Intercultural Learning Program
Delve deeper into culture!
- Become inspired by the experiences of others.
- Understand your own perspective better.
- Build skills for your global career.
The Intercultural Learning Program (ILP) is a way to build your intercultural skills at home or abroad. The ILP involves discovering how your own cultural identities shape the way you understand and operate in the world, and recognizing culture at work in your everyday experiences. Simply immersing yourself in a different culture does not automatically lead to deeper intercultural awareness. Growing your intercultural understanding depends on a blend of personal motivation and guided learning.
Join the ILP and attend workshops and guided-learning activities to build your own transformative intercultural experiences.
All U of T graduate and undergraduate students are eligible. Ideally the program will be a mix of domestic students, international students, and both inbound and outbound exchange students.
How it works
The Intercultural Learning Program has three main components:
- An introductory workshop to get you thinking about the issues and to familiarize you with some intercultural theory
- An experiential component to deepen your learning. The experiential component has two elements:
- The experiential sessions are guided-learning activities that enable you to explore the variety of ways you experience culture in your everyday life (see below for examples of past sessions).
- Each session is paired with a peer-led discussion group (conducted in person or online) in which participants reflect on their own experience and that of their peers.
- A debrief and next steps workshop to process your ILP experience in a group setting and consider further topics for lifelong intercultural learning.
Please note, an introductory workshop must be completed before you may participate in an experiential session.
Outbound exchange students can participate in experiential sessions while abroad. You will be given instructions to complete a parallel activity and then join the discussion group online.
Examples of past experiential sessions
The Intercultural Learning Program invites expert facilitators to lead students through experiential sessions that include guided activities and discussions. Here are some examples of sessions that ILP students have participated in in the past:
Urban Landscapes – Students were asked to (re-)imagine the city landscapes they interact with on an everyday basis and discover the cultural expressions hidden within them through field sketches.
Museum Cultures – During a day at the Royal Ontario Museum, students engaged with cultural artifacts, curated spaces, and pieces of art using different perspectives and lenses.
The Role of Faith-Based Communities in Canadian Civil Society – Students visited the KAIROS Ecumenical Canadian Justice Initiatives and the Masjid Mosque in downtown Toronto to better understand the social justice and human rights initiatives that these organizations participate in.
Waste Cultures – The Sustainability Office at U of T tasked students with performing an audit of items discarded in garbage bins across the St. George campus in order to think about waste culture and conservation more broadly.
First Nations House – Students were welcomed by Elders at First Nations House and considered specific rituals, familial structures, and the variety of First Nations communities, as well as the history of the relationship between these communities and the Canadian government.
The ILP offers two levels of CCR validation: introductory and full membership:
- To receive full membership you must complete an introductory workshop, four experiential sessions (including corresponding discussion groups), and a next steps workshop.
- To receive introductory membership you must complete an introductory workshop, two experiential sessions (including corresponding discussion groups), and a next steps workshop.
The time commitment is approximately 15 hours for introductory membership and approximately 25 hours for full membership.
When are ILP events held?
ILP workshops and sessions are held each term and you can begin at any time, as long as you complete an introductory workshop first. Once you are registered for the program, you will be informed of upcoming events through regular emails and notifications on a Facebook group page.
Events are usually held on Friday evenings or sometimes on weekends; although occasionally facilitator schedules may require scheduling on other days.
Introductory workshops are usually held in January, September, April/May, and July of each year. To register for an introductory workshop, fill out the form below or contact Yaseen Ali (firstname.lastname@example.org).