“Role of intercultural communication in volunteering”
Every encounter can be said to be an intercultural experience. This is particularly true of interactions taking place during international volunteering because volunteers need to experience their host culture more deeply and interact with its people more closely in order to integrate into their host communities. Or they simply desire to learn about cultures and people. International volunteering therefore has the potential to foster intercultural competences or “the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations based on one’s intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes” (Deardorff, 2008: 33). Although volunteering programmes vary widely in terms of structure and conditions, most claim that volunteering increases intercultural competence. In the 45th issue of the ICYE Newsletter, we focus on the Role of Intercultural Communication in Volunteering.
In Volunteers Voices, we present articles from 10 young people currently volunteering in Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, Russia, Taiwan and Switzerland, who describe the perils and misunderstandings of inter-cultural communication, as well as its oftentimes funny side. As a volunteer from Germany in Colombia suggests, the best way to practice intercultural communication “is to listen, to observe, and to get to know the country. To get answers, we have to ask questions. In my opinion, interest is also a signal of respect, which is the base of any intercultural action”. The common denominator in these narrations is the awareness of personal growth, skills and competences gained through the exchange.
ICYE News feature: the International Training for Trainers of the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project “Skills and Competences for a Global World”, Bali, Indonesia; the kick-off meeting of the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project “Enter Digital Era” hosted by ICYE Colombia; ICYE Taiwan’s workshop for volunteers on the Taiwan Lunar New Year; and the midterm and final evaluation Seminar for long-term volunteers in Vietnam;
News from Int’l Organizations feature: the UNESCO study “Youth and Violent Extremism on Social Media – Mapping the Research” and a short update on the development of the European Solidarity Corps. News from NGOs report on: the “Joint Declaration on Climate-Induced Displacement”; CIVICUS State of Civil Society Report 2018; “WYRED – netWorked Youth Research for Empowerment in Digital Society” by Youth for Exchange and Understanding (YEU); and a Youth Toolkit on the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2250 on the first ever thematic resolution on Youth, Peace and Security.
Wishing you an interesting reading, we look forward to receiving articles and pictures for the next issue of “Worlds of Experience”, dedicated to “Making a difference: from conservation and health care to art, culture and education”. Please send your contributions to email@example.com, before 31 May 2018.
ICYE International Office