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.

  • Intercultural Exchange

    The Intercultural Exchange opened on the Truax campus in the spring of 2017. This new campus space 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.

  • World Students Association

    The mission of the World Students Association (WSA) is to encourage interaction and understanding between U.S. and international students through the sharing of ideas, values, and culture. Join the World Students Association on WolfPack Connect for the latest events, news, discussions and more!

    How to Get Involved

    Membership is open to both international and domestic students. Contact the World Students Association at to learn more about the organization and to be added to our membership email list. You can also keep up on what's happening at WSA by liking us on Facebook.

    WSA Activities

    In addition to several impromptu social gatherings and volunteer efforts throughout the semester, WSA also works with the Center for International Education to coordinate the following events each year:

    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.

    International Potluck and WSA Kick-off Event

    A potluck is a typical American gathering where each person brings a different food dish to share. Please join our international potluck by bringing a traditional food from your home country to share. The International Potlucks are typically held in February and September.

    International Culture Fair for Children

    International students share their cultures with children by demonstrating dances, playing traditional music, helping with cultural crafts, and telling their countries' folk stories. Bring your children and experience a world culture. This event is typically held later in the spring semester.

    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

    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!

    Member Commitment

    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, or drop off at the Center for International Education office, Truax Campus, Room D1610. Contact Cultural Connect at with questions.

    Check out Cultural Connect on Facebook.

  • Events

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

    • International Gallery Exhibit
    • Study Abroad Fair
    • China Exhibit
  • Community Connections

    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.

    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

    Mentoring International Students

    Develop a rich international connection right here in Madison! MATC 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.

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