Center for International Studies

Campus Activities

International Student Activities

Throughout the course of the year, the Office of International Student Activities offers a broad range of activities for WIU's international community. The programs listed below are just a few of the many things offered to the WIU international community. We are always interested in planning and hosting new worthwhile events.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact the Orientation and Student Activities office at or (309) 298-1150.

Join our WIU International Activities group on Facebook and stay informed on upcoming activities! Some of the regularly scheduled events are included below.

Conversation Partners

conversation partnersConversation Partners is a program where international students are paired with U.S. WIU students for conversational purposes. Conversation Partners are expected to commit to meeting at least once a week for the duration of the semester. The program represents a wonderful cross-cultural sharing opportunity with mutual benefits and gives both U.S. and International students an opportunity to celebrate their differences.

It is a great opportunity to help students from around the world learn more about American culture, customs and lifestyle. In addition to the cultural experience, it is a great way to build a resume! If you are interested in meeting and talking to people from other countries, email

Coffee, Culture, and Conversation

Coffee, Culture, and Conversation are biweekly gatherings that enable intercultural discussions based on select cultural topics, using guided conversational questions. These events are a chance to meet new people, learn about many different cultures around the world, and share information about your culture with others.

Coffee, tea, and other light refreshments will be served free of charge.

These events are free and open to the campus and community.

Spring 2015: Meets Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. in the Multicultural Center Activities Room

  • January 27 - New Beginnings/Resolutions
  • February 10 - Friendship
  • February 24 - Patriotism
  • March 10 - Female Leaders
  • March 24 - Volunteerism
  • April 7 - Health Education
  • April 21 - Traditions
  • May 5 - Hobbies and Leisure Activities
Cultural Cafe

Japanese Students.

Two to three times each semester, a student or group of students representatives from various countries offer us a glimpse into their country over a weekday lunch hour. Authentic cuisine from the country being presented is served to all those in attendance, as well.

Cultural Cafes are a great opportunity for international students to share information on their home country’s culture and a great chance for the campus community to learn about different countries and cuisines of the world.

Cultural Cafe presenters are not limited to international students, though. Anyone with expertise on a country or culture is welcome to present. If you would like to be a Cultural Café presenter, please contact

Conversation Mentors

Conversation mentorsConversation Mentors provides the WESL students with the opportunity to practice their English skills, learn about American culture, share about their own cultures, and get to know people from the WIU community in a pleasant and friendly setting. The conversation mentors are volunteers who participate in organized small group conversations with the WESL students.

The conversations are held in WESL speaking classes, and they are coordinated by the respective WESL instructors for those classes. Designated cultural topics and/or communicative activities are the focus for each conversation meeting. These topics and activities directly support the students’ learning objectives in their WESL courses.

For more information, please call (309) 298-2485.

International Neighbors

international neighbors

International Neighbors is for first semester international students who are matched with local families in the area for purposes of cross-cultural exchange. This program allows students to teach community members more about their country and culture while allowing students to learn more about US culture and gaining meaningful interaction. The families and students will have at least three activities during the semester, but certainly more if they so choose. The goal is to help new students feel more at home, and help them feel that they are a part of the community. To become a part of International Neighbors, please contact

International Education Week

International Education Week will be celebrated in November 2015. International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Activities will be held during the two weeks which include presentations, movies, cultural sharing, etc.

View last year's schedule of events.


World Cup Tournament
Friday, April 10, 4:00-7:00 PM, and Saturday, April 11, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Games will be played using Intramural Outdoor Soccer rules (6 vs. 6 including goalie). Teams will consist of a minimum of five players and a maximum of nine players. Any team may be co-ed, all male, or all female.  We will not have separate brackets for this tournament. The cost to play will be $5 per player (cash or check is acceptable). Tournament will be held outdoors at Vince Grady Field. All proceeds go to the local WIRC-CAA.

Registration form must be returned to the Campus Recreation Office with full payment by 4:30 PM on Tuesday, April 7! 


World Cup Tournament - Twice a year the Center for International Studies and Campus Recreation co-sponsor a world cup soccer Tournament. team

In the fall, the tournament is held indoors and in the spring, is held outdoors.

Participants are charged $5 and all proceeds are donated to a local or international charity.



American Holidays

It's important that students experience some of the holidays that are celebrated in the United States.

Some examples include Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Students will receive emails on upcoming American holidays and celebrations.


group cheering

Jani Annual International Home Sports (JAIHO) Sporting Event

Every spring a sporting event is held to join together the WIU and Macomb community.

Each year will focus on a different sport (or group of sports) and participants will have the chance to learn about and play the sport.

View more information.



Cultural Presentations

Students have the opportunity to present to various groups on a wide range of topics. Presentations can be given on a certain country/culture, world event, global issue, etc.

If you are interested in presenting, please contact


International Orientation Volunteer

groupThe week before every semester begins, a New International Student Orientation is held. The orientation is a series of events designed to get new international students acclimated to the campus and community.

Volunteers are needed to accompany new students with the many questions and tasks they have when new to campus. Orientation volunteers provide a great service to the campus and community, as well as they get to participate in the many fun orientation activities.

Volunteering for orientation is a great chance to meet people from all around the world. If you are interested in being a new international student orientation volunteer, please email

Minority Health Month


Each April, Western Illinois University celebrates Minority Health month with many different activities. View this year's schedule.