In the month of October YFU France participated in the “Semaine de l’Interculturalité” – Intercultural week- at the University of Tours. The event lasted for a week and included first, second, and third year students from the Department of Applied Foreign Languages. We held five workshops over the course of two days with a total of 40 participants.
The participants were all students from the Department of Applied Foreign Languages. However, they were all at different parts of their studies. Some had just started their studies while others had already completed two years of university. This also meant, compared to doing workshops in a secondary school, most of the participants did not know each other very well beforehand.
Each workshop started with a short introduction to YFU and the Coloured Glasses Project. We did a variety of workshops and activities, depending on the number of participants in each workshop.
With some groups we simulated an international conference, played cards without speaking to each other and did many other fun activities. Nevertheless, we also talked about the correlating theories and methods and left space for sharing opinions and having discussions. We tried to create awareness about the fluidity of culture, communication and perception and the Coloured Glasses analogy.
In all workshops, the atmosphere was laid-back and welcoming, but the participants also treated the discussions and each-other with maturity and respect. In general, the participants were interested in the topics of the workshops since they are studying languages which are always influenced by cultures.
The main highlights of these two days included the interesting discussions that took place. The participants were able to discuss and share opinions on a mature and professional level. Additionally, lots of the participants had already spent some time abroad and were able to share their personal experiences with the others which enhanced the quality of workshops.
The participants also appreciated the time for discussion: “I found the workshop to be interesting, it allowed me to share my opinion while listening to the opinion of others” and the immersive and dynamic activities: “It was amusing, I learned while laughing. A great experience!”.
In the future, with the cooperation of the Department of Applied Foreign Languages director, the third year students could participate in the Coloured Glasses project in integration with their study project and therefore become School Ambassadors.
Written by Céline Girollet (pedagogical assistant) with Franziska Seyfang (EVS volunteer)