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Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication

Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC)

We do so not only to teach more wisely, train more effectively, and manage more appropriately, but also sometimes for the sheer pleasure of experiencing differences.

Summer Institute for
Intercultural Communication (SIIC)

July 10-24, 2019
Reed College, Oregon

Our life’s work is building bridges among cultural differences, softening barriers to living life with cultural others, and probing the mysteries of unknown places and peoples. We do so not only to teach more wisely, train more effectively, and manage more appropriately, but also sometimes for the sheer pleasure of experiencing differences.

The Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) has a 43-year history of providing professional development for people who believe that this work matters. During its first ten years at Stanford University, and for the last 33 under the auspices of the Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI) in Portland, Oregon, SIIC has become a creative – and sometimes downright playful – community of intercultural scholars and practitioners from many cultures that meets each year to renew their energies and commitments.


SIIC Fellows Program
July 3-20, 2019

fellows summer institute for intercultural communication

The SIIC Fellows Program offers an opportunity to experience substantial intercultural professional development, to assess career direction, to commit to a personal intercultural practice, and to learn about intercultural team building by working directly with other Fellows, SIIC staff, and faculty. It is a combination of a mentoring program and a chance to get a different and more extensive behind-the-scenes Institute experience. This is one of two SIIC programs with a formal selection procedure. Our Fellows typically range in age from 25 to 70 and come from dozens of different cultures and professions. Approximately 30 Fellows will be chosen for 2019.

SIIC Fellows Application

Additional information about the Fellows Program:

Criteria for selection are:

  • Some knowledge of the intercultural field
  • Professional experience or at least graduate student status
  • Commitment to a career related to intercultural relations
  • Enthusiasm for working in a support/service capacity, while also learning at the Institute

During the Fellows Session preceding SIIC, Fellows receive professional development in multicultural team processes based on the practice of Personal Leadership. There is a strong emphasis on collaborative learning, and a rare opportunity for diverse individuals with a common interest to explore the role of intercultural communication in their lives.

During Sessions I and II, Fellows participate in workshops while also providing logistic and other assistance to the workshop faculty. In Session II, they have the opportunity to discuss design and group process issues with the faculty. In addition, Fellows support SIIC in a variety of roles, from helping prepare the campus for the arrival of participants to assisting with the evening programs and social hour.

Financially, the SIIC Fellows Program represents a significant tuition discount. Fellows pay reduced tuition, room, and board for the first week of the Fellows Program as well as for Sessions I and II.

The total cost for Fellows (tuition and room and board for the whole Fellows Program) is $TBD. Fellows should arrive no later than 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, July 3, and depart no sooner than Saturday afternoon, July 20. The application form can be downloaded here. Applications will be accepted until Friday, March 29, 2019.

New Interculturalist Program
July 7-14, 2019

New Interculturalists intercultural communication activity

Designed for those interested in a glimpse of SIIC behind the scenes, the New Interculturalists  Program begins just before Session I, and offers an Institute immersion experience, an introduction to the field of intercultural relations, and an exploration of professional opportunities. All New Interculturalists will also attend a three-day workshop in Session I and a one-day Sample of SIIC class, where they will work closely with faculty in a support capacity. This is an opportunity to not only see behind the scenes but also be behind the scenes at SIIC and gain considerable insight into what drives the field and those who are actively engaged in it.

Ideal candidates for this program are recent college graduates interested in testing whether intercultural work is right for them, those considering intercultural graduate school, or professionals shifting from another field into intercultural careers.

New Interculturalist Application

Additional information about the New Interculturalists Program:

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to become more deeply engaged in intercultural training, research, and education
  • Examine career options for using intercultural knowledge and skills
  • Review core concepts in intercultural relations, including the history of the field
  • Be a part of the team that implements the Summer Institute

Through a mixture of discussion, presentation, exercises, and service to SIIC, New Interculturalists will experience both the theory and practice of intercultural relations. This is one of two SIIC programs with a formal selection procedure, and enrollment is limited so participants can receive more personal attention.

The total cost for the New Interculturalists Program (tuition and room and board for the session) is $TBD. New Interculturalists should arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. Sunday evening, July 7, and depart no sooner than Sunday morning, July 14. The application form can be downloaded here. Applications will be accepted until Friday, March 29, 2019.

Fellows Program Faculty:

Gordon Watanabe cross cultural communication

Dr. Gordon C. Watanabe, a founding partner of Personal Leadership Seminars, consults in corporate, educational, and other organizational settings (most recently the Esalen Institute) on Personal Leadership, diversity, and intercultural competence. He is a professor emeritus and former special assistant to the president for intercultural relations at Whitworth University, where he focused on the role of deep self-understanding in successful cross-cultural negotiations and intercultural team building. Gordon was initiated as a meditation teacher in 2000, and now also offers energy meditation seminars. He has taught middle school biology and teacher education, and advised and counseled university-level international, study abroad, and minority students.


