Penn Graduate Student Center

Intercultural Programs

About Intercultural Programs

Practice and improve your language skills as you join other graduate students in conversation!  Email if you are interested in serving as a volunteer chat coordinator.

Community Impact Fund Events and Application

Resistance: Students of Color Speak Out

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 06:30 PM - 08:00 PM
Terrace Room, Claudia Cohen Hall

Penn community students of color and allies are invited to attend a conversation to break the silence on microaggressions, racism, and bias. This event is intended to resist the rising racism, discrimination, bigotry and bias at Penn and beyond. To register or learn more, please click here.

If you are a student of color at Penn, we invite you to share your story:

-Single-person or group narratives


-Anonymous submissions

-Affirmations and words of encouragement

Sign up for a slot to speak out:

Student Anti-Violence Advocate Training
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The Student Anti-Violence Advocates (SAVA) training is a comprehensive curriculum that educates students about the prevalence and impact of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking, and provides them with skills to address these issues when they are encountered. SAVA is open to all Penn graduate and undergraduate students. This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen personal skills around interpersonal violence, responding to trauma and crisis, as well as become actively engaged in campus efforts to prevent interpersonal violence. Light snacks and refreshments will be offered.

This is a two part training. Friday, March 17th & 24th, 1-4:30pm in the New College House Media Room. Participants should be able to commit to the entire 2-day, 7 hour training. For more information, e-mail Malik Washington at Penn Violence Prevention (

Application for Funding

Rolling applications being accepted through Friday, May 19, 2017

The Grad Center Community Impact Fund was designated by University Provost Vincent Price to support graduate student initiatives and activities that build a community of mutual respect and intercultural understanding on campus. In particular, activities that address racial, cultural, or gender-based bias are to be supported with this fund.

Culture Chats

Intercultural Bystander Workshop: Interrupting Locker Room Talk

Monday, March 20, 2017, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Understanding the dimensions of sexual violence and relationship violence in intercultural contexts is a crucial skill, especially in this turbulent moment in the US. Join us in a workshop that will examine, discuss, and equip us to interrupt "locker room talk" (offensive, crude, racist, and/or sexist language often normalized or dismissed as humor) and other harmful behaviors in the increasingly intercultural spaces we find ourselves in.

PAVE is a peer education student group focused on how to be an active bystander. PAVE members are committed students who are trained to facilitate workshops and trainings to their peers about the important role bystanders can play in ending sexual and relationship violence on campus.

 Dinner will be served! Please register in advance to attend.

International Women's Day

A Drop of Life: The Global Water Crisis and It's Unique Impact on Women

Monday, March 13, 2017, 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St.

Filmmaker and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya will present her award-winning sci-fi short film about the global water crisis, A Drop of Life, and discuss the borderless global water crisis’ unique impact on women all over the world. A Drop of Life was used as a tool to organize for water rights in 40 villages across Africa—making a real-world impact in the lives of thousands. Food, refreshments and an opportunity to directly engage with environmentalist groups confronting these issues will be made available. See the Facebook event for more information.

Language Chats

Join other grad students for weekly informal language chats! These are not language classes, but are instead a fun way for speakers to practice their skills and meet new people. All participants should have conversation skills in the chat language they are attending.

Korean Chats
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Managed to read Hangul, but never practiced to speak? If this sounds like you, then join us for Korean Chats! More advanced speakers are also welcome. 
Learn Korean with a certified Korean language teacher and have fun!
If you have any question about the chat, please email 

Tuesdays, 11am-12pm Rm 302

Thai Chats
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Join us for weekly Thai language chats every Tuesday 11am-12pm in Rm 303!

Turkish Chats
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Chat? In Turkish? Tam Isabet! (Right on target!)

Turkish is a hidden gem in the realm of exotic languages. Not only do over 80 million people in Turkey, but it is also on the list of the U.S. Department of State’s critical languages. Even opting to learn Persian or Urdu after learning Turkish is not difficult to do, since there are many cognates within these languages–all of which stem from Arabic.



Turkish Language:

  • is written with the Latin Alphabet: Easy to Learn.

  • is pronounced as written: Easy to Read.

  • includes French, English, Arabic and Persian root words: Easy to Recognize.

  • is, gramatically, like playing with LEGOS.

  • has no exceptions: It is what it is.


  • is the basic inheritor of the Ottomans which is the last, longest and most prestigious classical empire experience of the world: There should be something to talk about more than Harem!

  • also has a modern, democratic, and European background.

  • is one of the most active countries in terms of politics, economics, and social movements.

We invite you to speak about Istanbul, Cappadocia, Islam, Anatolian Antique Civilizations, Ottomans, Byzantines, art, science, fairytales, tourism, nature, Rumi, hospitality, people, coffee, tea, food, youth with knobs on. Naturally, by its own language.

Tuesdays, 1:30-2:30pm, Rm 302

English Chats
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Mandarin Chat
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Interested in practicing Mandarin and a learning more about Chinese culture? Join Mandarin Chats at the Grad Center! 

Thursdays, 12-1pm, 2nd floor conference room 

Japanese Chat
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The Rio 2016 Olympics are over, and which city is hosting the next Olympics? Yes, Tokyo! What will you be doing in 2020? Let's start Japanese chats together before getting your tickets to Tokyo!

Thursdays, 5-6pm, Rm 302

French Chat
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Join us for French chats every other Tuesday 5-6pm in the 2nd floor conference room.

Arabic Chat
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Arabic language skills are only becoming more important...practice in a small group setting weekly here at the Grad Center!

Thursdays, 5-6pm, Rm 303 


Spanish Chat
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Join us for Spanish Chats every other Monday from 5-6pm in the 2nd floor conference room.

Last Chats of the semester is 12/5!

Other Language Programs On Campus

Pronunciation Workshop

Friday, March 17, 2017, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Perry World House


The ELP provides open-enrollment academic, business, and general English programs to international students as well as specialized programs to matriculated Penn students. A free Pronunciation Workshop will be offered for international Penn graduate students on March 17th from 10:30am - 12pm in Perry World House. Three key features of American English Pronunciation will be covered: Word Stress, Thought Groups/Pausing, and Intonation. Please RSVP by March 3rd.


If you have any questions, please contact Bethany Hall, Manager of Marketing and International Relations, at

Other University Events

Global Affairs Happy Hour for Penn Graduate Students

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Perry World House, 2nd Floor Lounge

Tuesday, 2/285:00-6:30PM
Location: 2nd Floor Lounge, Perry World House

Interested in connecting with globally-interested graduate students from across the University? Join us next Tuesday. All graduate students who are interested in global research or international affairs are welcome. 

PWH & ISSS Spring Social

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Perry World House

Outside Events for Parents & Families

Family and Kids Programs at the Penn Museum

Penn Museum Family Programming

Families can create fun memories in the Penn Museum’s international galleries with a lineup of engaging programs geared toward visitors of all ages. Except where noted, programs are free with Museum admission donation ($15 general admission; $12 for seniors [65+]; $10 for full-time students [with ID] and children [6-17]; free for Penn Museum members, children under 6, active U.S. military and PennCard holders.

For the most updated information on family programs offered at the Penn Museum, and for online pre-registration (required for some programs) visit the Museum’s


World Culture Series and Family Saturdays bring the Museum collections to life, immersing visitors of all ages in music, dance, culinary arts, crafts, and cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, call 215.898.2680.

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM-8PM Friday: 9AM-6PM Saturday-Sunday: 12PM-6PM

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221