The Spirit of Internationalism Challenge
For the Spirit of Internationalism Challenge we would like you to research, create and share a visitors’ guide to the landmarks, experiences, history and people that represent the cultural influences that shape your life and inform your behaviours.
Imagine that a student the same age as you is visiting with you on exchange. They are coming to stay with your family for a month, during which time you are going to help them to develop their international understanding through experiencing first-hand some of the cultural influences in your life.
The guide should involve some general introductory advice about your country’s customs and practices (including addressing any stereotypes that might exist) plus five or six experiences and five or six visits.
For each experience or visit you choose to include in the guide, explain what your visitor will be doing and also consider, and write into the guide, a comment about each of the following:
- What aspect of my culture does this experience or visit represent?
- How common a cultural influence is it in my country?
- Why have I chosen to include this in my guide?
If you have completed some of the stations, your notes from each station and your Cultural Iceberg or Tree will be helpful in completing the challenge, so you may want to gather them together before you begin.
You might be invited by your teacher to choose your own format in which to do this or they might give you a specific format in which to work (e.g. a travel brochure, presentation, vlog, essay, infographic, poster etc.)
The basic steps in undertaking the challenge are:
- Set your context – Include:
- General advice about visiting your country – it’s location, climate, geography, sub-cultures etc.
- Some basic information about your country’s history and heritage, national symbols and traditions. If you completed Station 2 you might want to include your collage in your visitor’s guide.
- A list of the top 3 to 5 traditional tourist attractions in your country.
2. Think about Surface Culture. What experiences would you want to offer (and WHY) in relation to:
- Music – What will you listen to at home? What live music event might you go to? Will you encourage your visitor to try playing your musical instrument or join you at a choir rehearsal? WHY?
- Dance – What dance(s) will you teach your visitor? Where will you go to dance? WHY?
- Dress – What packing advice might you give? How do you and your friends dress? Is there any particular clothing from your culture that you would want them to experience wearing? WHY?
- Food – what will you cook and eat at home? Where might you go out to eat? Who with? WHY?
- Art – What art exhibition or gallery might you visit? What architecture would you want them to see? Is there a local art of craft you would want them to try? Will you go to the theatre or cinema? What will you go to see? WHY?
3. Now think about Deep Culture. Where will you go, what will you do and who would you want your visitor to meet in order to share and explain the ways in which you are influenced by your culture’s:
- Beliefs and Values e.g. faith and worship, spiritual beliefs, attitudes towards nature, politics
- Relationships and Roles e.g. family structures, distribution of authority, attitudes towards dating and marriage
- Attitudes and Norms e.g. laws and customs, but also manners and social etiquette
4. Now consider Communication. What would you want your visitor to understand about the cultural influences that shape your style and methods of communication. Who would you want them to speak with? What social groups would you interact with? What gestures would you teach them? What taboos would you explain and how?
5. Finally, think about (and list) five questions that you would want to ask of your visitor before they arrive to help you to accommodate any cultural needs that they might have?