International House (IHouse)

IHouse Programs

COVID-19 UPDATES: Most International House programs and services have been put on hold until further notice. 

International House offers diverse cross-cultural programs to help students, scholars, and Duke community members from all over the world learn from each other and become open-minded global citizens. Please click on each program title to expand the section and learn more.


Connect. Learn. Grow. (CLG) Workshop Series provides a richer and deeper level of information and advice beyond our regular orientation. Orientations for international students and scholars can provide an overwhelming amount of information, resulting in valuable information being lost to participants. IHouse offers international students and scholars further opportunities to learn about Duke and Durham.

Fall 2020 CLG Schedule

Wednesday, Sept 9th at 9 am ET 

Building an Online Community 


In this session we will discuss methods for building and maintaining an online community. 

Wednesday, Sept 16th at 9 am ET 

Effective Time Management 


Join the Academic Resource Center to discuss ideas on how to manage your time during this busy fall semester.  Learn ways to stay engaged with your work and efficiently complete items from your to-do list. 

Thursday, Sept 17th at 4 pm ET 

Tips for Virtual Learning 


Learning virtually can present many challenges, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. Join the Academic Resource Center to talk about strategies and approaches for virtual learning. 

Wednesday, Sept 23rd  at 9 am ET 

Personal Finance & Budgeting 


Studying in the United States comes with unique money management questions.
Personal Finance @Duke is your campus resource to help navigate you through some of the most common financial FAQs many international students encounter . This includes best ways to access your money, how to save on expenses, how to build credit, and if investing is right for you!  Presented by Anna Sheufelt, M.Ed.

Thursday, Sept 24th at 4 pm ET 


Wednesday, Sept 30th at 9 am ET 

Don't Quarantine Your Search 


This workshop will provide tactics for conducting an effective job or internship search. Information will include how to find current employer and industry information, the importance of setting realistic professional goals during this time, and best practices for connecting with professionals amid COVID-19. 

Thursday, Oct 1st at 4 pm ET 

Alumni Panels

  Join Duke Alumni on Thursday, October 1 from 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST for an opportunity to meet Katherine Li, Ubben Fellow and Sara Stevens, program coordinator of the Campus and Student Engagement team. We will walk you through how to use the Duke Alumni network to connect with alumni and discuss the importance of connecting with alumni. Following the network presentation, we will have a panel discussion for both undergraduates and graduate and professional students with recent alumni about their experience at Duke and living in Durham as an international student.

Wednesday, Oct 7th at 9 am ET 

Virtual Networking 


We all know that networking is essential in the U.S. job market. But how exactly should you approach this process during a global pandemic? This workshop will highlight useful strategies and tools for virtual networking. 

Thursday, Oct 8th at 4 pm ET 

U.S. Elections

Wednesday, Oct 14th at 9 am ET 

Applying for Optional Practical Training

If you are unable to attend a workshop that you are interested in, check out the recordings of each session at

If you need more information about a specific CLG topic, please keep an eye on the IHouse announcements on our Facebook Page. If you have ideas for new topics, please let us know. Contact IHouse at for more information.


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, International House 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.

In 2020 Fall semester, the English Conversation Club runs every Monday from 7:30 to 8:30pm (Eastern Time) virtually on Zoom. You must reigster through this link to attend the club. The Zoom link will be available after registration.  

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 International House. For more information, contact Luis Vergara

Due to COVID-19, there will be NO Spanish Conversation Club in Fall 2020. 

Check out Spanish Conversation Club Facebook page.

Stressed out?  

Struggling with the ever-changing circumstances in which we are all living? 

Join us for a moment of mindfulness every Monday morning.  Skills taught will be based on Koru Mindfulness, an evidence-based program specifically designed for teaching mindfulness and meditation as way to manage stress and reduce anxiety.

WHAT: Mindful Moment Mondays
WHEN: Mondays beginning April 13th, 9 am - 9:30 am
WHERE: Zoom meeting room

Global Café is a weekly social event with the intent to build community between students, employees, post-docs, scholars and families.

For Fall 2020, the Global Cafe will resume on Friday, September 4 at 10:00 AM (U.S. Eastern Time). This semester, all the meetings will happen virtually on Zoom. Please register here to join. 

For questions, please email us at: 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’s International House. 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: or 919.684.3585.

Engaging with international students and helping them acclimate to American culture is a great asset for domestic students' professional and leadership development. Expanding your knowledge about other cultures and navigating how to socialize and work with people of different cultural backgrounds is a valuable learning experience, especially in an increasingly globalized job market. 

