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Connecting Lives, Sharing Cultures






Intercultural Learning:


At this time of the year, those of us in AFS who live north of the equator are typically planning for the exchange year ahead and getting ready to prepare thousands of sojourners, families, schools and community organizations for the learning experiences to come. Meanwhile, AFSers in the southern hemisphere are in the throes of the school year, focused on helping program participants process their experiences in mid-stay orientations and monthly contact meetings—events that are known in pedagogical terms as “structured learning interventions.” The critical role of these purposefully-designed reflection points in developing intercultural competence is something we discuss with one of our favorite interculturalists, Michael Paige. In an interview found on

Everyday Learning Opportunities in the Workplace Check it out! See the Learning Session Outline on page 9

continued on page 2

IN THIS ISSUE Intercultural Learning: The Heart & Soul of AFS by Melissa Liles Page 1 Concept & Theories The Contact Hypothesis by Charlotte Steinke Page 3 Network And Partner Initiatives AFS Belgium French says Oui! to ICL by Paul Edinger Page 5 Institutional Relations 5 Years with the JENESYS Programme by Susan Adams Yamada Page 6

News You Can Use Building Your Own ICL Library by Charlotte Steinke Page 7 Book Review: The Geography of Thought by Elis Motta Page 8 Learning Session Outline Everyday Intercultural Learning A New Look at Our Workplace Interactions by Anna Collier Page 9 Beyond AFS ICL News Interview with Michael Paige by Laura Kline-taylor Page 11

More 2012 Learning Opportunities for You Including Scholarships for AFSers and Others Page 12 Conference Update Exploring Global Perspectives of ICL Page 14 Meet an ICL Responsible Sherifa Fayez, AFS Egypt Page 14 ICL Field Conferences & Event Updates Page 15

AFS Intercultural Link | VOLUME 3 - ISSUE 2 - APRIL/MAY/JUNE 2012 |


page 11, he previews findings from his latest book, Student Learning Abroad: What Our Students Are Learning, What They’re Not, And What We Can Do About It. Paige’s practical suggestions, in combination with conclusions from Thomas F. Pettigrew in his 2011 study, “Recent Advances in Intercultural Contact Theory,” (page 3) reinforce that AFS’s approach to deeper intercultural learning is in line with current studies and literature. But ICL isn’t just for AFS. Working across diversity is a part of our everyday lives, including workplace interactions. When something goes wrong (or right) in the office, have you ever considered what cultural factors might be at play? Or, if you work from home, how connecting with others virtually can create a superficial layer of “sameness” that results in a more profound frustration when others’ behavior doesn’t match our assumptions? On page 9, we feature a new exercise designed specifically for your workplace. Explore the Task versus

With colleagues from over 50 countries, every day is an opportunity for intercultural learning within AFS. Regardless of where you work, cultural factors are likely a consideration. Check out our new learning session outline on page 9: A New Look at our Workplace Interactions.

Relationship cultural continuum in order to learn more about yourself and your colleagues—and how you can have fewer early morning misunderstandings. Finally, based on popular demand, we have put together a list of “must have” books for anyone looking to start their own intercultural learning library (page 7).

Help us grow this list, including sharing non-English titles, by visiting us online at Happy intercultural encounters, Warmly,

AFS presents

Professor Geert Hofstede at the AFS Academy Istanbul, Turkey 22 September, 2012 Register now at Do you know your cultural dimensions?

AFS Intercultural Link | VOLUME 3 - ISSUE 2 - APRIL/MAY/JUNE 2012 |




Putting the AFS Mission into Practice

they belong. This includes national, religious, gender, age, sexual orientation, and disability culture groups. Intercultural contact usually reduces prejudice and leads to greater trust and forgiveness for past mistakes of members of the relevant groups.

groups (“out-groups”) they don’t identify with. When there is limited contact with members of out-groups, attitudes towards them are often negative and shaped by stereotypes and prejudice. Sometimes, members of out-groups are even seen as less human.

