Center for International Understanding

For students, understanding current world events is paramount for success in today’s global economy. Many faculty members have participated in grant-funded professional development workshops around the world, bringing back knowledge that is then integrated into several course areas. The College also offers study abroad opportunities for students each year, allowing them to study a foreign language, explore historical sites and experience another country and culture firsthand. The Center for International Understanding provides a structural framework upon which the College can further its achievements in promoting international understanding. 


Community College of Philadelphia’s Center for International Understanding promotes knowledge and appreciation of a diverse and interdependent world. The Center encourages and supports the integration of international content into courses and curricula, as well as student and faculty experiential learning abroad. To foster student achievement and enrichment, the Center supports faculty development and research. Drawing upon rich resources within the College and among outside organizations, businesses and individuals, the Center initiates and sustains projects to benefit the entire College community and to serve local, national and international needs.

38th Annual International Festival

Addressing Diversity and Inclusion Across the Globe


2023 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival

April 15 and 16 | 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in historic Fairmount Park in the forest of sakura (flowering Japanese cherry trees). Most of the trees here were planted in 1926 as a gift from the people of Japan to mark 150 years of American independence. Community College of Philadelphia is taking part in this year’s Festival, with an information table on “college row,” highlighting information on our courses dealing with Japan and the Japanese language, along with other internationally-focused programs. The family-friendly festival features taiko drumming, multicultural musical performances and more. This year’s event is a return to pre-pandemic form, with a beer garden, marketplace and Japanese cultural activity center popping up on April 15 and 16, 2023 outside of the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. The event is free to attend, but those who make an optional donation are automatically entered into a raffle for a few great prizes.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and the Annihilation of Caste

A Lecture by Dr. Kusuma Satyanarayana | Join us on Zoom

April 17 | 11:15 a.m.

Join us for the first talk in the lecture series, Caste in South Asia: Past & Present. Dr. Satyanarayana will address the role of caste in modern India as seen in the debate between Dr. B. R Ambedkar, Indian jurist and the father of the current Indian Constitution, and Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. Satyanarayana, visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss their debates in the 1930s, Ambedkar's rejoinders to Gandhi, and the relevance of this debate for contemporary India.

The Importance of World Languages for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

April 17 | 1 p.m.
Winnet Student Life Building, Room S2-03

Community College of Philadelphia has made a strategic commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across the College. The study of world languages plays a crucial role in advancing DEI at the College, as well as preparing students for the workforce of tomorrow. Please join Massimo Musumeci, assistant professor and department head for World Languages, to learn about the variety of languages offered at the College, and how they can contribute to career and transfer goals. Students can bring questions about which languages are offered at the College, and how these languages can fit into their academic and career plans.

Djembe: The Art of African Drumming

April 17 | 2 to 2:45 p.m. or 3 to 3:45 p.m.
Winnet Student Life Building Coffeehouse

Registration is limited to 15 people per workshop; register for the 2 p.m. workshop or register for the 3 p.m. workshop

Join master drummer Pape Demba "Paco" Samb  for a hands-on workshop on African drumming. Pape Demba Samb comes from a family that have been griots in his native Senegal for hundreds of years. As a griot, Paco is one of the keepers of the ancestral history, stories and music of his Wolof peoples. As a master hand drummer, Paco not only plays the instruments, but he and his brothers build several types of drums as well. He performs both contemporary and traditional Senegalese music, as well as reggae, rap, funk, jazz, pop, and a variety of other styles. Paco heads his own drum ensemble called Super Ngewel and released his first album in 2014. An internationally acclaimed artist, Paco has performed with many major musicians based in Senegal and the Gambia including Senemaio, Ballet Gorgoru, Dormu Africa, Ballet Ngangan, African Ballet, Katchikaly, Youssou N'Dour Cultural Group, Marie Samuel N'Diaye Group, Batin Band, Laba Sosseh, Moussa Ngom, and Bala Sidibé. Join us to familiarize yourself with African drumming and experience playing traditional African drums.

International Scholarship Opportunities Day: Study Globally!

April 18 | 12 p.m. | Join us on Zoom

Students and faculty are invited to learn about upcoming opportunities to apply for scholarships to study a critical need language and/or to study abroad. This session will feature a presentation on programs such as the Critical Language Overseas Scholarship, the Critical Language Spark Scholarship, the Gilman Study Abroad Scholarships, the Gilman-McCain Scholarship, Project GO ROTC and others. Two current CCP students were awarded the CLS Spark Scholarship and two students were awarded the CLS Overseas Scholarship for the study of Chinese and Arabic. Join David Prejsnar, director of the College's Center for International Understanding, to learn more about these opportunities.

Rule Through Blood: Kinship, Land and Power in Early India

A Lecture by Dr. Mekola Gomes | Join Us on Zoom
April 19 | 1 p.m.

Dr. Mekola Gomes of Amherst College will explore some of the roots of power differentiation in ancient India. This is part of the spring lecture series, Caste in South Asia: Past and Present.

From Philadelphia to Brazil: A CCP International Studies Major's Journey

April 20 | 12:30 p.m. | Join Us on Zoom

Are you curious about a career in U.S. diplomacy? Do you want to know what it is like to work and live beyond U.S. borders? If yes, we invite you to listen to Aminata Sy, a graduate of CCP's International Studies program, who will share her journey from being a CCP student to serving as an American diplomat in Brazil. This presentation will help you to figure out if majoring in International Studies is right for you, and will provide practical advice to current International Studies majors. 

Speakers: Aminata Sy, Political Officer, U.S. Embassy Brasalia; Ben Baker, International Studies coordinator

Music Genres in Japan: From Enka to Exile

April 20 | 4 p.m. | Join Us on Zoom

Japan has a variety of music genres.  J-Pop, Kawaii music, Anime music and Game music are among the most popular ones among American students, and not so young Japanese, but have you heard of Enka? Akiko Mori, instructor of Japanese at Community College of Philadelphia, will introduce a wide variety of Japanese music genres along with their history.  She will also talk about U.S. musical influences on Japan’s music scene, and the music of Ryuichi Sakamoto who passed away a few weeks ago.


Study in Italy in may 2015

Study Abroad

What better way to immerse yourself in another culture than by traveling abroad? The College offers several opportunities for students to experience a true study abroad experience.


Explore our study abroad programs

Archive of Events

Archive of Events



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