Dr. Sherwood Smith has traveled from New Jersey, where he was raised, to Antarctica, Asia, East Africa, and the Americas. He was the director of the Kenya College Semester Program at the School of International Training before coming to the University of Vermont, where he is the senior executive director for Diversity, Engagement, and Professional Development. His work at UVM involves faculty and staff professional development on issues of culture and social justice. He also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in educational foundations and human development. Most recently he co-edited a two-part series, Our Stories I & II: The Experience of Black Professionals on Predominantly White Campuses.

New Interculturalists Program Faculty:

Esther Louie intercultural communication in contexts

Esther Louie has been attending SIIC since 1993 first as a participant, then as an intern (the current Fellows Program), and then on the SIIC staff as an Intern Coordinator, and currrently as faculty for the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication’s New Interculturalists Program. As an interculturalist, Esther has worked at three different universities spanning over 25 years.  She retired from her last position as assistant dean in 2014 from Whitworth University with a long career in leadership and student development, career and mentoring programs, and intercultural competency training with emphasis in intercultural communication and conflict management.  She continues to be senior facilitator with Personal Leadership Seminars.

Download the 2018 SIIC Brochure

Please note: Since workshops run concurrently, only one workshop may be attended per session, and only one session attended per week.

Session I: 3-Day Workshops — July 10-12, 2019

Workshop titles and descriptions will be added as they become finalized.

Sample of SIIC: One-Day Workshops — July 13, 2019

Workshop titles and descriptions will be added as they become finalized.

Session II: 5-Day Workshops — July 15-19, 2019

Workshop titles and descriptions will be added as they become finalized.

Session III: 3-Day Workshops — July 22-24, 2019

Workshop titles and descriptions will be added as they become finalized.

Registration Information

Registration Procedure

  • Participants may send the entire fee or a deposit of $150 per person. Final payment is due prior to arrival. Registrations without a deposit will be put on a waiting list.
  • Participants who are sponsored by a corporation or academic institution may register with a purchase order number. Payments must be made in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank, or by MasterCard, VISA, or American Express.
  • You may cancel your registration up to June 30, and we will refund your tuition less a $150 cancellation fee. Some substitutions or transfers, within 12 months, may be available by special arrangement. Contact Elsa Wallace for details.
  • Please note: Although we encourage early registration to assure a place in your first-choice workshop, we will accept registrations until a workshop is full.

Choosing Your Workshop

Selecting the best workshop to meet your needs based only on the written description can be challenging. After you check the complete online workshop descriptions, we encourage you to use the excellent advising services at ICI. The staff welcomes the opportunity to provide you with details by phone or email about instructors, workshop content and methods, and possible alternative choices. We want you to be satisfied with your choice, since changing workshops after they begin may be difficult. If your organization is sending a team, it is especially beneficial to receive advice on distributing and balancing topics for the group.

Workshop Availability

Enrollment in each workshop is limited to allow interaction among participants and faculty. Every effort will be made to place you in your preferred workshop. If the workshop is full or canceled, we will call you before placing you into another workshop. Since workshops run concurrently, only one workshop may be attended per session.

SIIC Fellows Application
New Interculturalist Application
  • If you choose to stay on-campus, housing is provided beginning the night before your workshop starts until the morning after the workshop concludes, with check-out at 10:00 am.
  • If you are staying for more than one session, not including Sample of SIIC, we will contact you about the additional cost of the Saturday night housing between sessions.
  • Air-conditioned (AC) room availability is limited. If you sign up for an AC room and we are unable to accommodate the request you will be place in non-AC housing at the non-AC price.

Included in the cost:

  • Workshop tuition
  • Lunch each day of the workshop
  • Optional on-campus housing, with additional meals
  • Most workshop materials
  • All evening programs


  • Housing is provided in Reed’s residence halls beginning the night before your workshop starts until the morning after the workshop concludes. Housing and meal charges for nights you will be on-campus between sessions are automatically added to your registration total. For more information contact ICI.
  • Three meals in the Commons Café each day of the workshop are included, plus breakfast the morning of your departure.


  • Lunch in the Commons Café each day of the workshop is included. You may purchase dinner, and you are encouraged to remain for the 7:00 p.m. evening programs.


