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.

Advanced English Lessons

Advanced English Lessons #2
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 The Grad Center is offering an Advanced English Lesson course for graduate students for  Spring 2019. Classes will begin January 28th and end May 6th. Advanced lessons are appropriate for students whose native language is not English. The lessons will build control of advanced grammatical structures, develops ability to communicate by using various forms of expressions in different environments and discover the American culture.

Due to limited space, this class is only open to current graduate and professional students.

Do you have children or spouses/partners that you would like to attend the lessons with you? Sign up for the Family Center’s Advanced English Lesson class where your family can enjoy the play center with adult supervision. Kids are welcome in the class but they must be watched by the caregiver attending class. 

Advanced registration is required, space is limited. Click "Show Dates" above to register. Email questions to

Community Impact Fund Application

Application for Funding

Applications open through Friday, May 17, 2019

The Grad Center Community Impact Fund was designated by the Provost's Office 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.

Community Impact Fund Events

Supporting Autistic Grad Students Panel

Monday, March 25, 2019, 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Irvine Auditorium, Amado Recital Room

Please join us for a catered lunchtime panel discussion (chaired by Prof. Nancy Hirschmann) for autistic students, their allies, and faculty, staff, and administrators. This hour-long discussion will explore questions unique to autistic students participating in graduate programs and provide recommendations of best practices to their peers and advisors.

The panel consists of:

Morénike Sheri Giwa (EdD(c); MA. Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network)

Dean Wendy Hensel (dean and professor of law at Georgia State University)

Dr. Scott Robertson (PhD. co-founder, Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, US Dept of Labor)

Prof. Chloe Silverman (Director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society. Associate professor in the Department of Politics, Drexel University)

More details and a registration link can be found here (

SPEC Connaissance x GSESG Present: An Evening with Antoni Porowski

Friday, March 29, 2019, 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
Irvine Auditorium

SPEC Connaissance and GSESG are proud to announce our collaborative spring event: An Evening with Antoni Porowski!!

Antoni Porowski is a renowned chef known primarily for his role in Netflix's "Queer Eye," and will be showing off his skills in a cooking demonstration on the stage of Irvine Auditorium!

This evening with Antoni Porowski will be a short food demonstration, followed by a moderated discussion and audience Q & A. with Penn's Executive Director of Student Health Services, Dr. Giang Nguyen.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Wharton Latin American Conference

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30, 2019
Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA

Welcome! Bienvenidos! Bem vindos!

We are thrilled to invite you to the Wharton Latin America Conference to be held in Philadelphia on March 29th and 30th. The 9th edition of WHALAC will be a 2-day event built around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

WHALAC's main mission is promoting an open discussion with the Latin American community on the region's challenges and opportunities within the global context, while building a stronger community and generating networking opportunities.

WHALAC 2019, developed under the theme, Business Opportunities to Make Latin America Thrive, will unite business actors, government representatives and civil society members to share their knowledge, experience and innovative solutions to answer one question - How can Latin America overcome its main challenges and become an example for other regions?

More information can be found at

Queer Urgencies

Friday, April 05 and Saturday, April 06, 2019
Friday, 4/5: Kelly Writers House, the LGBT Center, ARCH Saturday, 4/6: Kislak Center's Class of 1978 Pavilion (6th floor of Van Pelt)

In April of 2019, the Gen/Sex Working Group at Penn will host “Queer Urgencies,” a conference that queries the possibilities and provocations of queer politics now in a moment when the legal recognition of gay and lesbian subjects in the United States coincides with the increased precarity of queer and/or raced bodies globally. By putting the term “urgent” next to the term “queer,” we hope to ask not only what’s urgent about queer studies now, but also what urges, emergencies, and insurgencies queer studies—with its specific critical methods and resources—should prioritize. As its name suggests, Queer Urgencies extends the questions, preoccupations, and provocations of the Queer Method conference Gen/Sex hosted in 2013. By combining artists and critics and theorists, Queer Urgencies will emphasize a creative exchange across media and disciplines. Synthesizing the divergent as well as collective interests of its speakers and committee, this conference treats queer coalition as itself an urgent project. Queer Urgencies will examine the urges, emergencies, and insurgencies of a queer politics made necessary by conditions of mass, yet differential, vulnerability.

Featured speakers and artists will include Anjali Arondekar, Kai Davis, Sam (Chip) Delany, Alison Kafer, Petrus Liu, Eng Beng Lim, Tavia Nyong’o, Raquel Salas Rivera, Juana María Rodríguez, Jules Rosskam, Danez Smith, Michelle Stephens, Kyla Tomkins, and Joshua Whitehead.

This event will be free and open to the public. Register at

Cultural Workshop Series: East Asian Traditional Arts (EAT Arts)

Friday, April 12, 2019, 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Room TBC

We are making Korean traditional knots using threads that are traditionally dyed with natural ingredients including indigo, apricot tree barks, and safflowers. Afterward, we will have calm tea time with freshly brewed Korean tea and snacks.

Intercultural Roundtable

Would you like to learn more about different cultures that students are from at Penn? Would you like to get together with them and exchange opinions and ideas on interesting topics? If yes, then the Intercultural Roundtable is the place for you! This semester, the Graduate Student Center will hold two sessions of the Intercultural Roundtable, which give you the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking conversation with students from all over the world.

Cookies & Community

Monday, April 08, 2019, 05:30 PM - 07:00 PM
Penn Women's Center, 3643 Locust Walk
Price: $3 each, limit 2 per Graduate Penn Card

Do you like to spend your free time baking (or eating baked goods)? Join us to learn about styles of cookies around the world and some cookie-baking techniques! In addition to consuming the fruits of our labor and sharing what baking means to each of us, we'll also talk about ways to turn your baking into giving back to the greater Philly community.

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.



Hindi-Urdu Chat

Monday, March 25, 2019, 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Room 303 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Cantonese Chats
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English Chat
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Mandarin Chat
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Russian Chat
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Korean Chat
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French Chats
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Farsi Chats
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Japanese Chat

Wednesday, April 03, 2019, 06:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Room 302 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Spanish Chat
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Academic Year Hours

Welfer Common Room
Monday-Thursday: 9am - 8pm
Friday: 9am - 6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm - 6pm

Meeting and Study Rooms
Mon-Thurs: 9am - 7:30pm
Friday: 9am - 5:30pm

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221