Abroad – Students' Experience in Africa
Interested in studying abroad in African countries? Want to interact with students who have or students some African countries studying at Illinois? They will be sharing their experiences and tips, as well as the culture and landscape. Sponsored by IE and Illinois Abroad and Global Engagement (IAGE).
November 14: Puerto Rico with Music
The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico often referred to as the Island of Enchantment, is a cultural mix of West African, Taino and Spanish influence. The mixing of these traditions for over 500 years has resulted in the very rich musical genres of Bomba, Creole, Plena and Salsa. Come and enjoy an evening with accomplished Puerto Rican musicians as they share the history, rhythms and flavor of Puerto Rican music. Sponsored by IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, Puerto Rico Student Association and CLACS.
January 24: Chinese Hot Pot – Beyond Food
Hot pot, a traditional Chinese cuisine, is very popular here in Champaign Urbana among Chinese students. It’s not just food, but a cultural heritage, a way to build close friendships and communities. Tingting, a Chinese international student, will share how she finds a sense of belonging through hot pot and involvement on campus – a story of preserving cultural traditions, stepping out of the comfort zone and finding true passion! Sponsored by International Education (IE), Asian American Cultural Center (AACC), Illinois International Programs (IIP) and UNICEF@UIUC.
February 7: A Dive into Greek Life
Interested in joining a sorority or fraternity, but don't know where to start? With over 91 organizations, it can be pretty daunting. Join us as the sisters of Sigma Psi Zeta help answer your questions as they break down Greek life here at U of I. Also, hear from international students that are already part of an organization as they share their personal experiences. Sponsored by IE, AACC, IIP and Sigma Psi Zeta.
February 21: Lunar New Year Theme Meal
5:00-8:00 pm at all dining halls
There will be performances, crafts and activities for you to learn about Lunar New Year, starting at 5pm at SDRP (301 E Gregory Dr, Champaign, IL 61820). Sponsored by IE, AACC, IIP and Dining Services.
March 7: YAS QUEEN – The Mongolian Perspective
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Mongolian Cultural Organization(MCO) will be presenting YAS QUEEN. For centuries, Mongolian women have played a central role in their society, holding positions of power ever since the Mongol Empire – hundreds of years before their counterparts in Europe, or elsewhere in Asia. MCO will explore the stories of these influential figures in Mongolian History as well as how women continue to be integral part of Mongolia’s success. Sponsored by IE, AACC, IIP and Mongolia Cultural Organization (MCO).
March 28: Honduras – Through Brand New Eyes
There, in the heart of a continent, bathed by two oceans, blessed with forests and rivers, mountains and coral reefs, is Honduras. A small country with social and political problems like any other but also home of fighters and poets, humble and warm hearted people, delicious food and amazing wildlife. Come to learn about the beauty of this country and its people. Sponsored by IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, IIP and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS).
April 11: Treasures, Traditions and Delights of the Millennial Peruvian Culture
The magic of Peru comes from its diversity: culture, people, climate and natural resources. From the most ancient civilization in America to the most marvelous Incan arquitectonic Machu Picchu, Peru has a lot of stories worth to tell. Join us in this imaginary travel to Peruvian music, culture and history, learn a few phrases in Quechua and taste the delicious Peruvian food! Sponsored by IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, IIP, CLACS, and Peruvian Student Association.
April 25: Illinois Abroad – Students' Experience in Russia, Switzerland, and Italy
What do you know about Russia, Switzerland, and Italy? Russia, the world’s largest nation; Switzerland, known for its ski resorts, hiking trails, and chocolate; Italy, home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Join us to hear from study abroad returnees and international students about their experiences in these fascinating countries. Sponsored by IE, IIP, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE) and Global Leaders Orange and Blue Engagement (GLOBE).
August 30: Belonging to no Borders
International travel and immigration, common nowadays in this globalized world, has created a group of people who lose their identity in terms of borders, countries and cultures. Join us for a talk on such experiences by Sraddha Acharya, who was born to Nepalese parents in the U.S., and grew up in a Hindu household in Switzerland. Sponsored by International Education and Asian American Cultural Center (AACC).
September 13: A Snapshot of Costa Rica
Costa Rica in Central America surrounded by Atlantic and Pacific, is a small country that covers only 0.03% of the surface of the globe; it yet proudly shelters a 6% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world. Costa Ricans (Ticos) of different ethnic heritages boast Costa Rican food such as Gallo Pinto, Olla de Carne, Empanadas, and coffee! Come learn about Costa Rica and taste the traditional dish with sweet corn, rice and beans. Sponsored by International Education, La Casa Cultural Latina, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and Global Leaders Orange and Blue Engagement (GLOBE).