The goal of our work as AFSers is to provide intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills, and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. But how Allport believed that inter-group “when an intergroup-friendship is do we make this happen? established, prejudice and stereotypes are contact would significantly improve The AFS Orientation the relations between different reduced dramatically” Framework guides our work by cultural groups. He thought if combining experiential members of both groups had enough These positive effects can even intercultural experiences for all our personal contact, prejudice and audiences with structured and planned be passed on to friends of the person stereotyping would decline and who had an intensive experience with learning opportunities to support intergroup friendships would develop. those from other groups. cultural adaptation and increase comfort with difference. A recent study by Thomas F. Pettigrew and others (Recent Advances in Intercultural Contact Theory, published March 2011 in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations) has once again proven why our work in AFS – particularly when following the deliberate approach of the Framework – really makes a difference.

The Contact Hypothesis

Necessary Factors

However, Allport warned that intergroup contact would not always lead to this result. He suggested that contact can only successfully reduce prejudice in inter-group contact situations when the following conditions are met: • Equal status • Common goals “after building opportunities for contact, the • Acquaintance potential (the In this study, Pettigrew and next step toward increasing intercultural possibility to get to know each his colleagues show how other as persons, not only competence is to provide structured contact between individuals superficial interactions) intercultural learning opportunities” from different cultural • Support from authorities, law groups can improve the or customs He wrote that it is common for human relationship between the individuals In their recent study, Pettigrew and beings to think in terms of their own involved, as well as improving their colleagues showed that Allport’s four group (“in-group”) versus all other feelings toward the groups to which This is a powerful argument in favor of the so-called Contact Hypothesis, which Gordon W. Allport introduced in his book “The Nature of Prejudice,” in 1954. Allport indicated that increased inter-group contact reduces prejudice – however, not in all situations.

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with new environments and intercultural competence in its conditions do help to facilitate the intercultural interactions – not only audiences! As Michael Paige strongly positive effects of intercultural within their exchange programs, but in emphasized in our interview with him interaction – but that the positive the many other intercultural settings in on page 11 of this issue, after building effects sometimes exist even without which they will likely find these criteria. They also show “adding structured reflection points allows themselves in the future. In that when an for better intercultural learning” other words, adding structured intergroup-friendship is reflection points allows for established, prejudice and better intercultural learning. opportunities for contact, the next step stereotypes are reduced dramatically. toward increasing intercultural competence By connecting people and then Implications for AFS is to provide structured intercultural supporting their contact with Building connections between people learning opportunities. appropriate structured intercultural from different cultures is at the heart of This more sophisticated approach leads learning opportunities, AFS can further what AFS does. However, we don’t to deeper insights about cultural norms, improve its way of promoting peace want to stop at reducing stereotypes – values, and communication styles to and justice. the goal of AFS is to develop help AFS audiences successfully cope


Charlotte Steinke

Michelle Chan

Working to support AFS organizations in

Charlotte is the new Senior Intern for the

Michelle is a volunteer who assists in

their development of national ICL

Intercultural Link Learning Program. She

maintaining as well as

strategies, Paul has an undergraduate

is pursuing a master’s degree in

contributing to the ICL …for AFSers

degree in International Studies with a

Intercultural Communication Studies at

document series. Michelle holds a B.S. in

concentration in Latin America. While

the Viadrina University in Frankfurt

Business and Economics, studied abroad

studying, he taught English, Spanish and

(Oder), located on the German-Polish

in Italy, and taught English in South Korea

computer literacy courses to Guatemalan

border; her undergraduate degree is in

for two years. Currently, Michelle is a

and Salvadoran immigrants to the U.S.

Cultural Studies. She has a background in

master’s candidate in the International

Paul regularly comments on differences

German as a foreign language and has

Education program at New York

and similarities between the fields of

both taught and studied languages in the

University, concentrating in International

intercultural communications and

People’s Republic of China and Brazil.

Development and Cross-Cultural Training.

international relations on our blog:

Obrigada Elis Motta! We say thank you and goodbye to Elis whose internship came to an end in March. For now, Elis has returned to Brazil where she resumes her AFS Brazil volunteer career – and continues to contribute on the international level as an AFS Intercultural Link Qualified Trainer.

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AFS Belgium French is focused on providing high-quality intercultural learning (ICL) opportunities to its participants, volunteers, staff, and others as part of their organization’s strategic plan. The result? A more visibly education-focused organization.

