News da Coloured Glasses
YFU Italy, in partnership with Navigando, has just finished carrying out the orientation meetings all around Italy for the exchange students 2018/2019.Many different places have been visited, starting from Catania and Palermo in Sicily, from Rome to Civitanova Marche on the Adriatic coast and from Milano to Cagliari in Sardinia.Coloured Glasses workshops were used, firstly focusing on intercultural communication, to let the exchanges go deeper into what will be, most probably, the first obstacle in their coming adventure.Coloured Glasses workshop gave them the possibility to understand how they could feel encountering different ways of expressions, different behaviours and different mentality. They could better understand the two different part of communication, verbal and nonverbal, and how both of them can create misunderstanding even when we are speaking in our mother language. Students, using the Dune model, could study in dept the concept of culture, its structure, how and why a culture changes, which factors are influencing different cultures and the connections among different cultural components. Point Makers were used to underline how often we tend to take things for granted, and how easy is to create misunderstanding. Students were asked to focus on the relationship with the host families who are going to welcome them in few weeks time and on the way to create a nice but strong connection. Other topics covered by Coloured Glasses workshop were stereotypes and prejudices. Students could understand how they will feel in a situation where they will be the foreign ones and they will be requested to make the others accept them.
Reflections about the Italian culture related stereotypes and the consequent expectations, were made by the students. Coloured Glasses workshops on stereotypes and communication have also been used with exchanges’ relatives. They were asked to see the experience from the student’s point of view and to understand how the communication with their sons and daughters will change while they will be away. Exchange students normally act like sponges and gradually absorb elements of the new cultures they come in contact with, and this is often not completely understood by their parents.
This was the first time that Coloured Glasses workshops were used for the new exchanges orientation programme. The result was definitely good and the feedback from the participants was very positive.
One of the most important result of this orientation programme based on Coloured Glasses experience was that students realize how the meeting with other culture is the best way to understand and raise awareness of their own culture. Even with parents, Coloured Glasses workshops revealed to be an effective tool to make them see the experience from the participant’s point of view and to become more aware and effective part of the exchange programme.
Results and feedback were positive both from students and parents therefore Coloured Glasses workshop will be included in the next orientation programmes for exchange students and their parents. Coloured Glasses are extremely indicated because of their flexibility and adaptability to different situation and targets.