Helping Us All Become Open-Minded Global Citizens.

Duke International Student Center offers diverse cross-cultural programs to help students, scholars, and Duke community members from all over the world connect with and learn from each other. The more we interact and engage, the easier it is to become an open-minded global citizen. Please click on each program title to expand the section and learn more.

Please note all programs are subject to change. 

The Duke Language Partners program matches non-native speakers with native speakers of various languages for weekly conversation exchange. You can meet with your language partner anytime depending on your schedules, but we recommend you to meet at least once a week. Through the program, you can practice a foreign language, learn about another culture and gain language-tutoring experience as well. Please email for more information.

Apply to be a Duke Language Partner.

Duke Language Partners Brochure.

Each Monday, Duke International Student Center provides a casual, small-group setting where all members of the Duke community--students, scholars, spouses, and staff--can practice conversational English.

Topics include American culture, social systems, and issues related to daily life. Come and you will have chances to share your experience in the U.S. with others while practicing conversational English with the help of Duke staff volunteers. Through discussions in small groups, you will also learn about other cultures from various countries.

The Fall 2022 English Conversation Club is from Monday, September 12 to November 14 , from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. The location is Duke International Student Center, Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd, Bay 5. There will be free parking near the building.

Please email for more information.

Are you interested in speaking the second-most spoken and studied language in the United States?  Practice your conversation Spanish and meet people from around the world, including native Spanish speakers. Our conversations are informal and interesting. 

Every Monday from 6:30 pm to 7:30 p.m. at Duke International Student Center. For more information, contact Luis Vergara

The Fall 2022 Spanish Conversation Club is from Monday, Sept 12 to Nov 14, from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. The location is Duke International Student Center, Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd, Bay 5. There will be free parking near the building.  

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 Global Café is a weekly social event with the intent to build community between students, employees, post-docs, scholars and families. Global Cafe takes place every Tuesday with the exception of 2nd Tuesday's of the month and holidays in various locations from 9:30 - 10:30.

1st Tuesday's Duke Chapel Basement Lounge

3rd Tuesdays Rubenstein Arts Center at the Ruby Lounge

4th Tuesday's Smith Warehouse

5th Tuesday's Rotating

Breakfast, coffee, tea and conversation provided.

For questions, please email or call 919-684-3585

Due to COVID-19, the International Friends Program is currently on hold.  


The International Friends Program is a cross-cultural program run by Duke International Student Center. This program aims to connect international students, scholars and their families with local Duke community members (students, staff and faculty) and to promote cross-cultural exchange, understanding and friendships.

In this program, an international student/scholar/spouse will be paired with a domestic/U.S. American participant to spend time together (NOT live together) for friendship and cultural exchange (see below for more information on activity ideas). Participants will also have opportunities to attend intercultural training to develop professional and leadership skills in a globalized workspace.

What can you gain from the program?

  1. For domestic/U.S. American participants: help someone settle into life in the U.S.
  2. Make friends and share your culture, language, interests and hobbies
  3. Have fun and explore Duke/Durham/Triangle/NC together
  4. Develop cross-cultural knowledge and intercultural competence (trainings will be offered)
  5. Build connections with other international and domestic participants in the program through the kick-off event and end-of-semester gathering

How does this program work?

After the application deadline, we will pair the participants based on the stated preferences and send out introduction emails.

Paired participants will meet at the kick-off event, but you are also welcome to meet beforehand. We will talk about the program details and expectations and answer your questions at the kick-off event. If you have concerns about the program, an individual orientation can also be arranged upon request. After the kick-off, participants should arrange to meet at least once a month throughout the remainder of the semester.

For Spring 2020, the program was limited to 15 pairs on a first come, first served basis. Waitlisted applicants will be notified if someone drops out. The assignment to one’s match is for one semester, and it can be renewed if both parties agree. At the end of each semester, we will evaluate your experience and collect feedback for future improvement.

Participants must:

  • Attend the kick-off event and the end-of-semester gathering
  • Meet at least once a month
  • Communicate well with each other and with International House

 Important Dates:

Due to COVID-19, the International Friends Program is currently on hold. 

Activity Ideas

A monthly newsletter will be sent to the participants in the program with recommendations for activities on and off campus. Here is a sample of suggested activities:

  • Cook a meal
  • Have a board/video game night
  • Go to a Duke sports game
  • Hike one of the many trails in the Triangle area
  • Stroll on 9th street and chat over a cup of coffee
  • Go to Durham Farmers’ Market on a Saturday
  • Visit a local museum or historic site

Questions? Contact Ling Jin at

We have the opportunity to learn about people and cultures from all over the world since we have international students, scholars, and spouses from over 107 countries here at Duke.

This series runs every Spring!

In this series of presentations, international spouses will share their culture, religious customs, cuisine, arts, and history with you.  We will attempt to represent diverse cultures through different speakers each month.

Questions? Contact Andromeda Connor at or 919.684.3585.

Adapted from the Global Engagement Program, the Global Fellows Program provides leadership training and learning opportunities to develop global competencies. Throughout the year, a cohort of 8-12 undergraduates will attend monthly training sessions, attend relevant globally focused events on campus and sharpen written communication skills. In addition, fellows may be called upon to represent Duke as they develop leadership and diplomatic skills. 

Upon completion, students will be awarded a certificate and letters of recommendation from Eve Duffy, Associate Vice Provost of Global Affairs, and Kevin D'Arco, Dean of International Students with the Duke International Student Center.   

Learn More

Recharge with DISC is a series of relaxing wellness activities organized by Duke International Student Center during Spring/Fall break for students to have fun and get recharged before classes resume. Activities include Duke Chapel Climb, hiking trips, tea sharing, and others.