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

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.


Celebrate Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week: Donuts and Coffee Break!

Thursday, April 06, 2017, 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM
Common Room Front (1st Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Join us to celebrate YOU during Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week! We'll provide delicious donuts (including vegan options!) and coffee--come out and take a break with Grad Center staff and fellow students. We look forward to celebrating with you!

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.

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!

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

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

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

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

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 


German Chat
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Other University Events

Penn Premier: REHAVi (Timekeepers), Documentary by Juan Castrillon

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 06:00 PM - 12:00 AM
International House, Ibrahim Theater

Rehavi “Timekeepers” (2016)

Rehavi is the third audiovisual text released by Juan Castrillon about his research on Sufi Music in Istanbul. The film combines narrative and interviews as a way of crafting a style of ethnographic writing. The story of an old mechanical watch that is lost, found and circulated by different owners refers the ways in which music and Sufism resonate in Istanbul. The film lays out the tension between how the watch sounds like, the aural perspective each of the characters use to valuate it, and the unexpected encounter with its new owner. In this sense, the film presents a contemporary view of the profound philosophy of time and the animistic relationship between clocks, watches and human beings that, according to the musicologist Walter Feldman, have been ones of the main themes of the Turk-Ottoman culture.

The film has a length of 30 minutes, and it is spoken in Spanish and Turkish languages with English subtitles. 


Juan Castrillon is anthropologist with 8+years of experience researching Sufi music practices in Turkey, and 3+ years researching Amazonian sonic practices in Colombia. His intellectual agenda explores the relation of bodies interacting with sound and general theories about space, imagination, and composite anatomies. Currently he is a third-year graduate student in ethnomusicology at the Department of Music of the University of Pennsylvania.

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