Intercultural Leadership Seminar

Date and Time: 
Monday, March 4, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Michigan League
Kalamazoo (2nd floor)

The Intercultural Leadership Seminar (ILS) is designed for international and U.S. students who want to learn how to be more effective in a global environment. ILS includes brief lectures, discussion, experiential activities, and small group work. While at ILS you will:

  • Increase your awareness of the impact of culture on communication styles;
  • Gain skills necessary for effective intercultural communication;
  • Discover your own leadership potential; and
  • Develop and enhance your intercultural competence.

Date, Time and Location

ILS will be held on Monday, March 4, 2019, 9am-5pm, Kalamazoo (2nd floor), Michigan League. The program curriculum has been designed with the expectation that participants will attend its entire program. Attendance is free.


Current students enrolled on U-M Ann Arbor campus are eligible to apply. International scholars and alumni who have already graduated are not eligible to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and acceptance priority will be given to students who have not attended ILS previously.

Applications will be available in February, 2019.

Questions? Contact the International Center at


ILS Participants' Reflections

Guiqiu Wang“Intercultural Leadership Seminar organized by the International Center was a great opportunity to meet students from other academic and cultural backgrounds, understand our differences and make new friends.

I really like the card game we played. The short game was a great learning process of a myriad of abstract cross-cultural concepts, such as cultural superiority and power dynamic. I took an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) survey earlier, and I was surprised find out that what I learned about myself from the game echoed with the survey result. It provided me a great opportunity to reflect on who I am culturally, where I stand in the cross-cultural spectrum, how I am similar and different from others who share or do not share my cultural background, how these factors are impacting my daily interactions with other people and how I can improve my leadership skills.” – Guiqiu Wang, Ford School of Public Policy


Judy Chu

“Participation of ILS during fall break was a beautiful mistake. While I expect it to be more like leadership team building workshop, it happens to be personal value reflection, with a bonus of inspirations.

I am fortunate enough to meet a very diverse, yet like-minded group of student in ILS. Although we are from different background and level in education, I am very glad that we are still keeping contact. Despite the fact that I am a graduate student, being a new comer to the University, ILS workshop has expose me to a sneak peak of the extent of inclusiveness the school community and potential work environment in the US.

With the influence of social media and technology today, human behaviors are more alike, partly due to globalization. However, due to the fact that we are born and raised in different cultures, we tend to react slightly different in different circumstances. Through the interaction and discussion in the one-day workshop, I am more aware of the differentiation among us. The undergraduate participants are very energetic and reminded me of the passion I used to have. Thus, I have also learnt from other post-graduate participant about priceless opportunities they encountered during their pursuit of academic success. All the stories that I heard are very inspiring, and it excite me further excel my potential with resources and opportunities at University of Michigan.” – Judy Chu, Taubman College


Taylor Murray“After taking ILS I now try and look at every encounter with different cultures as an opportunity for growth and mutual understanding instead of being anxious and worried that I will offend the other person. I have also learned to reassess myself through the process and remember to take a step back and breathe when I feel on edge. And probably most importantly I learned to remain humble in my perspective because what I may think to be 100% true may not be the same in a different view. I’m very interested in learning more about high context versus low context cultures and how that can cause a discrepancy in understanding. I deeply enjoyed ILS because I was around people who wanted the same thing I did: to learn more about other people’s cultures in a free environment and to take that knowledge and do something helpful with it. ILS has made me look introspectively and check myself at all times that I am giving out an energy that says I want to be better and know more about other people instead of putting them down before they’ve said a word. I challenge myself to find connections with people whom I may consider different than me.” – Taylor Murray, College of Engineering


Additional Quotes from the Former Participants:

"I really enjoyed interacting with other participants... It is rare to be in environment where people are open so quickly…I realized how often I stay in my comfort zone and how I must miss so many opportunities to interact with people and grow."

"I've been thinking a lot about my vision for life but was struggling to generate a statement and this was spot on. Thanks for this!"

"It provides us with an opportunity for introspection and actually works on aspects of our personality that we expect from others. The tips provided for the critical moment dialogue are very helpful and i personally believe that i could use them in several situations to great effect."

"I think this was obviously a very thoughtful seminar. Despite my familiarity and experience with the subject I still felt like it was valuable and provides me concentrated time to reflect within a useful framework. Thank you for your time offering this opportunity!"