Cross Cultural Activities, Events & Programs

Madison College embraces the diversity in its students and community by offering a variety of programming and activities that allow students, faculty and staff to share cross-cultural experiences and learning. Join us for an event, join a club or open your home to one of our international students.

  • Events

    The Center for International Education regularly hosts programs and events that allows students to share their cultures and gain global perspectives.

    International Education Week

    International Education Week is typically held the third week in November and is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

    Global Showcase

    Our Global Showcase, celebrated during spring semester, hands the stage over to students who wish to share performances highlighting their cultural backgrounds with other Madison College students, faculty, staff and guests. Celebrate cultures from around the world by joining us for great ethnic food, fashion shows, and international dance and musical performances.

  • Cultural Connect

    Cultural Connect logo

    Cultural Connect is an international friendship program that connects international students and U.S. students in a fun, positive, and engaging community.  Participants develop meaningful friendships within the program, gain valuable cross-cultural skills and knowledge of other cultures.

    Why Join Cultural Connect?

    Madison College welcomes over 150 international students from almost 50 countries each semester! International students often come to the U.S. only days or weeks before the semester begins. Upon arriving, they may experience language barriers, cultural adjustment, loneliness, academic stress, as well as other worries. They also come interested in making friends and sharing culture.  The Cultural Connect program helps new international students connect with U.S. students to ease some of their initial concerns.  

    American and international students gain valuable cross-cultural experience and leadership skills in the program through making friends from around the world. All participants are able to share and learn about each other’s cultures and worldviews, engage in meaningful conversations, and participate in interesting events. Members learn to navigate relationships and friendships with those different from themselves, gaining a valuable skill set for their future careers and relationships

    Join for one semester or more.  Gain a lifetime of memories!

    Member Commitment

    Participating in Cultural Connect does involve a commitment.

    Partner Interaction

    Cultural Connect members must agree to meet/have meaningful contact at least five times throughout the semester with their partner.  Partners can attend the large Cultural Connect group events for part of these meetings.  We encourage a weekly quick check in as well. Typically, Cultural Connect partners decide when and how to meet throughout the semester.*

    *Until school resumes fully in-person, partners are encouraged to meet virtually. For community health and safety, social distancing guidelines must be followed if meeting in person.

    Group Events

    There are 5 to 6 planned large group activities that all participants attend as a group. Activities often include a welcome Orientation, a cultural potluck, and fun events in the Madison area such as a bonfire, bowling, game night, or dinner at an ethnic restaurant.

    *Fall 2020, all events for Cultural Connect will be virtual. Prepare for virtual game nights, cultural conversations and presentations, cooking and DIY presentations and more!

    Cross-Cultural Reflection (Journal or Presentation)

    Cultural Connect participants are required to engage in cross-cultural reflection by doing one of the following: Keep and submit a short journal or reflection about their experiences and learning in Cultural Connect or share a short presentation or creative display at the closing of the program to showcase an aspect of their culture(s) to the group. 

    How to Join 

    If you are interested in getting involved in Cultural Connect, please fill out the application form and email it to Applications for Fall 2020 are due by October 9th. Cultural Connect Program Coordinators will reach out to schedule a time for them to get to know you to be able to match you with a great partner!

    Check out Cultural Connect on Facebook.

  • Study Abroad

    Madison College offers a variety of study abroad options. Programs are designed to meet the needs of students of all ages, all levels of work/family demands and in a wide range of degree programs from technical fields and health care to the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Both short and long term programs are available and range in length from 10 days to full semesters.

    Gain valuable experience and build your resume by studying abroad. Many employers view study abroad favorably, as evidence of knowledge, independence and initiative. Study abroad provides you an opportunity to build global competencies, skills and experiences, while potentially learning a new language and certainly learning about a new culture.

    Madison College study abroad experiences also count toward the resume-boosting Interdisciplinary Global Studies Certificate.

  • Intercultural Exchange

    The Intercultural Exchange on Truax campus is a space that strives to promote access, equity, and academic success in higher education; create a Madison College campus-wide climate of justice; and offers programs and services that enhance personal growth and educate the campus about diversity in all its forms.  Visit the center in Room C1430. 

    Madison College cultivates and sustains an environment that recognizes the richness in human differences so that cultural awareness, sensitivity, integrity and justice flourish.

  • Community Connections

    Madison International Partners

    Madison International Partners (MIP) began in June 2008 as the International Outreach Ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison to extend welcome and hospitality services to internationals, and promote in-depth, cross-cultural exchanges between U.S. Americans and internationals in the Madison area. In September 2016, MIP became a separate non-profit organization. Madison International Partners offers a dozen programs and activities which serve about 2,500 international visitors, students, visiting scholars, and their spouses and children from the Madison area per year. MIP helps internationals in the Madison community develop a more personal, positive understanding of the U.S., while allowing U.S. Americans to develop a greater understanding of the world. Our programs and activities include:

    • Airport pick up
    • Temporary housing
    • Tour of Madison for new international students and their families
    • English Conversation Partners and English Conversation Time (every Friday from 6 to 8 pm)
    • Friendship Partners and Global Spouse Connection
    • International Cooking & Dinner events
    • Holiday celebrations: Halloween Party, Thanksgiving Hosting, Christmas Party
    • Picnics and Field Trips (apple picking, museums, ski trips, ice-skating, zoo, Olbrich Garden, farm tours, etc.,)

    For more information about MIP opportunities email

    Madison Friends of International Students

    Madison Friends of International Students (MFIS) is a non-profit organization of volunteers from the Madison area who befriend and help international students and their families. Created in 1952 by the University League at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MFIS has added many programs and services over the years to address the specific needs of international students and make their time in Madison more enjoyable.

    MFIS Activities Include:

    • A Capitol Reception at the start of each spring semester
    • A Fall Picnic at the start of each fall semester 
    • Global Friends
    • Furniture for new student housing and temporary housing

    MFIS offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for members of the community, including temporary hosting of students who have just arrived in the U.S. and Thanksgiving hospitality for international students, as well as assistance at the Madison MFIS office.

    Mentoring International Students

    Develop a rich international connection right here in Madison! Madison College faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in mentoring programs designed to strengthen students’ social and academic connections and provide them with answers to common questions. 

Follow us on Facebook!