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Trade Winds

Trade Winds is an intercultural friendship program in which international students and U.S. students participate together in activities throughout the semester. The program provides unique opportunities for its participants to interact and educate each other about their cultures, countries, perspectives, and their life experiences. Additionally, it gives students the opportunity for involvement and leadership in a meaningful extracurricular activity. 



Trade Winds Recruitment - Spring 2020

OIS is currently recruiting international and U.S. students to participate in the spring 2020 cohort of Trade Winds. Interested students should submit an online application form no later than Monday, Jan. 27. Applicants must attend an in-person information session on Jan. 28, 29 or 30. Details regarding the informational sessions are included in the application link below.





Program Details


What is the Trade Winds commitment?

  • Semester-long program
  • Attending evening and weekend group events organized by OIS
  • Additional informal gatherings organized by participants outside Trade Winds
  • Agreement to engage with respect, open, and curious attitude and a shared goal of increased intercultural competence

What kinds of events has OIS organized in the past for Trade Winds?

  • Intercultural Communication Workshop
  • Kick-off event & Closing Banquet
  • Mid-semester retreat on-campus
  • Service events at local non-profits
  • Group outings to museums like the Field Museum, Art Institute, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Sports Museum, and more!
  • Sports outings to Chicago White Sox and Chicago Fire games

What kinds of informal gatherings past Trade Wind participants planned together?

  • Study together
  • Cook a meal together
  • Explore Chicago by visiting a new museum, neighborhood, or restaurant
  • Invite your group to share in a cultural tradition like holidays or festivals

What will I gain by participating in Trade Winds?

  • Increased intercultural competence through a better understanding of other languages, cultures, and customs
  • Lasting connections with people from around the world
  • An opportunity to promote internationalization on the UIC campus
  • Free admission to some of Chicago’s best museums and events!