“Establishing clear goals and a comprehensive, step-by-step National ICL Strategy to pursue their ICL goals has been key.” - Fabrice Gonet, Partner Director The staff at AFS Belgium French have worked to make intercultural learning a priority within their organization.

AFS Belgium French’s new materials on display at the AFS International office in New York.

Four of their twelve staff members are focused on ICL and work directly with volunteers involved in support, schools relations, and volunteer development from an educational perspective. ICL-centered activities include designing tools, organizing trainings, and interacting with schools and host families. In addition to an intercultural learning section on their website, AFS prominently displays ICL on their homepage

( The education section offers easy to understand definitions of the concepts behind intercultural learning and relates the pedagogical approach back to the overall mission of the AFS Network. AFS Belgium French prominently has realized that establishing clear goals and a comprehensive, step-by-step National ICL Strategy to pursue their ICL goals has been key.

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Young people from over 13 countries celebrating learning and friendships at the JENESYS Festival

Read the English version in the AFS Inbox or the Digital ICL Library JENESYSプログラムと歩んだ5年間 2007年に安倍晋太郎首相(当時)が、今後5年間に渡ってアジアから毎年約6,000人の青少年を日本に招く「21世紀東アジア青少年大 交流計画」(JENESYSプログラム)を提唱して以来、AFS日本協会はプログラムを実施する一団体として、アセアン事務局より委託を 受け、日本政府の指導の下、プログラムを実施してきました。オーストラリア、インド、インドネシア、マレーシア、ニュージーラ ンド、フィリピン、タイのAFSパートナーの多大な協力のもと、このプログラムを実施することで得たものは多く、また異文化理解 教育の観点からも成果をあげました。 このプログラムが計画された目的は「東アジアにおいて強固な連帯を促進する」こと で、将来に向けて「協力的な」関係を築くと同時に、青少年の交流を通して、相互理 解の促進と良好な対日感情の形成を促進することにあります。JENESYSプログラムは 青少年を対象とした、招へい事業(長期及び短期)、派遣事業、交流事業(東アジア 学生会議など)の3事業で構成されています。 プログラム受託団体として選定されるにあたり、AFSネットワークに属する国際教育 機関として、AFS日本協会が長年に渡り外務省から一定の評価を受けてきたことも助 けとなりました。AFS日本協会が受託したのはプログラム全体の10%にあたる720名の 招へい事業ですが、得意とする1年間の招へいプログラム、また他団体とは異なり13 か国同時に招へいし、1週間のホームステイを含む短期プログラム(長期招へい参加 者同様に短期招へい参加者の90%が帰国一年後もホストファミリーとの連絡を継続) を実行できる力及び、参加者や日本人にとって有意義な異文化理解教育の機会を提供 AFS Intercultural Programs President and CEO, Vincenzo Morlini, at the closing ceremonies

できる点がAFS日本協会の強みです。ボランティアや職員にとっても、素晴らしい経 験となりました。

JENESYSプログラムの当初の目的は達成されたでしょうか。参加者と日本の将来に渡る関係に良い影響を与えることができるでしょ うか。JENESYS最終年を記念し、また日本を含む多くの国からの参加者を歓迎するために12月にJENESYSフェスティバルを開催しま した。アジアの様々な国からやって来た参加者同士が交流し、帰国後も連絡を取り合うことを約束している姿が見られたフェスティ バルは活力にあふれた素晴らしいものとなりました。外務大臣政務官よりプログラムの継続に向けて力を注ぐという話があった際に は、参加者の輝く表情と盛大な拍手で「YES」が会場中に響き渡ったのでした。

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AFS organizations around the world are looking to make available more interculturally-focused books and resources for volunteers and staff – both to help them prepare AFS training and orientation sessions, as well as for their own personal interests. With so many books to choose from today, though, it is easy to be unsure about the quality and relevance of different ICL materials.

1. 52 Activities for Improving Cross-Cultural Education (Donna Stringer and Patricia Cassiday), 2009. With 52 easy-to-implement group activities for improving cross-cultural communication, this book is designed for a variety of audiences, including exchange students, staff in an international working environment, and organizational leaders.

