iCU: OIIR Intercultural Dialogue Series

iCU (Now I See What You Mean) OIIR Intercultural Dialogue Series

Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Asian American Cultural Center, 1210 W. Nevada Street, Urbana, IL (unless indicated otherwise*)

Fall 2019

Luk Chup: Royal Thai Sweets

September 11

Luk Chup is a type of Thai dessert derived from marzipan, originally from Portugal, called massapão. Made only for the king, royal families and people in the palace in the past, Luk Chup has become a common dessert among Thai people. Join us to learn more about Thailand and make your own colored Luk Chup!

Colombia: What You Should Know!

October 2

Colombia is a country with high cultural and historic richness, where visitors are welcomed by warm and cheerful people. Owing to its location near the equator, Colombia offers astonishing biodiversity and a wide variety of climates. No matter what time of the year, you can experience any of the seasons in Colombia! Come and learn what you should really know about this country.

Kazakhstan: History, Culture, Tradition and Cuisine

October 23

International Cooking

November 13

End of Year Celebration

December 4

Spring 2019

International Education Welcome – Open House

Join us for our welcome open house to kick off the Spring 2019 with International Education! Meet new friends, enjoy dinner, win door prizes and find your home away from home!

Wednesday, January 23

The Oasis of Qatif: Saudi Arabian Culture Night

Enjoy some traditional desserts, dates, and tea while you learn about the Saudi Arabian culture! We'll be showcasing the treasured city of Qatif as seen through the eyes of a local. You could also get your name written in Arabic calligraphy!

Wednesday, January 30 (*rescheduled: March 1, 5-6:30 pm)

Lunar New Year Celebration

Celebrate Lunar New Year with Chinese dumplings, Korean gimbap and Vietnamese spring rolls, while making your own New Year decoration with papercutting artwork, practicing calligraphy and playing mahjong!

Wednesday, February 6

World Music/Dance - Talent Show Night

Interested in performing? Show other what you’ve got: dancing, singing, stand-up comedy, playing musical instruments from around the world!

Wednesday, February 13

Black History Month Special: Articulate while Black: Exploring African-American English

Ever wonder about the richness of the African-American culture(s), specifically African American English (AAE)? Come learn about the linguistic/functional features of AAE that often get stigmatized in our society. The geographical factors that typically influence language, and culturally relevant teaching practices will also be explored.

Wednesday, February 20

Korean Cultural Night

Ever wondered why so many foreigners travel to Korea every year? Come to Korean Cultural Night and we will give a hands-on experience. Try various Korean meals such as Tteok-bokki and Bulgogi. Learn about traditional and modern culture such as fashion and K-pop! Come enjoy a little taste of Korea with this event.

Wednesday, February 27

Temaki-zushi Making

Sushi is well-known throughout the world! If you think you have had real sushi (served with Teriyaki sauce), and believe it is everyday food that Japanese casually eat, you need to come to enhance your understanding of Sushi and learn the hand roll sushi that Japanese enjoy making by themselves at home.

Wednesday, March 6

*Maslenitsa Celebration in Russia

Maslenitsa is an Eastern Slavic folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. It is all about pancakes or blini. They are freshly made every day and supposedly symbolize the Sun, so by eating pancakes, people consume its warmth and energy. Come join us celebrate the festival and make/taste the blini!

*Thursday, March 7, 4-5:30pm

International Board Games Night

Interested in playing some board games and making some new friends before spring break? We have Monopoly, Parcheesi, Scramble, Sudoku, Go, Chess, Checkers, Cirkis, Mah Jong, Tsuro, Balderdash and many more. You are welcome to bring your own board games too.

Wednesday, March 13

What’s My Name in Chinese?

Ever wanted to know the meaning of your Chinese friend’s name? Interested in getting a Chinese name yourself? Come enjoy a talk of Chinese names and their stories, and choose one for yourself via interactive activities with volunteers from Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

Wednesday, March 27

A Snapshot of Panama

Panama, a small country in Central America with the size of South Carolina, is the narrowest place of the Americas – with the distance 120 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic, hence becoming the bridge of the world! Panama is a hotbed of biodiversity, and home to many spectacular beaches, categorized as World Heritage by the UNESCO. Panamanian arroz con pollo, ensalada de feria, and patacones are popular national dishes. 

Wednesday, April 3

Nepali New Year Tradition - NAYA BARSHA 2076

This year marks the Nepali New year 2076! Based on the lunar calendar, Nepali year begins with the beginning of spring and ends with autumn planting, a tradition started during Licchavi period by King Bikramaditya. Celebrated across the nation as well as by many Nepalese outside the country, the holiday is a fresh start to many community members, with food, dancing/singing, and temple visits for blessings.

Wednesday, April 10

Traditions and Culture in Chile

With a unique climatic and landscape variety, from the arid lands of the north to the lush scenery in the south, Chile is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Come to learn a little bit more about the culture, the people and the traditions of this place situated in the end of the world, while getting a "taste" of some traditional foods and dances.

Wednesday, April 17

Illinois Abroad: Students' Experience in the Middle East

Interested in studying abroad in the Middle East? Want to interact with students who have or students from the Middle East studying at Illinois? They will be sharing their experiences and tips, as well as the culture and landscape.