  • Former SIIC participants and Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations (MAIR) students and alumni will receive a discount of $50 for each 3-day or 5-day 2019 workshop.
  • On-campus participants adding a Sample of SIIC (SOS) workshop after Session I will receive a discount of $40.
  • The Early-bird discount ($50 for 3-day workshops, $75 for 5-day workshops) requires registration and payment in full by June 1, 2019.
  • Scholarship

For SIIC 2019, ICI will have a limited number of $250 and $500 scholarships available for any 3-day or 5-day workshop of the recipient’s choice.

We are also pleased to be offering two additional $500 scholarships from our newly created Canadian Intercultural Scholarship fund. These awards are intended to offer financial assistance to two Canadians who are interested in broadening their intercultural mindset and have enrolled in a 5-day workshop. They are due in large part to a generous donation and commitment from an intercultural friend in British Columbia, a MAIR graduate and frequent SIIC attendee.

For more information, please contact the SIIC Scholarship Committee at:

SIIC Installment Plan

Upon approval, you can borrow up to 60% of the cost of any workshop, interest free. These credit accounts will be payable in six equal monthly installments, beginning in August 2019 and continuing through January 2020.

Please register to attend SIIC, then download the SIIC Installment Plan application and submit it to Steven Dowd at

Download the SIIC Participant Confirmation Packet

The site of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication is the lovely wooded campus of Reed College, 20 minutes from downtown in the middle of a residential neighborhood in southeast Portland. Reed College is a cordial host for SIIC; it considers the support of SIIC as part of its educational mission. Participants are housed in comfortable residence halls located on Reed’s 108-acre campus, which is known for its extensive collection of Pacific Northwest indigenous plants. A trail system is available to walkers and runners.


Download a map of Reed College campus (PDF)


To find the best route from the airport, bus, or train stations use Google Maps/Earth and find driving and public transportation directions from the Portland International Airport or Union Station to 5436 SE 28th Avenue, Portland. You can also use the TriMet trip planner at, one of the transit tools from the TriMet App Center, call 503-238-RIDE, or visit the information booth in the baggage claim area of the airport. Please note that TriMet ticket machines can provide change, buses cannot.

Taking a taxi from the airport to Reed College is easy; travel time is 20-30 minutes. Go to the airport taxi-limousine area to wait for a taxi. Taxi fare to Reed is approximately $50. Ask the driver to you to the entrance off of SE 28th Avenue between SE Steele Street and SE Woodstock Boulevard, with the driveway just north of the campus safety 5436 SE 28th Avenue address.

You can find additional information on transportation on the Reed College website.


Parking at Reed College is free and no permit is required. There are three parking lots on campus: the east lot, accessed from Woodstock Boulevard just east of the main entrance; the west lot, along 28th Avenue; and the north lot, along Steele Street.


Participants are housed in comfortable residence halls on Reed’s campus. The modern residence halls feature same-sex shared bathrooms with full showers. Rooms feature a bed with standard bedding, a desk, closet space for storage, and a large window with a view of the surrounding area. Non air-conditioned rooms will be equipped with fans. Linen service includes a pillow and a case, two sheets, a blanket, a bedspread, towels, washcloths, soap, a cup, and paper towels. If you are sensitive to noise, we suggest bringing earplugs. We also like to let our participants know that the sheets provided are only flat sheets, many participants pack a set of twin sheets for added comfort.

Air-conditioned (AC) room availability is limited. If you sign up for an AC room and we are unable to accommodate the request you will be place in non-AC room at the non-AC price.

Check-in Procedure

You can check in on the Reed campus starting at 4:00 p.m. the day before your session begins. If you are staying off-campus, you may also check in starting at 8:00 a.m. the morning of your workshop. When you check in, you will receive a swipe card to use as both your meal card and to access dorms and classrooms. If you are staying on-campus, you will also be given a key to your specific dorm room.

You will also receive a name tag at check-in, an important part of SIIC culture that will identify you to campus security and to other participants. Finally, you will be given a binder containing daily schedules for workshops and evening programs, a campus map, and other useful information. (Details about logistics, ground transportation, car rentals, off-campus housing, and local attractions will be made available on our website in June and also emailed to participants.)

Check-out Procedure

For on-campus participants, check-out time is 10:00 a.m. the morning after your session ends. We need to have the rooms vacant by then so we can get them cleaned and ready for the next session. You are welcome to leave your luggage in the SIIC office in Bidwell until you are ready to leave campus. We ask that you return your room key to the SIIC office, or put it into the drop boxes located in the first floor lounge or stairwell of the dorm. Please do not leave your key in your room. (You may keep your swipe card as a souvenir, or just toss it.)