ICL Team to the rescue! Following are suggestions that would be strong additions to any ICL library, traditional or digital (many of these are available as e-books). While these are not the only books relevant to the AFS context, they are ones that we find practical and accessible, especially to those who are new to intercultural topics.

2. Maximizing Study Abroad

Although these materials are in English, we will feature non-English resources as well as more advanced ones in future issues of this newsletter. In the meantime, check out our blog at for more suggestions or to add your own.

(Michael Paige et al), 2010. A guide to strategies for improving language and cultural learning abroad, this resource includes numerous ready-to-use activities and self-tests that can increase understanding of how we are shaped by our culture(s). This book was written with US-audiences in mind, but it can also be applied in other contexts.

3. The Silent Language (Edward Hall), 1959. This classic by the North American anthropologist Edward Hall describes the meaning of culture. It is easy to read and full of vivid examples that help readers to understand his perceptions of culture.

4. The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (Darla K. Deardorff, Ed.), 2009. An overview of the different aspects of intercultural competence, including articles about intercultural leadership, international differences in the concept of intercultural competence, assessments of intercultural competence, and many more. 5. Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication. Selected Readings (Milton Bennett, Ed.), 1998. This book introduces the key ideas about what intercultural communication is, and is designed for a general audience. A second, updated edition will soon be released – first in Japanese and then in English. 6. The Psychology of Culture Shock (Ward, Bochner, & Furnham), 2001. This updated edition (original 1986) explores the psychological and social elements of intercultural interactions. It discusses the importance of learning new culture-specific skills and managing stress in an unfamiliar environment, among other themes, in order to reduce the sometimes negative effects of cross-cultural interactions.

We hope these suggestions inspire you in creating or expanding an ICL library in your AFS office or chapter. These resources can help us better understand what happens during the intercultural encounters that we all experience in our work with AFS (and otherwise) and can help us better support AFS sojourners, families, schools, volunteers, and staff. AFS Intercultural Link | VOLUME 3 - ISSUE 2 - APRIL/MAY/JUNE 2012 |



For those organizations that already stocked their ICL libraries with the basics, this is a highly recommended addition that explores how cognitive styles are also cultural constructs. “You know, the difference between you and me is that I think the world is a circle, and you think it’s a line.” This is one of the opening sentences in psychologist, Richard E. Nisbett’s book, The Geography of Thought (2003). The quote is from a Chinese student speaking with the author who is a US American. In his book, Nisbett uses cultural psychology combined with an historical analysis of cultures to explore how people perceive, process, relate with, and act differently in the world due to distinct social structures, philosophies, and educational systems. Since he discusses such a large range of national and regional cultures, Nisbett notes in his introduction that writing such an all-encompassing book made it necessary to make some generalizations. Therefore, by East, the author means eastern Asia, mainly China and countries that, historically, have been heavily influenced by Chinese culture, such as Japan and Korea; and by West, all peoples

heavily influenced by the European culture, that is, Europeans and Americans. The main points highlighted in the book and among the most relevant for AFS, are: • Eastern cultures tend to have a holistic worldview, paying attention to the whole, to contextual cues, and to focusing on the relationship and interdependence among objects; whereas Western cultures tend to see the world as full of salient objects or people, independent parts focusing on the attributes that assign each to specific categories. • The Chinese tradition has been more oriented towards circularity, feelings, and acceptance of contradiction; whereas cultures influenced by Greek civilization tend to emphasize linearity, logic, objectification, and elimination through contradiction. • So-called Interdependence/Independence Polarity is further related to different concepts of “self” which, to Easterners, tends to directly relate to being part of a group and

Our Mission and Vision AFS Intercultural Programs is an international, voluntary, nongovernmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. We pursue our mission by providing quality intercultural learning opportunities for a growing number of young people, families, other stakeholders and wider

audiences, thus developing an inclusive community of global citizens determined to build bridges between cultures. Real life experiential learning, supported by structured reflection, is the core of our programs. We endeavor to link our intercultural learning opportunities to the defining global issues facing humanity. We reach out to past, current and future participants, volunteers, and other stakeholders using the media and

changes according to the occasion/context; whereas for Westerners, it focuses on the individual and is not a flexible concept.This is tied to Westerners’ preference for autonomy, while Easterners tend to favor guidance from authority figures. • Language and thought patterns are closely related: Western languages tend to classify objects into categories much more than Eastern languages, which usually describe objects in terms of relationships. As well, studies have shown that Western children learn nouns (that is, objects and their categories) much faster than verbs (that is, the relationship among things), and the opposite is true for East Asian children. The Geography of Thought is a fascinating read, demonstrating that there is no single, universal and “correct” way to think and understand the world. As Nisbett himself states in the introduction, “the book has implications for how East and West can get along better through mutual understanding of mental differences.”