Wednesday, April 24

Sponsored by OIIR-IE, AACC, Illinois International Programs (IIP), Global Leaders Orange and Blue Engagement (GLOBE), Family and Graduate Housing, Saudi Student Association, Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center (BNAACC), Korean Cultural Center (KCC), Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), La Casa Cultural Latina, and Illinois Abroad and Global Engagement (IAGE)


Fall 2018

India to the United States – The Transition

Wednesday, September 5th

Sai came in to Champaign-Urbana as a Masters student in Fall 2015 and he is a PhD student now. Come along and enjoy his talk filled with humor and valuable information: his adjustment to campus environment during his first year, involvement with campus life as the President of Indian Graduate Students Association, and some major differences in student life, both academic and cultural, in India and the United States.

Sponsored by Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) - International Education (IE), and Asian American Cultural Center (AACC)

Moon Festival Celebration with JFO

Wednesday, September 19th

Moon Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated notably by Chinese and Vietnamese people. During this event, Jasmine Field Orchestra (JFO) will celebrate with us by performing classical Chinese folk music. Come learn about traditional Chinese instruments and famous Moon Festival celebration practices! Delicious Chinese cuisine will be provided.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, AACC, and Jasmine Field Orchestra

Hispanic Heritage Month with CAUSA

Wednesday, October 3rd

Come and join us to celebrate Hispanic heritage with Central American United Student Association (CAUSA).

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, Central American Union Student Association (CAUSA) and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

Warung Kopi, Nasi Sayur (Coffee Stands, Simple Curry) - Introducing the Diversity of Indonesia

Wednesday, October 17th

In more than 6,000 inhabited islands of Indonesia, instant sachet drinks and simple curry are accessible to the diverse population, unifying the diverse nation. Come and learn about the diversity of Indonesia along with opportunities and challenges that come with the diverse reality, while enjoying some traditional food and drinks.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, AACC, College of Education - Office of International Programs, and Indonesian Students Club (ISC)

Illinois Abroad: Students' Experience in Africa

Wednesday, October 31st

Interested in studying abroad in African countries? Want to interact with students who have or students some African countries studying at Illinois? They will be sharing their experiences and tips, as well as the culture and landscape.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, and Illinois Abroad and Global Engagement (IAGE)

Puerto Rico with Music

Wednesday, November 14th

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico often referred to as the Island of Enchantment, is a cultural mix of West African, Taino and Spanish influence. The mixing of these traditions for over 500 years has resulted in the very rich musical genres of Bomba, Creole, Plena and Salsa. Come and enjoy an evening with accomplished Puerto Rican musicians as they share the history, rhythms and flavor of Puerto Rican music.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, Puerto Rico Student Association and CLACS


Spring 2018

Chinese Hot Pot: Beyond Food

Wednesday, January 24th

Hot pot, a traditional Chinese cuisine, is very popular here in Champaign Urbana among Chinese students. It’s not just food, but a cultural heritage, a way to build close friendships and communities. Tingting, a Chinese international student, will share how she finds a sense of belonging through hot pot and involvement on campus – a story of preserving cultural traditions, stepping out of the comfort zone and finding true passion!

Sponsored by Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations (OIIR) - International Education (IE), Asian American Cultural Center (AACC), Illinois International Programs (IIP) and UNICEF@UIUC

A Dive into Greek Life

Wednesday, February 7th

Interested in joining a sorority or fraternity, but don't know where to start? With over 91 organizations, it can be pretty daunting. Join us as the sisters of Sigma Psi Zeta help answer your questions as they break down Greek life here at U of I. Also, hear from international students that are already part of an organization as they share their personal experiences.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, AACC, IIP and Sigma Psi Zeta

Lunar New Year Theme Meal (5- 8pm @ all dining halls)

Wednesday, February 21st

There will be performances, crafts and activities for you to learn about Lunar New Year, starting at 5pm at SDRP (301 E Gregory Dr, Champaign, IL 61820)

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, AACC, IIP and Dining Services

YAS QUEEN: The Mongolian Perspective

Wednesday, March 7th

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Mongolian Cultural Organization(MCO) will be presenting YAS QUEEN.  For centuries, Mongolian women have played a central role in their society, holding positions of power ever since the Mongol Empire – hundreds of years before their counterparts in Europe, or elsewhere in Asia. MCO will explore the stories of these influential figures in Mongolian History as well as how women continue to be integral part of Mongolia’s success.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, AACC, IIP and Mongolia Cultural Organization (MCO)

Honduras: Through Brand New Eyes

Wednesday, March 28th

There, in the heart of a continent, bathed by two oceans, blessed with forests and rivers, mountains and coral reefs, is Honduras. A small country with social and political problems like any other but also home of fighters and poets, humble and warm hearted people, delicious food and amazing wildlife. Come to learn about the beauty of this country and its people.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, IIP and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

Treasures, Traditions and Delights of the Millennial Peruvian Culture

Wednesday, April 11th

The magic of Peru comes from its diversity: culture, people, climate and natural resources. From the most ancient civilization in America to the most marvelous Incan arquitectonic Machu Picchu, Peru has a lot of stories worth to tell. Join us in this imaginary travel to Peruvian music, culture and history, learn a few phrases in Quechua and taste the delicious Peruvian food!

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, La Casa Cultural Latina, IIP, CLACS, and Peruvian Student Association

Illinois Abroad: Students' Experience in Russia, Switzerland, and Italy

Wednesday, April 25th

What do you know about Russia, Switzerland, and Italy? Russia, the world’s largest nation; Switzerland, known for its ski resorts, hiking trails, and chocolate; Italy, home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Join us to hear from study abroad returnees and international students about their experiences in these fascinating countries.

Sponsored by OIIR - IE, IIP, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE) and Global Leaders Orange and Blue Engagement (GLOBE)

If you are interested in sharing stories about your country, culture and heritage, please email

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