The World Culture Hub is a digital space created to share cultural information, resources, cuisines, and tips from all across the globe. These recommendations have been curated by the UM-Dearborn students, faculty members, and the Global Education team. Whether you're dreaming of traveling, missing a previous destination, or just curious about different cultures, the World Culture Hub has something for you!

We need your help!  Help us grow this site to include resources and information on cultures that are important to you.  Email us at wch-dearborn@umich.edu with your recommendations.

Media

Films

The Kochoff Language Lab has a large collection of films available for viewing. They also have a daily viewing schedule.

CZECH
  • Divided We Fall
    • In Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, a childless couple agree to hide a Jewish friend at great personal risk of discovery and execution.
  • The Devil's Mistress
    • A biographical film about the black-and-white era Czech actress Lída Baarová and her doomed love affair with one of the Third Reich's most powerful men: the Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels.
FRENCH
  • Amelie
    • Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
  • I Am Not An Easy Man (Je ne suis pas un homme facile)
    • A shameless chauvinist gets a taste of his own medicine when he wakes up in a world dominated by women and locks horns with a powerful female author.
  • I Lost My Body (J'ai perdu mon corps)
    • A story of Naoufel, a young man who is in love with Gabrielle. In another part of town, a severed hand escapes from a dissection lab, determined to find its body again.
  • La Vie En Rose
    • Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
  • Little White Lies (Les petits mouchoirs)
    • A near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart.
  • Nothing to Hide (Le jeu)
    • 3.5 couples meet for dinner party. The men have known each other for decades. After dinner they play a game of sharing texts, calls, e-mails etc. by placing all 7 cell phones on the table. Unexpected results as all have secrets.
  • The African Doctor (Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont)
    • The story of Seyolo Zantoko, who as a freshly graduated doctor of Congolese descent in France, struggled with his family to integrate in a small rural village, and ended up being considered as one of the most respected doctors in the area.
  • The Intouchables 
    • After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.
  • The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)
    • A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of the Little Prince.
  • The Mustang
    • The story of Roman Coleman, a violent convict, who is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustangs.
GERMAN
  • Good Bye Lenin!
    • In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.
  • The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
    • In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.
  • Phoenix
    • A disfigured Holocaust survivor sets out to determine if the man she loved betrayed her trust.
  • Soul Kitchen
    • In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef.
JAPANESE
  • Spirited Away
    • During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.
KOREAN
  • Parasite
    • A poor family, the Kims, con their way into becoming the servants of a rich family, the Parks. But their easy life gets complicated when their deception is threatened with exposure.
POLISH
  • Cold War
    • In the 1950s, a music director falls in love with a singer and tries to persuade her to flee communist Poland for France.
  • Ida
    • A novice nun about to take her vows uncovers a family secret dating back to the German occupation.
  • In Darkness
    • Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland, one day encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto.
SPANISH
RUSSIAN
  • Burnt by the Sun
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In the Soviet Union in 1936, shadow of Stalin's repressions lie on a famous revolution hero. The accusations of being him a foreign spy are nonsense, and all known that, but a slow process of his life's downfall is already running.​​​​​​​
Literature
AFRICAN AMERICAN
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
    • In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. 
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
    • Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
    • Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélies Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    • Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mothers side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime.
  • If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
    • In this honest and stunning novel, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin's story mixes the sweet and the sad.
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    • First published in 1952 and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, Invisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature.
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
    • The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity.
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
    • Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.
  • Sula by Toni Morrison
    • This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    • Toni Morrison's first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove.
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    • A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia.
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    • Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends.
  • The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
    • Two warring factions in the Department of Elevator Inspectors in a bustling metropolis vie for dominance: the Empiricists, who go by the book and rigorously check every structural and mechanical detail, and the Intuitionists, whose observational methods involve meditation and instinct.
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
    • Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    • Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.
  • The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
    • In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak inner-city sanctuary, creating a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America.
FRENCH AUTHORS
  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
    • One night in the reform club, Phileas Fogg bets his companions that he can travel across the globe in just eighty days.
  • Candide by Voltaire
    • Candide is the story of a gentle man who, though pummeled and slapped in every direction by fate, clings desperately to the belief that he lives in "the best of all possible worlds." 
  • Ile en ile Youtube Channel
    • Explore the multimedia readings, poetry, performance and interviews of Ile en île. The website and YouTube channel was launched in 1998 to promote French language authors from islands across the world––the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific and beyond.
  • Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
    • A collection of French poetry important to symbolist and modernist movements.
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    • Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean, the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread, Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. 
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    • Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life.
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
    • Paris, July 1942: Ten-year-old Sarah is brutally arrested with her family in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, the most notorious act of French collaboration with the Nazis. but before the police come to take them, Sarah locks her younger brother, Michel, in their favorite hiding place, a cupboard in the family's apartment. 
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    • Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. 
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