technology they use. Volunteers and volunteerism are who we are. Our organization brings about changes in lives through and for our global community of volunteers. We are recognized as an educational organization by schools and the appropriate authorities. We work to create a regulatory environment that supports our programs. As a learning organization, we welcome change and critical thinking. We are innovative and entrepreneurial in advancing the strategic directions, working together with others whenever appropriate. To learn more about our global network and get involved today, visit

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Everyday Intercultural Learning A New Look at our Workplace Interactions Being more thoughtful and aware of cultural differences, including increased cultural self-awareness, helps us improve our interactions with people from other cultures, even in situations as everyday as the workplace. This new Learning Session Outline (LSO) from our education department supports the themes present in the Contact Theory (p.3) and Michael Paige’s advice for AFS (p.11). SESSION GOAL This session aims to raise awareness of how everyday actions can be based on one’s values. It also aims to increase acceptance of cultural value differences, focusing on the task versus relationship continuum. LEARNING OBJECTIVES After this session, participants will be able to: • Describe the cultural value continuum of Task versus Relationship. • Identify their own preference along this continuum. • Identify situations in which they are passing value judgments based on

Are you more relationship oriented?

NECESSARY MATERIALS Flip chart (and flip chart pages) or white board Colored pens/markers HANDOUTS Everyday Intercultural Learning:

place themselves along a line that has “very task-focused” at one end and “extremely relationship focused” at the other. Once they have decided on their place along the line, each person can quickly share what they do in the morning and why they think it is more

Supporting Theories (see AFS In Box

task or relationship based. Next,

or the Digital ICL Library)

people return to their seats and, without speaking, write down how


they perceive the people’s actions at


the other end of the line (i.e., most

Interactive Session (up to 75 minutes

different from themselves).



(10 MINUTES) 1.1 Open the activity with a question

2.1 Lead a brief discussion/ presentation on the following topics:

to the group: What are the first things

1) the idea that people naturally feel

you do when you arrive at the office

more comfortable with and tend to

in the morning? Example answers

have greater trust in people who

• Name ways that they might adapt

could include: drink coffee in the

they see as more similar to

their behavior/attitude to be more

kitchen, grab coffee and sit down

themselves, and 2) one of the main

accepting of variations along the Task

immediately at your desk, greet

goals of intercultural learning is

versus Relationship continuum.

everyone who is already in the office,

increasing people’s comfort with


difference and there are several

An open space to allow people to

1.2 Ask people to determine if their

concepts within intercultural

spread themselves along a line on the

actions are more focused on

learning that link directly to our

floor. Chairs in a semi-circle facing a

completing a task or building

interactions with people at work –


relationships, and then invite them to

both inside and outside of AFS.

another person’s behaviors, in relation to this continuum.


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2.2 Using the handout, Everyday Intercultural Learning: Supporting Theories, as a guide, briefly introduce and discuss the intercultural concepts of: a. Task versus Relationship b. Time Orientation c. Communication Sty les and Do you prefer to focus on tasks?

Face-Saving d. Risk Avoidance STEP THREE: TASK VERSUS RELATIONSHIP: WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE AND WHY IT MATTERS (30 MINUTES) 3.1 Engage your audience in a more in-depth discussion on task-focused actions compared to relationship-focused ones. Provide examples of actions as “artifacts” (visible indications) and the

a. Why do you think you have the

b. What are your initial reactions when

focus you do? What values and

interacting with someone with your

perceptions are attached?

preferred focus versus someone with

b. What comes to mind when you

the other focus?

interact with and/or observe people

c. What do these observations lead

who have another focus? What values

you to, in regard to your next steps in

and perceptions are attached?