September 27: The Best Chocolate Bars are From Ecuador
Hispanic Heritage Month Special
It is impossible to talk about Ecuador without mentioning its Cacao, misspelled as "cocoa" once upon a time, in English. Ecuador has been one of the largest high quality cacao producers since the end of the 19th century, but the quality of its chocolate bars has only been recognized internationally for a decade. Come and join a special tasting session to learn and experience the Ecuadorian chocolate bars that have just won the World Chocolate Awards. Sponsored by International Education, La Casa Cultural Latina, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Ecuadorian Student Association and SCPF.
October 11: Chuseok – Korean Thanksgiving Day
Wonder how Korean Thanksgiving Day (Chuseok) is celebrated? Interested in learning about the tradition and recipes of tasty Korean Thanksgiving dishes and dessert? Come to experience fun mini games with special prizes, and join us for delicious food! Sponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) and Korean Student Association (KSA).
October 25: Illinois Abroad – Students' Experience in Brazil
Brazil is one of the world's most captivating places, home to diverse ecosystems and a vibrant culture. Come learn from study abroad students and Brazilian international students about what it is like to be a student in this beautiful country! Mix and mingle, indulge in the delicious Brazilian soda Guarana, and learn a few basic phrases in Portuguese! Sponsored by International Education, La Casa Cultural Latina, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
November 8: An Eye on Mesopotamia – Iraq
Interested in learning about the Iraqi historical issues, different ancient civilizations, ethnicity, and some interesting facts? What about the Iraqi cuisine, and the famous game "Baat"? Come join us to find out and learn a few words spoken in Iraq!
November 29: Perpetual Outsider Syndrome
A term someone made up? Absolutely! But one makes up a lot of things when they spend their childhood traveling with their family to live in 5 countries across 4 continents. One also has many experiences that feel fictional and bewildering. Come join us learning about Virupaksh Agrawal’s experience, along with how the Illinois experience can bring these to fruition!
January 25: Lunar New Year Holiday and Traditions
Are you ready for the Lunar New Year holiday celebration? Come to learn the Spring Festival couplets with Chinese calligraphy, lantern riddles, paper cutting and more! Indulge in traditional holiday food and win your red envelop! Sponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center (AACC), Chinese Engineering Student Association (CESA), and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE).
February 8: Morning "Tea" in Guangdong
People in Guangzhou China eat morning tea throughout the day, and it has long been an important tradition in Chinese history. It even has similarities to American brunch and British afternoon tea. Hard to believe? Come and experience the Guangzhou, China way to enjoy the "morning tea"! Sponsored by International Education and Asian American Cultural Center (AACC).
February 22: Malaysia – Exploring Our Diversity Within Unity
Have you ever heard about Malaysia before? Are you interested to know more about our myriad of people, cultures and traditions? Come and join us for a talk to learn more about our country. We will teach you common phrases in the Malay language and there will be fun traditional games as well! Sponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) and Malaysian Student Association (MaSA).
March 8: Life in Taiwan
Do you want to know more about Taiwan? Have you ever tasted the world famous Taiwan dish braised pork over rice? You are invited to join us to try a few Taiwanese cuisines and learn the rich culture of Taiwan. Sponsored by International Education, Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) and Taiwan Intercultural Association (TIA).
March 29: Laos Culture and Traditions
Have you ever wondered about the origins of Laos and its peoples? Why are there so many Laotian people in the United States and overseas right now? What are their experiences? Join us for an interactive session to learn about Laos and find out its connection to you! Sponsored by International Education and Asian American Cultural Center (AACC).
April 12: Mexican Culture and Cuisine
Quinceañera (Cotillion): this event exhibits traditions found within this coming of age ceremony, such as la última muñeca, the father daughter dance, as well as the switching of shoes from flats to heels. And it comes with the typical food – mole and barbacoa! Sponsored by International Education, La Casa Cultural Latina, and Mexican Student Association.
April 26: Illinois Abroad – Students' Experience in Australia and New Zealand
Interested in studying abroad in Australia or New Zealand? Want to interact with students who have or Australian and New Zealand students studying at Illinois? Come learn about the aspects of the culture and landscape that make Australia and New Zealand so beautiful! Sponsored by International Education and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE).
September 14: A Taste of Africa
6:30-7:30 pm at BNAACC
Immerse yourself in the rich tradition of African culture with music and dance presented by the members of ACA. Learn to dance, enjoy the cuisine and much more at the first iCU session of Fall 2016! Sponsored by IE, BNAACC, African Cultural Association (ACA), and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE).