    • This extraordinary historical novel, set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, is the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the hunchback; Esmeralda, the gypsy dancer; and Claude Frollo, the priest tortured by the specter of his own damnation.
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    • Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. 
  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
    • First published in French as a serial in 1909, The Phantom of the Opera is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé.
  • The Plague by Albert Camus
    • A gripping tale of human unrelieved horror, of survival and resilience, and of the ways in which humankind confronts death, The Plague is at once a masterfully crafted novel, eloquently understated and epic in scope, and a parable of ageless moral resonance, profoundly relevant to our times. 
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
    • Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd."
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
    • This swashbuckling epic of chivalry, honor, and daring-do, set in France during the 1620s, is richly populated with romantic heroes, unattainable heroines, kings, queens, cavaliers, and criminals in a whirl of adventure, espionage, conspiracy, murder, vengeance, love, scandal, and suspense. 
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
    • When an unidentified monster threatens international shipping, French oceanographer Pierre Aronnax and his unflappable assistant Conseil join an expedition organized by the US Navy to hunt down and destroy the menace.
LATIN AUTHORS
  • Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda
    • In 2009, when Raquel Cepeda almost lost her estranged father to heart disease, she was terrified shed never know the truth about her ancestry.
  • City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende
    • Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold is about to join his fearless grandmother on the trip of a lifetime. An International Geographic expedition is headed to the dangerous, remote wilds of South America, on a mission to document the legendary Yeti of the Amazon known as the Beast.
  • Drown by Junot Diaz
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Diaz evokes a world in which fathers are gone, mothers fight with grim determination for their families and themselves, and the next generation inherits the casual cruelty, devastating ambivalence, and knowing humor of lives circumscribed by poverty and uncertainty. 
  • Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal's abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return.
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Uprooted from their family home in the Dominican Republic, the four Garcia sisters - Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia - arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures, and extended family they left behind. 
  • In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.
  • Isla Negra by Pablo Neruda
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In the over one hundred poems contained in Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda fashioned a kind of poetic autobiography in which he set out to explore and gather the various "lives" or "selves" he had left behind him in the huge span of his writing existence.
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is heartbroken, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs yet he reserves his heart for Fermina.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as "magical realism."
  • Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
    • Since its U.S. debut a quarter-century ago, this brilliant text has set a new standard for historical scholarship of Latin America. It is also an outstanding political economy, a social and cultural narrative of the highest quality, and perhaps the finest description of primitive capital accumulation since Marx.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    • Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure.
  • The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    • ​​​​​​​From charity to deceit, benevolence to violence, fear of God to extreme cruelty, the dictator of The Autumn of the Patriarch embodies the best but also the worst of human nature. 
  • The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The book chronicles both the life of Oscar de León, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson, New Jersey, who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels and with falling in love, as well as a curse that has plagued his family for generations.
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. 
  • This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
    • ​​​​​​​At the heart of this collection of stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness.
  • Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​When it appeared in 1924, this work launched into the international spotlight a young and unknown poet whose writings would ignite a generation.
  • When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Esmeralda Santiago's story begins in rural Puerto Rico, where her childhood was full of both tenderness and domestic strife, tropical sounds and sights as well as poverty.
MIDDLE EASTERN
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    • A breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms.
  • Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
    • When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi women, their private lives, and their conflicts with the traditions of their culture, she caused a sensation across the Arab world.
  • In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
    • In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the effects of Libyan strongman Khadafy's 1969 September revolution.
  • Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
    • Forcibly removed from the ancient village of Ein Hod by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejas are moved into the Jenin refugee camp.
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Majane Satrapi
    • Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapis memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. 
  • Salt Houses by Hala Alyan
    • On the eve of her daughter Alias wedding, Salma reads the girls future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.  
  • The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
    • An inventive, exuberant novel that takes us from the shimmering dunes of ancient Egypt to the war-torn streets of twenty-first-century Lebanon.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    • The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his fathers servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed.
Music
ARABIC & MIDDLE EASTERN
FRENCH
  • 60s French Pop Radio Pandora Station
    • Head back in time and enjoy some classic French tunes. 
  • France Musique Concerts
    • The French radio station France Musique has hundreds of classical, symphonic, chamber music, & jazz concerts to please all of the music lovers out there!
  • French Indie Pop Spotify Playlist
    • Music to tune out to. 
  • Numeridanse
    • Numeridanse is a multimedia dance platform. It offers free access to a unique video database of filmed performances, documentaries, interviews, dance videos, and more. Each genre and style is showcased here: butoh, classical ballet, neo-classical ballet, baroque, Indian, African, flamenco, contemporary, traditional dances, hip-hop, tango, jazz, circus arts, performance, etc.
  • Philharmonie de Paris
    • From Haydn to Debussy or Boulez, the Paris Orchestra to the Arts Florissants ensemble and the wonderful concerts recorded during the Jazz à la Villette festival, there are a lot of options to choose from… More than 900 indeed!
  • TSF Jazz
    • The French radio station TSF Jazz has a wonderful program of live performances, live programs, and podcasts to choose from. 
  • What the France
    • Listen to the most exciting new music of the French music scene thanks to What the France, a series of playlists created by Le Bureau Export. 
GERMAN
SPANISH

