What is Intercultural Learning?
AFS defines intercultural learning (ICL) as the ongoing developmental processes aimed at acquiring intercultural competence. Critical topics include cultural self-awareness, concepts of culture, and awareness of general cultural differences. Other study areas include cultural values and dimensions, communication styles, and cultural adaption. We believe that ICL should include a balance of theory and practical application.
The Program's Key Goals
To increase volunteers and staff knowledge about key intercultural educational theories necessary to lead intercultural encounters.
To improve cabilities to exhibit effective and appropriate behavior and attitudes when working in intercultural environments.
To improve our ability to facilitate intercultural learning opportunities for others: students, families and external audiences.
The curriculum relies on research-based frameworks as well as practical application references. These categories were chosen due to their relevance in the Intercultural ﬁeld and for the AFS reality and practices:
- AFS Educational Approach
- Definitions and Concepts of Culture
- Cultural Values & Dimensions
- Communication Styles
- Cultural Adaptation
- Culture-Specific Insights
- Cognitive and Learning Styles
Intercultural Link Levels
Introduces Intercultural Learning (ICL) knowledge and skills that are essential to our work in AFS, helping improve how we work together.
Raises participants’ awareness of how their background, life experiences, languages and communication preferences influence their interaction.
Participants gain a deeper understanding of how to navigate dimensions and values, and how to critically use frameworks of culture.
Intercultural problem solving and decision-making, giving and receiving feedback, and the complexity of power and privilege in intercultural settings.