Time has flown this past week. I feel like only yesterday we were at the Pre-RM and in the blink of an eye, we are already two nights away from the end of the RM. This saddens me as I prepare myself to bid farewell to dear friends that I have come to know, and return to snowy Montreal to resume my regular school schedule.
One of the most interesting topic that we were able to explore this week was intercultural learning and the dangers of having a single story. In other words, all that we miss when we stick to our preconceptions of a certain person, or culture.
We watched these two interesting videos:
These examples illustrate how our culture is based on a set of stereotypes that are imprinted on our minds without us even realizing. We must be able to move away from these preconceptions and ideas if we are to truly learn and open our minds to a new culture. This is very important in the SCOPE and SCORE exchange committee because we are constantly dealing with students who are entering into new and foreign cultures to do their exchanges. Thus we need to prepare them for such a cultural experience in the pre-departure training in order to help them smoothly adjust to the new culture they may be stepping into.
As a person who has lived in different countries and continents and who has travelled quite a bit, I am very accepting of new cultures and different points of view. I usually go into a new country with an empty cup and fill it as I go along. That is why sometimes I overlook the importance of intercultural training. But through the videos and the activities we have had in the sessions, I realize how subconsciously these stereotypical discriminatory judgements take place and how important it is to realize that we don’t always realize that we are contributing to the problem.
I treasure every single lesson received and every single friendship made throughout this regional meeting and hope that I will be able to keep all these memories forever in my mind.