From 11-27 July 2018 in Portland, Oregon, hundreds of professionals and educators in the intercultural communication space will gather to attend the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). Pre-regoistrations for SIIC are now open, and you can reserve your spot here.

With over 40 workshops to choose from, SIIC offers an inclusive and supportive environment for participants from around the world to learn from each other. “Whether you are leading a global team, designing a new diversity initiative, preparing a course for fall term, or directly a study abroad program, you can anticipate a lively week or two of intense engagement with intercultural issues and resources–networking, listening, asking and indulging in the company of diverse and similarly dedicated professionals,” states the organizing of SIIC, the Intercultural Communication Institute.

AFS Intercultural Programs is proud to announce that we will facilitate three highly engaging courses at this year’s SIIC. In the coming weeks, AFS-SIIC scholarships will be announced to support the participation of AFS staff and volunteers at this year’s event. Stay tuned and contact your national AFS organization for more.

The Arab World: Meaning, Identity, and Discovery

Scheduled for 16-18 July 2018, this course is designed for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of the Arab region for professional and/or personal reasons: educators and students, business people, administrators, study abroad professionals, and developmental workers, to name a few. The course will lift the veil of the pervasive reductionist perspectives on the Arab region and its people in these highly polarizing times, by providing deeper insights into the complex experience we call the Arab world. We will explore the kaleidoscope of Arab identities and their core values, learn about the primary communication patterns and negotiation strategies, and compare local business practices of public and private institutions. We will also look at the Western world through an Arab lens.

This course is facilitated by Sherifa Fayez, national director of AFS Egypt Intercultural Education Programs, and Dr. Jana Holla, a freelance intercultural consultant and trainer with a background in cultural anthropology. Find out more about the course on the SIIC website.

Inspiring Curiosity: Fostering Intercultural and Global Competence for Students, Host Families, Faculty, and Staff

International education faculty and staff, trainers and others who are involved in developing global competence or intercultural diversity training in education, healthcare, social services, and NGOs should join this course, planned for 16-18 July 2018. In this session, you will get a chance to facilitate quick and easy-to-adapt experiential learning activities aimed at creating meaningful reflections and enhancing intercultural skills. We will discuss strategies for implementing these activities in different settings, and identifying ways to turn such brief experiences into purposeful and long-lasting learning for your audiences. Drawing on AFS’s 70+ years of experience in facilitating intercultural learning, this highly interactive workshop will include AFS’s best practices in developing Student and Host Family Learning Journeys that engage participants throughout their study abroad programs and beyond.

This course is facilitated by Sarah Collins, manager of the AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program, and Marcela Lapertosa, director of Education and Intercultural Learning at AFS Intercultural Programs. Get a sneak preview of the topic by watching the webinar Marcela facilitated during International Education Week or find out more about the course on the SIIC website.

Online Intercultural Education: How to Make It Work for You and Your Students

Educators who would like to increase their understanding of designing and delivering online intercultural learning that is developmental, experiential, and holistic should join this course 23-27 July 2018. Research shows that while students don’t develop interculturally merely through learning about and coming into contact with culturally different others. However, they do learn when we teach them within a developmental, experiential and holistic framework. We explore the roles technology can play in meeting two challenges: How can we best train students when we are not in the same physical space, and how can we meet the needs of the thousands of students who are not likely to develop interculturally without training?

This course is facilitated by Dr. Mick Vande Berg, founding board member of the Forum on Education Abroad, and Bert Vercamer, Chief Program Innovation Officer at AFS Intercultural Programs. Get a sneak preview of the topic by watching the webinar Mick and Bert facilitated during International Education Week or find out more about the course on the SIIC website.

You can get a sneak preview of these three topics by watching the AFS webinar organized on the occasion of 2017 International Education Week. Explore these webinars lead by Mick vande Berg, Bert Vercamer, Marcela Lapertosa, and Sherfia Fayez here.

No matter which course you choose, SIIC guarantees a fruitful learning experience. In the words of AFS volunteers and staff who have attended SIIC before,

The experience of attending the SIIC 2013 was absolutely amazing. Being able not only to do the workshops but also get to know a lot of professionals was a blessing.” — Fernanda Mayumi Ogasawara, AFS Brazil

I would recommend SIIC to anyone who wants to expand his or her intercultural competence, and to individuals who recognise that the learning journey continues for life. Come to network with like-minded individuals who recognise the value of shared knowledge. Come to interact with the teachers and students who were happy to share their experience and are open to new learning. Come for the many “a-ha!” moments, and to transfer what you learn to your context within AFS or beyond.” — Fran Baxter, AFS Australia

Find out more about all the courses offered at SIIC and pre-register here.