Dorm Room Diplomacy

I just ran across an interesting example of applied intercultural dialogue that may be of particular interest either to students taking, or faculty teaching, courses on intercultural topics:

“Founded by students at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, Dorm Room Diplomacy fosters intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding among an international group of university students. Dorm Room Diplomacy employs videoconference technology to facilitate virtual exchanges that help students to see the individuals behind reductionist cultural stereotypes.

The videoconference program occurs each academic semester, and the same set of 8 students join in a virtual dialogue with a trained facilitator each week. Dorm Room Diplomacy is entirely student-run, encouraging students to take ownership over the dialogue process, establish campus chapters, and empower themselves and their peers. As a non-partisan organization, Dorm Room Diplomacy does not engage in political activities or advocacy, other than the promotion of intercultural dialogue. “

For more information, and for the source of this quote, go to the website for Dorm Room Diplomacy.

Global Xchange

“Global Xchange is a six-month exchange program which gives young people from different countries a unique opportunity to live and volunteer together, to develop and share valuable skills and to make a practical contribution where it is needed in each local community.

In 2010, the first-ever multilateral Global Xchange connected youth and community activists from six countries: USA, France, UK, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Rwanda. The multilateral exchange was broken in two phases for the two age groups, focused on shorter-term professional development exchanges and longer volunteer placements.

First, community leaders from the six countries went to Durban, South Africa, January 17 to February 6, followed by an exchange in Belfast, Northern Ireland from March 7 to 27. Members of the adult exchange will be placed at local organizations to job shadow, exchange best practices, and explore cross-cultural approaches to serving at-risk youth. The US participants were selected from five Los Angeles nonprofits: Street Poets, Create Now, Reach LA, Homeboy Industries, and LA’s BEST. Stay tuned for videos and blog posts from the LA participants.

In the second phase, groups of 18-24 year-olds from each country will volunteer for three months in Durban and then for three months in Belfast between June and December.”

For further information, see their website.