Reed Commons intercultural communication

Commons Cafe

The café offers food options covering a wide range of flavors from around the world, in addition to coffee and espresso drinks. Every meal features a made-to-order entrée, as well as numerous vegetarian or vegan offerings. If you have any dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, we ask that you contact ICI and we will do everything possible to accommodate your needs.


A small selection of new and classic intercultural materials from the ICI Research Library will be available onsite during SIIC. The entire ICI Library, which contains over 31,000 specialized books, articles, and training materials, is housed at ICI’s permanent headquarters and will be open to participants on scheduled days during SIIC. Some current titles in intercultural relations will also be available in the SIIC Bookstore.

ICI bookstore intercultural communication

Can I take more than one workshop per session?

No, you may only register for one workshop per session. For example: If you want to come to Session II, July 15-19, you may only register for one 5-day workshop, as you will be in that class, learning that subject for all 5-days. That is what makes this conference so unique, and why our participants receive such a rich learning experience. You can expect to leave with not only more understanding of the topic, but also with a toolbox of new and exciting ways to implement that new knowledge into your professional and personal lives.

Where do I go when I get to Portland?

You will come to the Reed College Campus. Our office and registration site will be located off of SE 28th Ave. The driveway to the parking lot is located right next to Campus Safety – look for a white sign that says 28 WEST – their address is 5436 SE 28th Ave, Portland OR 97202. The parking lot is on the north side of this building. On registration days we will have lots of bright pink directional signs to get you to the right place!

What if my university/organization is paying for me to attend?

No problem – just let us know when you register. At the bottom of the online registration page there is a box for comments. Give us the name and phone number to the correct department and/or a purchase order number, and we can take it from there

I’m not sure which workshop is best for me, can you help me?

Absolutely! We have advisors that would be more than happy to help you decide which workshop will be best suited for you. You may call to set up an advising appointment, 503-297-4622, or email

What does the daily schedule look like?

Good question – we keep you busy! Here is what you can expect:

  • There will be an Opening Ceremony on the first day of your workshop where you will be introduced to faculty and welcomed to the Institute. Following the ceremony you will be escorted to your classroom. Location for Opening Ceremony will be included in your Welcome Binder that you receive at registration.
  • Note: Participants in 5-day workshops get Wednesday afternoons off, to relax or do something fun in Portland.
  • The daily schedule looks like this:

8-9am Breakfast in Commons (cafeteria)
9-12 Workshop time
12-2pm Lunch in Commons
2-5pm Workshop time
5-7pm Dinner in Commons
7-9:30pm Evening Program (optional)
9:30-11pm Evening Social hour (optional)

Will I have time to explore Portland during the institute?

While we do have a very busy schedule, you can find time to go exploring. Many participants choose to walk to one of the neighborhood restaurants for dinner. You will have the evenings free to explore if you choose not to attend an evening program. And for those who are doing a 5-day workshop, you will only have a half-day on Wednesday so you can take the afternoon to relax or do something fun in Portland. A long-term associate of the Institute will also be offering short cultural tours of Portland and the area.

What if my flight leaves much later than the 10am check-out time, can I stay longer?

You must be out of your dorm room by 10am, but you don’t have to leave campus. You can bring your luggage to our SIIIC office in Bidwell and store it there until you need to depart. We are more than happy to keep it safe while you go explore Portland!

What is the weather like in July?

That is a tough question! Last year during SIIC the temperatures reached into the mid-90s for a few days. That being said the evenings can get cool, and it has been known to even rain! Be prepared for warm weather and also bring warmer layers for classroom time because they are air-conditioned.

Is there a dress code?

No, the Summer Institute is casual; in fact many of the faculty will be in shorts! When packing make sure you bring comfortable shoes because the campus is big and you will be walking a bit between dorm buildings and classroom buildings. You will likely be less happy in heels or dress shoes.

Can my family or children come with me and stay on campus?

You may bring a spouse or partner with you to share a dorm room, and they will be charged the guest fee for room and board. Unfortunately, you may not bring any children that are under the age of 18, or furry family members. The college doesn’t allow minors, or pets, on campus for this event. Also, the largest room we have to offer is a double so if you have more than one guest you will be in different rooms.

If I decide to stay longer and take another workshop, can I do that?

Yes! If after your workshop you decide you can’t get enough, you may absolutely come to the office and register for another session.

If I have food allergies, will there be food I can eat in the Commons?

Yes. The cafeteria offers gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options. Please let our event director Shannon know if you have a particular food allergy so she can make sure that we accommodate you. She can be reached at Daily food options include a salad bar, soup, a sandwich bar, two made from scratch entrees, and a grill bar that offers burgers, quesadillas and grilled sandwiches. For more information, and sample menus, please visit: