How the idea was born…
We came up with the idea for this project during two large trips we made in 2013. Delphine was one semester in Ahmedabad (India) and Lina was for one year in Madagascar. We both found that our impression of the country had changed through our stay and own experiences. Immersion in other lifestyles has changed our view of everyday life and as well as the way we view other cultures. We have learned to understand a completely new, sometimes crazy and contradictory world with all its advantages and disadvantages. From these experiences the idea materialized to develop a teaching program for schools with different cultures. Therefore, the starting point of this project was the question: How can we connect and bring together different cultures? For our research, we attended the ‘Freie Schule Braunschweig’ and interviewed children about their interests and their experiences with other countries.
•What do children learn about other countries in the school?
•Are they interested in other countries?
•When or why are they interested in other countries or cultures?
•Would they be interested in taking part on an exchange?
During the interviews several children expressed a desire to become better acquainted with other countries. Lina’s sister Amelie (12 years) noted that there is no school subject where you can learn about other countries, its people as well as their everyday lifestyles. In addition, many respondents were interested in other countries with which they are for different reasons already connected to, such as through relatives, friends, traveling, or because of the nationality of their favorite goalkeeper.
Amelie: “I think it’s important to learn about other cultures because you cannot imagine how other people live …” “I think an exchange is important for the whole world in order, for example, to prevent wars from occurring.” Emma: “At school I learnt a little bit of the language, although I think what I learnt is not so important.” “I’d like to learn more about my goddaughter Nadia from Nigeria, about her country and her family.”