increasing your comfort with

c. What effect can these different


perceptions of the importance of Task

4.1 As a concluding question, ask

versus Relationship have on our

people what are some things that

interactions with others?

they can start doing immediately to

underlying values attached. Some

d. What implications does this have on

examples might be: Immediately

our interactions with others during

starting to answer emails

our workday, with our AFS colleagues

(task-orientation) could be related to

as well as people external to AFS?

valuing other people’s time and wanting to respond to their


questions/inquiries as soon as


possible; Conversing with colleagues


(relationship-orientation) could

4.1 Invite people to observe their

reflect one’s value of companionship

actions and perceptions over the next

among colleagues.

few weeks around Task versus

3.2 In pairs, people share their

Relationship, as well as the actions of

answers to the following questions.

their colleagues, and to ask

They should answer them in the


order they are presented here. After

a. Are you avoiding interactions that

people have had a few minutes to

do not reflect your preferred

discuss a certain question, ask if

orientation on the Task versus

anyone would like to share with the

Relationship continuum?

improve their interactions with, and understanding of, people who operate on a different place on the task-relationship continuum than they do?

CONCEPT REFERENCES Time Orientations: Edward T. Hall Uncertainty avoidance: Geert Hofstede Communication Styles and Face-Saving: Edward T. Hall, Stella Ting-Toomey Task versus Relationship: Harry Triandis, Nancy Adler

large group.

For a full LSO including suggestions on how to use this within the AFS Orientation Framework, please contact us at or AFSers can visit the AFS Digital ICL Library (; search term: Task versus Relationship).

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Dr. R. Michael Paige is Professor of International and Intercultural Education at the University of Minnesota in the US. Among his many accomplishments, he has contributed to important research projects such as the SAGE (Study Abroad for Global Engagement) study (2009) and is the author of numerous books on intercultural topics. AFS is connected to Paige through a long-lasting friendship. We had the opportunity to talk with him about his most recent study and upcoming book, and hear his advice for AFS.

How did you get involved in the intercultural field?

I joined the US Peace Corps and volunteered in Turkey in the 1960s. During this time I became fascinated by the training the Peace Corps did and didn’t do, and my intrigue led to my becoming an intercultural trainer for the Peace Corps for five years. After this experience I completed a PhD in International Education and have continued in the Intercultural field to this day.

How and when did you get to know AFS?

I had known about AFS for many years and was familiar with the important work it had done on cross-cultural orientation in the 80s. Then in 1985, I was asked by the Indonesian government to work on an orientation project for Indonesian students about studying in the United States. Through this project, I met Irid Agoes from AFS Indonesia. More recently I have stayed connected to AFS through discussions about its Intercultural Link activities and as a faculty member at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communications (SIIC) in Portland, Oregon, USA where there is a strong presence of AFSers. [Editor’s note: Dr. Agoes is currently a member of the AFS Network Intercultural Learning Work Group.]

How can we ensure successful development of intercultural sensitivity in our AFS Participants, Volunteers and Staff? I see two responses to this question: First, AFS needs to insure that there is a strong cultural component for all of its audiences – something that links

intercultural theory to the practical work and experiences of AFS. Some excellent sources for information on cultural values include the GLOBE study and Geert Hofstede, among others. Donna Stringer’s 52 Activities For Improving Cross-Cultural Communication is also a very good reference. [Editor’s note: For more on this as well as Paige’s own book, see page 7.] Secondly, AFS needs to combine its current work on the ABC’s of culture (affective, behavioral, and cognitive) with a developmental framework. It is not enough to provide bits and pieces of the ABC’s. If the goal is to demonstrate an increased level of intercultural sensitivity, these theoretical and practical pieces must be combined with a framework that shows what and how much AFS audiences are learning and improving. Assessment of intercultural development and learning is crucial.

We are excited to hear more about your new book, Student learning abroad:What Our Students Are Learning,What They’re Not, And What We Can Do About It. What did you discover?

students to progress in their intercultural development and skills, and if you want them to expand their worldview, you need to offer them structured, facilitated learning opportunities because they won’t all do this on their own. The international experience can be a starting point, but we have proof that facilitated intercultural learning opportunities are as important as the international component in helping sojourners make the most of their experience. One of the study abroad programs we examined, AUCP (the American University Center of Provence), has achieved extraordinary results regarding their students’ progress in intercultural learning. What differentiated them from other study abroad programs was that they have a guided and structured learning program that all students attend before, during, and after their stay abroad. Their students progressed substantially and have obviously had very effective learning experiences.

