By: Richa Nagare | 01-September-2013
Student Exchange Programmes provide an incomparable and enriching life experience to students visiting a new country
In an integrated world where borders and boundaries are getting smaller day by day, the need for students to experience and learn about other cultures has become imperative. Digital economies and global businesses require individuals to be competent with multiple languages and cultures. Student Exchange Programmes aim to elevate global and cultural awareness, encourage self-study, improve foreign language skills among students and enhance inter-cultural communication competencies which play a vital role in today’s career growth.
Student Exchange Programmes provide an incomparable and enriching life experience to students visiting a new country. It provides you with an excellent opportunity to experience another culture in an in-depth and exciting way. Due to increase and development in multi-ethnic communities world-wide, the exchange programmes and the outcomes of the learning from these programmes; propel students towards a strong understanding and acceptance of the diverse culture and community perspectives. The in-depth self-study of the host country helps students enhance interest in various global issues. It creates a new home and guides you to step out of your comfort zone to explore another country and meet people from different perspectives and views. Students learn a new foreign language which is a plus in today’s competitive work environment. It helps them to understand the ethos and value systems which are different for each country. Such an understanding is highly recognised and appreciated by companies around the world.
For students, culture means customs, holidays, life-styles, music, food, religion whereas culture is more integrated with history, religion, values, social organisations and language. This confined knowledge makes student reluctant to engage in a conversation, go deeper and try to understand why things, practices, rituals are the way they are. Thus, these become a stereotype that they form about the people living in a country. Student Exchange Programmes help in erasure of these superficial stereotype images, bridging the gap though various interactive intercultural communication which entails in understanding and acceptance of difference in viewpoints and cultural values between the native and host country.
“Student exchange programmes help an individual to immerse in a new culture, meet new people , celebrate new festivals, make new friends , groove on a new tune, discover new dishes and extend the boundaries of learning” says, Pratik Gandhi, CEO, Edulab ( a premier student exchange organisation in India).
Exchange Programmes give students a fantastic opportunity to live with a host family and further afield with local people and create positive and long lasting relationships within and outside interest areas. While their period in the host country, they develop a sense of independence and gain confidence, become more mature and adaptable, learn multi-faceted approaches to problem solving and thus, are equipped to face challenges presented by the real world. Successful programme completion develops employability skills and gives students an invaluable preparation on the career front.
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