Benefits of intercultural experience

International experience is about more than crossing borders and visiting other countries. It’s about the meeting of different people, languages, traditions, values and ways of interpreting the world — international experience is intercultural experience. There are so many wonderful benefits:

  • Travelling to a new country builds confidence and expands your comfort zone.
  • Learning to connect with people from different cultures leads to quicker adaptation and success in new environments.
  • Intercultural competencies will help you manage the challenges of a global workplace.
  • International experiences cultivate cultural and interpersonal understanding and help build more effective communication skills.
  • Speaking multiple languages builds higher-level cognitive abilities.
Open mic night with guitar players at CIE

Intercultural Learning Program

Intercultural learning happens wherever different cultures meet. It’s partly about gaining practical knowledge of the differences and similarities between cultures, but it also goes deeper. It 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 experience.  Simply immersing yourself in a different culture does not automatically produce intercultural awareness. In reality, it usually depends on a blend of personal motivation and guided learning. The Intercultural Learning Program (ILP) is a way to build your intercultural skills at home or abroad.

Circle of smiling students

iConnect International Mentorship Program

iConnect is an intercultural mentorship program. This means that you will be matched (where possible) with a mentor who is from a different country.

As an iConnect member, you will have opportunities to reflect on your own cultural identity and strengthen your intercultural skills. At monthly meetings, you can connect with other students and with helpful U of T offices.  Last year, members played board games, learned to ice skate, attended a stress-management workshop, toured the city and U of T campus, shared meals, sang karaoke, and celebrated the year at our fancy party. All activities focus on intercultural conversations and experiences to help you grow comfortable in your new life in Canada and at U of T!


2 students talking

CIE Language Exchange

Bonjour U of T! Te gusta estudiar lenguas? The Centre for International Experience launched a Language Exchange for all U of T students. If you are studying a language, or just have a general interest in languages, we welcome you!

Spanish teacher with group of students

Volunteer at CIE!

Looking for a way to get involved in the international community at the University of Toronto? CIE's Volunteer Program gives you the chance to help us provide the best services, support and social opportunities for international students during their stay in Canada. Both Canadian and international students are welcome to join!

volunteer tutor