We found out that the content of intercultural learning (like knowledge about differing values and conversation styles) helps students to understand their In the new book I have co-edited with experiences. Michael Vande study Berg and Kris “Without facilitated intercultural Our shows that this Lou, we present three types of learning opportunities sojourners knowledge gives them the evidence will not make the most of their words to (research, describe and knowledge from intercultural experience” process their the disciplines, intercultural and actual experiences adequately. Without programs) about the effects of studying facilitated intercultural learning abroad on intercultural competence opportunities sojourners will not make development. the most of their intercultural experience. Our main takeaway is that if you want

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Including Scholarships for AFSers and Others 3rd Annual Summer Academy on Intercultural Experience (Karlsruhe, Germany) This July 30th to August 10th, Karlshochschule International University, AFS Germany and InterCultur (sister organization of AFS Germany) will offer the 2012 edition of the Academy. Blending intercultural management and communication, the Academy aims to foster intercultural perspectives within the field of management theory—and develop applied solutions for problems in business and society. Courses encourage dialogue between researchers and practitioners of different backgrounds. The program is offered in English and is open to individuals aged 18-35 who have demonstrable interest in the field of intercultural communications and management. Undergraduate students and young professionals with a background or interest in intercultural experiences are encouraged to apply. Approximately 50 different scholarships are available to qualified applicants. Learn more online: hips-open/

Asia-Europe X-Cultural Summer Academy on Intercultural Experience (Bangi, Malaysia) From August 27th to September 7th of this year, the first Asia-Europe X-Cultural Summer Academy will take place. The Asian and European organizers, AFS Malaysia, AFS Germany and InterCultur, working with University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Karlshochschule International University will offer two one-week courses on Intercultural Learning that emphasize Intercultural Communication and Culture and Society . Focus will be put on fostering improved understanding between European and Asian students. The program is offered in English and is open to individuals aged 18-35 who have demonstrable interest in the field of intercultural communications and management. Undergraduate students and young professionals with a background or interest in intercultural experiences are encouraged to apply. Approximately 25 scholarships are available to qualified applicants. Learn more online:

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Summer Institute for Intercultural Learning (Portland, Oregon, USA) This July 11th to July 27th the Intercultural Communication Institute’s 36th annual edition of the Summer Institute (SIIC) will offer a lineup of courses ranging from Assessing Intercultural Competence to Facilitating Structured Dialogue in Intercultural Conflict and over 40 other professional development and networking opportunities. The program is offered in English and is open to all individuals with demonstrable practical or academic experience in intercultural communications or learning. All professionals working in education, training, business, and consulting with a background or interest in intercultural experiences are encouraged to apply. Registration is open through July, but early registration rates are in effect up to June 1st. Although the scholarship application deadline will have passed on April 30th 2012, there may be additional scholarships available to qualified AFS applicants (contact Learn more online:

Intercultural Development Research Academy This June 21st to June 26th the IDRInstitute will offer a coordinated curriculum organized around two core courses: Constructivist Foundations of Intercultural Communication: Applying the New Paradigm and Constructing Sustainable Intercultural Development . Both offer domain-specific applications. The program is offered in English and is open to all individuals with demonstrable practical or academic experience in intercultural communications or learning. All practicing interculturalists, professionals with an interest in intercultural issues, and graduate students pursuing an intercultural specialty are encouraged to apply. Discounts are available to qualified AFS applicants (contact Learn more online: Stay up-to-date on AFS’s take on ICL, including the latest about events and scholarships.

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Exploring Global Perspectives of ICL

So far in 2012, AFS has attended and/or presented at two international conferences related to ICL. Thanks to Laura Kline-Taylor and Manon Mullane-Prévost for their reportage.

exchanges in local, national, and regional systems of education. Other key topics included:

International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE), a global organization that focuses on issues of diversity in education, held its 2012 annual conference in Veracruz, Mexico from 15-17 February. Titled “Tapalewilis for Intercultural Education,” the event featured bilingual English/Spanish sessions and panels exploring the “Northern” and “Southern” experiences of intercultural education.