International House, in collaboration with the Career Center, has developed the Global Engagement Program to provide domestic students with beneficial interactions with international students and scholars at Duke, and to prepare them to be true global citizens who make positive impacts around them. 

In the Global Engagement Program, selected students will be involved in International House educational activities for a semester and receive training on cross-cultural awareness and communication, as well as career and leadership development. Upon successful completion of the program, students will get a certificate that is officially endorsed by International House and the Career Center, which can be used to strengthen their resume. 

Participation in Other IHouse Programs:
Students will commit to a three-hour per week participation for a semester from among the options below:

  • Duke Language Partner Program (1 hour/week): Help your language partner to learn English or other native language you might be able to offer. You can schedule with your language partner when to meet.
  • Conversation Club (Mondays 5:15-6:15 pm): Facilitate the club and lead small group discussions on American culture and social system. You can also learn about many aspects of other cultures through this conversation club.  
  • Spanish Conversation Hour (Mondays 6:30-7:30 pm): Learn Spanish language with a native speaker, or help other participants learn Spanish if it is your native language.
  • Global Cafe (Fridays 9:30-10:30 am): Join us for good coffee, pastry and casual conversations with people from all over the world. 

** Spanish language club participation requires basic knowledge of the language equivalent of class 200 level.

Training Component:
There will be three training sessions offered in Global Engagement Program (GEP). 

  • Global Awareness Training: Participants will have an opportunity to assess their intercultural competency. After the training, they will keep a journal reflecting on their experience with people from other cultures, which will be reviewed in the last training session.
  • Career and Leadership Development with Global Perspectives. There will be a career counseling and leadership development session tailored for the GEP participants.
  • Global Engagement Action Plan: Participants will reflect on and share their experiences. They will identify their strengths and weaknesses, and make an action plan to be more open engaging global professionals.

Upon successful completion of GEP, participants will receive an official recognition for their work with a certificate endorsed by both International House and the Career Center.

How to Apply & Selection Timeline:

To apply for the Spring 2021 Global Engagement Program, please complete this application form.

The application deadline is Friday, October 9, 2020. Following the review of applications, the International House will interview the finalists and will select a maximum of five students. The results will be announced by Monday, November 16, 2020.

Expected Outcomes
Through this program, domestic students will be able to:

  • Deepen their leadership and global social skills by interacting with people from various countries and helping them understand American culture and social structures for a sustained period time.
  • Increase their knowledge of other cultures and social organizations, preferably including other languages as well. 
  • Understand and adopt pluralism in their life - recognizing different perspectives arising from various cultural backgrounds, which can be especially valuable when applied to their future professional and personal relationships. 
  • Demonstrate their ability to abide by strong work ethics through the GEP required commitment of at least one semester with a three-hour per week schedule. 
  • Strengthen their resume with a strong service and civic/global engagement component, demonstrated by the GEP Certificate. 

This program is for you if you:

  • Are open-minded to other cultures and willing to learn from interacting with international students and scholars
  • Would like to expand your career options with global perspectives and exposure to cross-cultural experiences 
  • Want to prepare yourself before going abroad through DukeEngage or Study Abroad programs 
  • Want to continue your global experience and keep the foreign language skills you have obtained abroad 
  • Enjoy cultural diversity and are seeking opportunities for global engagement within Duke and Durham

Recharge with IHouse – Spring/Fall Break

Recharge with IHouse is a series of relaxing wellness activities organized by International House 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. 


Are you a book lover?  
Do you want to learn some deep insights from friends all over the world?  
Do you enjoy sharing your opinions?  

Each Thursday at 9:15 A.M. EST, we come together virtually to have an engaging book discussion. Our books are carefully chosen by our leaders to allow for an accessible level of English, of inter-cultural understanding and wholesome discussion. Each week, our leaders create questions for a guided discussion. Our discussions have allowed a multiplicity of viewpoints from which we all learn about each other's cultures. We have found that the atmosphere of compassionate understanding permits an honest and authentic exchange.  

Beginning September 17th, the Book Club will meet every Thursday at 9:30 A.M. throughout the academic year.  The group will meet virtually via Zoom. 

Register in advance for this meeting:   

 For further information about the Book Club, contact Ms. Joanne Napoli.  


Come to improve your English skills through conversation, games, and more.  If you are already a fluent English speaker, come help others to improve!    

Beginning September 11th, the English Hour group will meet every Friday at 11am throughout the academic year.  The group will meet virtually via Zoom.    

Register in advance for this meeting:   

For more information, contact Joanne Napoli