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Trade Winds

Trade Winds is an intercultural friendship program in which international students and U.S. students are placed in small groups based on common interests and hobbies to participate 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 2018

OIS is currently recruiting international and U.S. students to participate in the spring 2018 cohort of Trade Winds. Interested students should submit an online application form no later than Thursday, February 1. Applicants will be required to attend in-person informational session on-campus on one of the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 30, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.;
  • Wednesday, January 31, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; or
  • Thursday, February 1, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Details regarding the location of the in-person informational session are included in the online application form.

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Program Details

What is the Trade Winds commitment?

  • Semester-long program
  • 5-6 evening and weekend group events organized by OIS
  • Additional informal gatherings organized by your small group
  • 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 can I plan for my small Trade Winds group?

  • 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!