Cuisine

Local Restaurants
ASIAN
AFRICAN & CARIBBEAN
EUROPEAN
LATIN & SOUTH AMERICAN

MIDDLE EASTERN

Learning the Language

Apps
  • Babbel
    • Babbel helps its community remember the vocabulary they learn through six memory stages using “spaced repetition,” moving words through exercises that are arranged to aid retention. In bite-sized, 10-15 minute lessons, students have opportunities to gain skills in reading, writing, grammar and speaking in their target language in likely scenarios, especially for travel.
  • Beelinguapp
    • Into karaoke or audiobooks? Story aficionados, music lovers and news buffs and kids may get a kick out of learning a language with Beelinguapp because of its audiobook style, in which the focus text is highlighted as you listen or sing along.
  • Busuu
    • This app boasts the equivalence of a college semester’s worth of language study after 22 hours of its Premium version. Vocabulary and grammar is taught with activities designed to help people develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
  • Duolingo
    • Completely free, this option is ideal for those who love learning via games. Since staying motivated is often the hardest part of learning a language, this app’s focus is to nudge consistency with the ability for gamers to accomplish daily streaks, earn points, level up, get virtual currency, and compete with others globally through their new Leaderboards feature.
  • Drops
    • An option for learners who seek to zero in on vocabulary, Drops is comprised of five-minute word games using mnemonic devices. These word patterns reportedly boost memorization and the time limit adds a dose of adrenaline to the learning process.
  • Mango Languages
    • Popular with libraries and businesses, Mango’s “Intuitive Language Construction” method builds the foundational skills through vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture, applying those elements via listening and reading activities. 
  • Memrise
    • Memrise’s claim to fame is their teaching method that utilizes memory techniques and an algorithm for a customized learning experience. Another standout feature is the integration of video clips of native speakers filmed in their hometowns to give students a sense of authentic accents and culture, making the app ideal for visual and auditory learners.
  • Mondly
    • With over 50 million users worldwide, Mondly sets itself apart in the language app space with 33 languages—from Japanese to Spanish to Afrikaans. The app combines neural science with cutting-edge technology and promises that at the end of these language lessons you'll learn 5000 words and phrases.
  • Pimsleur
    • This hands-free option is optimal for the learner on the go. Pimsleur’s approach mirrors how people learned their native language–by listening, repeating and answering questions. When users commit to 30 minutes a day for 30 days, they can achieve an intermediate level of language proficiency, according to Pimsleur.
  • Rosetta Stone
    • A veteran of language learning programs—with 27 years under its belt—Rosetta Stone is what often comes to mind for many who consider learning a new language outside of a traditional academic setting.
  • Tandem
    • Never had a foreign exchange student as a friend? Well here’s your chance. Tandem is a free community for language learners where users partner up to teach each other their native languages via text, audio and video chat.
Campus Resources
  • Kochoff Language Lab
    • The Kochoff Foreign Language Media Lab was developed to enhance the student language learning experience. It is a vast collection of resources available to students for language development and practice.
  • Tutoring
    • The Kochoff Language Lab offers tutoring for French, German, Arabic, and Spanish.

Planning Your Trip

Personal Travel
  • Conde Nast Traveler
    • Get the latest travel news, guides, tips and ideas. See photos and slideshows of the most beautiful places, best vacation spots and places to visit.
  • Lonely Planet
    • Discover, plan and book your perfect trip with expert advice, travel guides, destination information and inspiration.
  • Thrifty Nomads
    • Thrifty Nomads is about cost-effective travel for all. We provide money-saving tip, tricks and information to inspire affordable travel. 
  • Travel + Leisure
    • Travel inspiration, reviews, news, guides and tips.
  • TripAdvisor
    • Browse hundreds of millions of traveler reviews and opinions, for destinations and experiences all over the world

Virtual Travel

Museums

Academics

Majors/Minors

Global Engagement

2200 -
Social Sciences Building (SSB)

Scott Riggs, Director

Back to top of page