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iLEAD is an intercultural communication program for university students that focuses on developing intercultural competence through guided conversations and shared activities. iLEAD stands for “International Language Exchange and Dialogue.” It was developed through a partnership between the Intensive English Program and the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Dayton.

The educational context: There is a stark difference in how domestic and international students experience the university. The majority of university students fit into the description of traditional, residential students. However, many international students do not fit the traditional, residential student demographic. Many of our international students who come from Middle Eastern countries are married, have children, and are pursuing graduate degrees. In addition, many international students who are pursuing undergraduate degrees request exemptions to live off campus, which further separates them from interaction with their American peers. Consequently, many of them do not experience the same integrated learning experience that residential university students receive. With international students making up 13% of the university’s 10,828 students in 2016, the need for meaningful interactions between these diverse populations in an effort to build community across difference continues to increase. The iLEAD program responds to this growing need In addition, the iLEAD programs builds toward specific student learning outcomes.


Sharon Tjaden-Glass is a partnerships coordinator and instructor for the Intensive English Program in the University of Dayton's Center for International Programs.

The document available for download is provided with the permission of the author. An accompanying orientation to the program also is available in eCommons.