September 28: A Window to Cuba
During the Hispanic Heritage Month, International Education and La Casa Cultural Latina partner to educate our campus community about Cuba: Ayer y Hoy (Yesterday and Today). You can also learn about Experiencing Cuba from students who attended one of the first Summer Study Abroad Programs in Cuba. Sponsored by IE, La Casa Culture Latina, Department of Latina/o Studies, and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE).
October 12: Argentina Tradition, Culture and Mate
Interested in Argentina tradition and culture? Ever made Mate (pronounced Matte) tea and curious about its ritual? Join us for a hands-on session to make and enjoy Mate, a traditional drink in the south part of many Latin American countries and learn about the rich culture of Argentina. Sponsored by IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, Comunidad Argentina en Urbana Champaign (CAUC), Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Department of Latina/o Studies and IAGE.
October 26: Basque Language and Culture
Have you ever heard of the ancient people living across the borders of Spain and France? The Basque people have been living in this area for over 2 millennia and they are known for their mysterious origins! Have you ever wondered what the Basque language sounds like or how their traditions have been maintained for so long? If you are interested in different languages and cultures you will now have the opportunity to learn more at this exciting iCU event! Sponsored by IE, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and IAGE.
November 9: Illinois Abroad – Students' Experience in Europe
Wondering what it is like to study abroad in Europe? Want to know more about the college student experience in Europe? Come hear from both domestic and international students about classroom culture, extracurricular activities, daily life, and more! Students will present their experiences in a poster fair style format. Mingle, learn, and indulge in food commonly eaten in Europe! Sponsored by IE, IAGE and Global Leaders Orange and Blue Engagement (GLOBE).
November 30: Chinese Ethnic Minorities
China is a big country with a huge population. Among 1.4 billion people, 56 different ethnic groups can be identified. The majority of Chinese identify themselves as Han people, while many others identify themselves as one of the 55 distinct ethnic minorities. Join the session to learn about 56 Chinese ethnic groups, their unique lifestyles and customs! Sponsored by IE, AACC, and IAGE.
January 27: Egypt Beyond the Pyramids
Interested in fun facts about Egypt? What is it like in terms of education system, work, marriage, religion, customs, college life and more? You are invited to interact with our international students from Egypt and listen to their stories. Try the tradition dish and dress, and win souvenirs from Egypt! Sponsored by IE, AACC, and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
February 10: Saudi Arabia – Culture Behind the Veil
What comes to mind when you hear Muslim/Arab Women? Join us for an interactive session hosted by the OIIR and the Intensive English Institute. We hope that this event can debunk common stereotypes and answer some questions you have about women from the Arab world-- especially Saudi Arabia. Sponsored by IE, AACC, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange and Intensive English Institute (IEI).
February 24: Iranian Cultural Show
Iran is home to many different ethnic groups: Persians, Turks, Kurds, Lurs, Baluchis, Arabs, Gilakis, etc. Learn the uniqueness of each and come enjoy the& folkloric music from these regions. Also, learn to sing a Persian song and get a gift of Persian Tazhib paper with your name in Persian calligraphy on it! Sponsored by The Iranian Cultural Association (ICA), IE, AACC, and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
March 9: Illinois Abroad – Students' Experience in Latin America
Wondering what it is like to study abroad in Latin America? Want to know more about the college student experience in Latin America? Come hear from both domestic and international students about classroom culture, extracurricular activities, daily life, and more! Students will present their experiences in a poster fair style format. Mingle, learn, and indulge in food commonly eaten in Latin America! Sponsored by IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
March 30: World Cultures of Small Talk
What is the big deal of small talk? How are they different in various parts of the world? Come and interact with our international and domestic students to share their experience on small talk, and learn some tips from staff of Career Center and Intensive English Institute to make your next job fair or social event a stress-free experience. Sponsored by IE, AACC, Intensive English Institute (IEI), Chinese Engineering Students Association (CESA), The Career Center, and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
April 13: Tibetan Buddhism – Art, Music and Mindfulness
Interested in Tibetan Arts? Ever wanted to try sand painting or play singing bowls? Join us for an interactive session to learn more about the ancient rich culture of Tibet. This session will be focused through a Buddhist lens presented by a Tibetan and a Chinese Buddhist student. Sponsored by IE, AACC, Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
April 27: Erhuayin in Mandarin Chinese and American English
Only heard about Mandarin or Cantonese as a Chinese language? Did you know there are many similarities between Chinese and American English? Want to advance your understandings of cultures behind the languages? Come join us for a fun and interactive session on April 27 featuring Erhuayin (a special way of pronunciation) in Beijing Hua, which is one of the biggest dialects in China! Sponsored by IE, AACC, Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
September 2: Persian Immersion
Immerse yourself in Persian culture with presentation and discussion on the language, history, calligraphy, miniature, architecture, tile works, fine rugs, cuisine and much more! Sponsored by Persian Studies, IE, AACC, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, and The Iranian Cultural Association (ICA).
