Germany // Youth Exchange “Culture. World. Me” in Menslage

The broad Workshop offer from the youth encounter dealt with questions such as: What is culture actually? Where does it originate from and how? Why are our cultures so different? But are there similarities, too? Where do prejudices arise and do I stereotype in my daily life? How can we communicate differences? How can I use differences as a chance to improve intercultural communications and abilities?

Through introducing theater, video and audio-recording we approached the different topics in a creative way. This way the participants had the opportunity to get to know new approaches to topics and how to express themselves in a new way. Through theater, there was the possibility to experience a new, different perspective through acting out different characters. “To stand in someone’s shoes”, to see the people with their culture and all the influences on their life and to think why could somebody finally got to the point to think in an extreme way. We wanted to encourage the participants to develop respect towards all the people although they might have a totally different opinion and to find a way to communicate the differences and make compromises.

All in all, the encounter “Culture.World.Me.” felt like an inspiring event for the participants as well as the trainers and the cook. There has been a lot of impulses and ideas from the participants to include in the workshops. Additionally there have been a lot of inspiring conversations, a good and motivated working atmosphere and establishment of new, international friendships.

This shows that it would be necessary to support more of these kind of exchange programs, to give an opportunity to young people to see a new country and to get to know its people, to learn something new, have a lot of fun and to broaden ones horizon.

This project was funded by Stiftung Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. We want to thank also in the name of all participants the volunteers, helpers and foundations to be able to make this project happen.