Multicultural event encourages dialogues on campus and in community

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Encouraging intercultural dialogues and conversations, the Penn State University Libraries joins three organizations, the Intensive English Communication Program (IECP), English for Professional Purposes Intercultural Center (EPPIC), and Global Connections, for an event to showcase intercultural dialogues facilitated and supported by the three organizations, both on campus and in the community.

“The Many Faces of Intercultural Dialogue” will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, with 15 IECP international students and their Penn State student partners sharing posters about what they have learned about each other and their respective cultures during their conversation partner program.

“The Many Faces of Intercultural Dialogue” will be held in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, on Penn State’s University Park campus. The event will also serve as a venue for EPPIC and Global Connections to present the many resources and opportunities available for the university and the community. The three groups will share their experiences and ongoing opportunities for intercultural connections with Penn State students, faculty, staff and area residents.

Each semester, through the IECP, international and domestic students are paired and together produce a poster that documents what they have learned about each other and themselves during six weeks of hourlong conversations about assigned cultural topics. The international students and domestic partners think about how to portray what they have learned in a short amount of time to a diverse audience.

Questions and feedback from these public poster sessions help the international students develop proficiencies and confidence in non-native spoken interactions while this rewarding experience also engages individuals seeking to develop a deeper intercultural awareness. Following the brief poster sessions, the students and visitors often continue their conversations, learning about their backgrounds as well as similarities and differences in traditions, families, food and holiday celebrations.

“People can learn from each other and learn more about each other through an event like this one,” said Mark Mattson, global partnerships and outreach librarian. “The IECP, EPPIC and Global Connections have provided incredible services and support for international students, faculty and families in our area, and we hope to showcase and enhance their efforts by hosting this event.”

In teaching and service, the mission of the IECP is to provide outstanding instruction in academic English communication to adult English language learners so that they can successfully participate in American institutions of higher education.

A community-based, nonprofit organization affiliated with the United Way of Centre County and Penn State, Global Connections serves thousands of individuals and families each year, Global Connections helps foster intercultural understanding to build a strong, inclusive community across cultures in Centre County and beyond.

EPPIC serves the multilingual international community at Penn State through advanced English language and culture support services with intercultural conversation groups, workshops, customized programs and tutoring.

An 8.5x11 poster with information about "The Many Faces of Intercultural Dialogue" event is available as a downloadable PDF. For additional information on this event, or for questions about accommodations or the physical access provided, contact Mark Mattson, global partnerships and outreach librarian, at 814-863-2480 or mam1196@psu.edu in advance of the event. 

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Last Updated March 14, 2017