Center for International Studies

Campus Activities

International Student Activities

Throughout the course of the year, the Office of International Student Services offers a broad range of activities for WIU's international community as well as the entire WIU community. We are always interested in planning and hosting new worthwhile events. If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact the International Student Services office at or (309) 298-3734

Join our WIU International Activities group on Facebook and stay informed on upcoming activities! 

American Holidays


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

Some examples include:

  • Independence Day
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving

Students will receive emails on upcoming American holidays and celebrations. 

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. This wonderful cross-cultural sharing opportunity gives both U.S. and International students opportunities to learn about and 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 resumé! If you are interested in meeting and talking to people from other countries, email

Cultural Connections

Cultural Connections 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.

January 31 - Environmental Issues

February 21 - Communication in Relationships

March 21 - Food and Culture

March 28 - Volunteerism

April 11 - Traditional Dress

April 25 - Sports and Physical Activity

Cultural Cafés

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 Cafés 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 Café 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

presentationCultural 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

WESL Conversation Mentors

Conversation mentors WESL Conversation Mentors provides the WESL students with the opportunity to practice their English skills. As they learn about American culture, share about their own cultures, and get to know people from the WIU community, all participants enjoy a pleasant and friendly setting. 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 Bazaar

Save the Date: the 45th International Bazaar will be Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Every spring the International Friendship Club hosts the international bazaarInternational Bazaar. Students decorate booths showcasing their culture, as well as dance, perform and cook authentic food.  

For information, visit the International Bazaar webpage.

International Education Week

International Education Week is celebrated every November.

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

Activities are held during the two weeks which include presentations, movies, cultural sharing, etc.  Check out this year's schedule.

International Friendship Club 

Be a part of the International Friendship Club (IFC)! group pictureMake new friends, participate in fun activities and help promote cultural awareness across campus.  Past activities have included a welcome activity for new international students, carrying flags at the Homecoming Parade, the International Bazaar and more.  

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

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 U.S. 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

group cheering

Jani Annual International Home Sports (JAIHO) Event

Check back for more information on the 2017 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

Minority Health Month


Each April, Western Illinois University celebrates Minority Health month with many different activities. 

View this year's schedule.

World Cup Tournament


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

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