September 16: Mid-Autumn Festival
Come and enjoy the stories and activities of this traditional Asian harvest festival and make your own moon cake! The event will be preceded by movie screening at 4:30-6:30 pm: “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”, one of the Japan’s best-loved folktales. Sponsored by IE, AACC, CEAPS, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, CSSA and KSA.
September 30: Illinois Abroad – The Student Experience in Asia
Wondering what it is like to study abroad in Asia? Want to know more about the student experience at Asian universities abroad? Come hear from both domestic and international Illinois students about study habits, classroom culture, extracurricular activities, and more! Returned study abroad students and international students will present in a poster fair style format. Sponsored by IE, AACC, CEAPS, and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
October 14: Marriage in Nigeria – A Tale of Three Ethnic Groups
Join us for an interactive session hosted by African Student Organization (ASO) about Nigeria and marriage celebrations in the three ethnic groups in Nigeria. Get to learn more about the country, the marriage processes, type of food, music and attire that are used for the ceremony. All are welcome to participate in the event and share the practice in the U.S. and your home countries as well. Sponsored by IE, BNAACC, ASO and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
October 28: Jeon – Making Your Own Korean Pizza
Wonder what Korean royal court cuisine is like? Interested in learning about the history, recipes of this traditional dish, and other fun facts? You are invited to join us for interactive activities and making Jeon to share with international and domestic students. Sponsored by IE, KSA and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange.
November 11: What's with Those Letters? An International Students’ Guide to Fraternities and Sororities
Calling all international and non-international students! Are you perplexed with the idea of a fraternity or sorority? Have you had thoughts about joining a fraternity or sorority but don't know exactly where to start? How about trying to find more information about fraternity and sorority life but not sure where to go?
Fraternity & Sorority Affairs and the Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations welcomes you to attend our educational workshop on fraternities and sororities where we will address these questions and more! This workshop will also feature a panel discussion featuring members/international students from these organizations who will share their own experiences. Sponsored by IE, FSA and RSOs.
December 2: Away for the Holidays
International exchange students will present holidays celebrated in their home countries that are generally not observed in the U.S. Let us celebrate them with stories, tradition and holiday food. Come and learn the world holidays without traveling around the world. Sponsored by IE, AACC, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, and BIEN (Business International Exchange Network).
February 4: Korean Wave (Hallyu)
February 11: Let’s Make Kimbap
A hands-on session making Korean picnic snacks.
February 18: Lunar New Year Special – LNY Theme Dinner
At the Dining Halls. Purchase your meal ticket or win the raffle during the first two sessions.
February 25: ChinaTalks – Life Events
March 4: ChinaTalks – Chinese Art, Painting with Ink and Brush
A hands-on session to learn from a famous artist.
March 11: ChinaTalks – Shopping Strategies
March 18: International Networking
April 1: ChinaTalks – Martial Arts
April 8: International Week Special – Exploring Ecuador!
April 15: ChinaTalks – Chinese Characters
April 22: Study Abroad in Singapore and Singaporean Students Experience at U of I
April 29: ChinaTalks – Travelling in China
The theme for fall 2014 was China, and future series will expand to other countries and regions around the world.
October 15: Myths & Facts
What do you know about China? Are these perceptions myths or facts? Come and share your thoughts while enjoying a delicious meal!
October 22: Cultural Show
How are traditional Chinese cultural performances understood today? How might Western audiences perceive them differently? Come share your thoughts and get a chance to win Cirque Peking tickets!
October 29: Student Life
What does a typical school day in China look like? What are the expectations Chinese students live up to? Come and join us to discover a different type of school life!
November 12: Holidays and Celebrations
How do people celebrate traditional festivals in China and around the world? Come and join discussions of traditional celebrations, and enjoy Chinese holiday food!
November 17: Calligraphy Session
Enjoy a hands-on experience of writing your name in Chinese and Korean ,and join our discussion of tradition, language, and calligraphy!
November 19: Food Culture and Etiquette
Signature Dishes vs. Homemade Meals, what does Chinese food mean to you? Come join the dinner discussion, and learn about food culture and table etiquette in China!
December 1: Dumpling Making
Learn how to make vegetarian dumplings, and the history behind it. Try new things and make new friends.