• Educational contexts that foster the preservation of indigenous languages in Bringing together individuals from the Mexico and nearby areas in the region; business, education and training sectors, key topics this year were • Approaches to culturally sensitive related to: collaborative learning; • Healthcare, including intercultural • The use of drama in intercultural communication between patients and education, and critical pedagogy; and providers;

Special attention was paid to identifying non-traditional ways to promote innovative and creative

• Current global debates in Intercultural Education;

promote cultural understanding through innovative and dynamic intercultural communication training. It held its 13th annual conference from 15-16 March at American University’s School for International Services in Washington, D.C., US.

• Cultural diversity in the classroom, and • Communication via social media, such constructions of difference. as facework on Facebook and using mobiles phones as intercultural Intercultural Management Institute communication training platforms; and (IMI) is an organization that works to • Global leadership, mediation, and how AFS approaches intercultural coaching to manage corporate challenges across cultures.

AFS Mexico presented a poster on learning, which incorporated our educational history and our current relevance as a leading intercultural organization in the region.

Meet an ICL Responsible

In addition to being the ICL Responsible, Sherifa Fayez has been the Executive National Director of AFS Egypt since 2004.

It is Sherifa’s goal in AFS Egypt to make sure that all volunteers and staff members understand the basics of ICL and develop expertise, if interested.

She is passionate about intercultural education and recognizes its importance in the world of today, especially with the Arab Spring in bloom.

In March 2012, AFS Egypt held its first national training dedicated only to ICL for 60 volunteers and hopes to make it an annual event. The goal was to recognize the importance of ICL in AFS and in life beyond AFS; in other words, be mindful of ICL in everyday encounters.


In 2008, she initiated AFS Egypt’s Intercultural Peace Caravan: a bus carrying youth from 12 countries toured 8 cities around Egypt. In each city, the youth interacted with local students and NGOs, shared ICL concepts and spread the mission of AFS. ICL has been incorporated in all AFS Egypt orientations and trainings since.

Sherifa is a graduate of the American University in Cairo with a major in economics, and is currently a pursuing a Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations from the Intercultural Communications Institute and University of the Pacific in the US.

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ICL Field Conferences & Event Updates May



NAFSA 27 May–1 June; Houston, TX USA

International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS) annualconference/ default.aspx

88-11 June; Chung-li, Taiwan


Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) 11-27 July; Portland, OR, USA c.php

Cross-Cultural Europe-Asia Summer Academy 27 August – 7 September; Bangi, Malaysia http://summeracademy-m

AFS will be present

AFS is presenting

AFS is organizing Empires, Post-coloniality and Interculturality: Comparative Education between Past, Post, and Present

18-21 June; Salamanca, Spain Dialogin Conference: Global Leadership Competence 29-30 June; Konstanz, Germany php?id=224

Intercultural Development Research Academy 21-26 June; Milan, Italy

International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2-6 July; Sydney, Australia

Summer Academy on Intercultural Experience 30 July – 10 August; Karlsruhe, Germany http://summeracademy-karlsru AFS is organizing

If you are aware of upcoming conferences in the intercultural area, please advise us at



Connecting Lives, Sharing Cultures


Call for Submissions

Intercultural Learning Work Group

AFS members are invited to submit proposals for articles, news items and intercultural activities with accompanying graphics or photos for consideration in future issues of AFS Intercultural Link. Submissions can be AFS-specific or part of the larger Intercultural Learning (ICL) field. Simply send your submissions to us at AFS International:

Johanna Nemeth Rosario Gutierrez Annette Gisevius Irid Agoes Melissa Liles, Chair Lucas Welter

Questions or Comments © 2012 AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. All rights reserved.

Newsletter Editor: Melissa Liles Newsletter Manager: Anna Collier Contributing Writer: Charlotte Steinke

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AFS Intercultural Link news magazine, volume 3 issue 2 - global edition  
AFS Intercultural Link news magazine, volume 3 issue 2 - global edition  

Our quarterly newsletter features practical advice, tips, case studies and expert interviews about the intercultural relations field and AFS...