All community members are encouraged to initiate their own events for the International House community! Community involvement is essential for mainting vibrant International House programs.
There are many things to consider when planning a program, including where and when to hold the event and what activities will take place during the event. Graduate Fellows can assist you in planning your own program for the House. Collaborating with a Graduate Fellow will ensure that you have access to all of the resources that the Office of Programs and External Relations can offer for resident programs and will help guide your program ideas and implementation process. Contact a Graduate Fellow to begin planning your own program for International House community members!
Current and past events initiated by residents include:
Language Tables: One student collaborated with a Community Fellow to initiate a French language exchange table. After the French language exchange table was started, more students came forward expressing a desire to implement a language exchange table for other languages represented within the House. Today, five language exchange tables, with participants possessing varying levels of skill with each language, meet regularly within International House. During meetings, students speak in the table’s language, teach each other about culture and politics, and enjoy good conversation!
Italian Culture and Cuisine Classes: An Italian student had a desire to teach other International House community members about his culture and to instruct them in the fine art of Italian cooking. Throughout the year, this student held various classes to converse with students about Italy and to cook and enjoy an Italian dish together. This program often included various Italian University of Chicago faculty who shared their knowledge and experiences of Italian culture with International House community members.
International House Theater Production: One student used his previous theater experience to direct and produce two productions with an entire International House community cast. In 2012, 24 International House community members from 15 countries participated in “Twelve Angry Jurors” and in 2013, 40 of International House community members from 12 countries participated in “Much Ado About Nothing.” Cast members rehearsed weekly while other residents and University of Chicago students participated in various aspects of the production, including set design, costume design, and marketing. This year, students will participate in “Our Town,” a classic American play about the everyday lives of ordinary citizens in the 20th century.
I-Monday: I-Monday was started by a student who occasionally wanted to cook Italian food with friends at International House. I-Monday started as a small, semi-regular gathering of students. The program was held every Monday and program typically hosted approximately 50 residents each week. I-Monday has also come to include other cultural cuisine nights including C-Monday (Chinese Monday) or S-Monday (Spanish Monday).
I-Focus: This program was started by a group of students who wanted to spotlight various students and cultures throughout the year. Students gave short presentations about their home country or about a unique aspect of their culture. Some I-Focus presentations in the past have included a country introduction to Romania, a bouzouki concert given by a Pakistani resident, and a discussion focused on Indian Cinema.
International Trivia Night: A student collaborated with Community Fellows to plan International House’s first international trivia competition! Students competed in teams to answer questions that focused on international architecture, politics, music, and art.
France versus Germany Cook-off: Many French and German students had cooked together throughout the year. After many claims that one group’s cooking was certainly superior to the other, students decided to engage in a friendly cooking competition. Students recruited judges and prepared traditional French and German dishes. After the judging, students enjoyed a French/German meal together! On this occasion, the German students won the competition.