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 are confronted with language barriers, cultural shock, loneliness, academic stress, as well as other worries. The Cultural Connect program helps new international students connect with U.S. students to ease some of their initial concerns and help domestic students gain valuable global and cultural experience on campus.
New international students are paired with U.S. students to participate in one-on-one and group activities throughout the semester. International partners learn about Madison College and the surrounding community, as well as cultural customs of the area. U.S. partners also benefit from the international students by learning about other countries, cultures, values and traditions. Participants in Cultural Connect are cultural ambassadors and contribute to cultural sharing and exchange throughout the program. Students involved in Cultural Connect participate in a variety of fun activities, such as bowling, hiking, touring the State Capitol, swimming, horseback riding, ice skating, or visits to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Devil's Lake State Park or other Wisconsin cities.
Benefits for U.S. Students
American students interested in learning about other cultures and introducing international students to life in the United States can volunteer to be a Cultural Connect peer mentor. U.S. Cultural Connect partners gain valuable intercultural, diversity and leadership skills and get the opportunity to make new friends from around the world.
Benefits for International Students
International students can learn about other cultures by joining Cultural Connect. In addition to fun activities, you will have the chance to teach your U.S. partner about your country, your culture, and your values. U.S. students are just as interested in learning about other cultures as you are in learning about theirs!
Participating in Cultural Connect does involve a commitment. Cultural Connect peer mentors must agree to meet at least five times throughout the semester plus attend other planned events, which take place roughly twice a month. Cultural Connect partners decide when to meet throughout the semester. There will also be planned large group activities that peer mentors choose to attend as a group. Cultural Connect participants will also be required to keep a short journal about their experiences and activities with their partner.
How to Join
If you are interested in getting involved in Cultural Connect, please fill out the application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop off at the Center for International Education office, Truax Campus, Room E1874. Contact Cultural Connect at email@example.com with questions.
Check out Cultural Connect on Facebook.