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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 - Fall 2020

The Office of International Services is bringing its signature intercultural program, Trade Winds, to the virtual space for the fall 2020 semester. While we will not be able to meet in-person this fall, Trade Winds particpants will still have opportunities to create friendships with fellow students from different countries and cultures, share their own cultural background and collectively explore some of the best virtual experiences Chicago has to offer. Yes, Trade Winds will look a bit different this semester, but it will feel very similar - friendship, connection, shared learning in new cultural spaces will all still be there. We will make "different" better, together!

Another difference this semester is that Trade Winds will be open to UIC students located all around the world! While UIC offers a hybrid model of classes (in-person, blended and online) students may participate in Trade Winds from the Chicagoland area, the greater U.S. and abroad. Please note that while Trade Winds will attempt to make events and program content accessible to participants in all time zones, most virtual gatherings of Trade Winds will occur according to Central Standard Time (CST).

If you are interested in joining the fall 2020 cohort of Trade Winds, please complete the online application form no later than Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11:59 p.m. (CST). Before submitting your application, you will be asked to select a date for your Trade Winds Information Session. All applicants must participate in an information session in order to be eligible for the program.

Fall 2020 Trade Winds Information Sessions
Tuesday, Sept. 22 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | Via Zoom
Wednesday, Sept. 23 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Via Zoom
Thursday, Sept. 24 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Via Zoom






Program Details


What is the Trade Winds commitment?

  • Semester-long program
  • Attending evening and weekend group events organized by OIS (for fall 2020 events will be online)
  • Additional informal gatherings organized by participants outside Trade Winds (for fall 2020 gatherings will be online)
  • 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
  • Service events at local non-profitss
  • 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!