As the world continues to get smaller through our intentional technology revolution, students are going to be hard pressed to connect with different cultures, different world views, and the ability to connect with different thought processes.
There’s little debate concerning the globalization of today’s companies. Most of the top U.S. companies have a footprint of business, education, or at the very least a social impact on different countries around the world.
In today’s Secondary Education climate, very few of our students are being exposed to the ways to form successful small groups where the diversity of culture has to be addressed to actually accomplish a common goal.
On the KIVU Gap Year, we have taken the task of exposing students to various cultures both here in America, and across the world.
Our student shave the chance to stay with local families in foreign countries. Whether they have a stay in Africa, Peru, Bolivia, or the Jordan, students have the chance to learn cultural diversity to give them a chance to understand future potential cultural relationships no matter where they intend on spending their vocational time. Our intent is to help students understand what it means to deal with different expectations dependent on cultural diversity, and we’re actually seeing their worlds get smaller and smaller.
They are able to talk about politics, social differences, and see opportunities to connect America to different parts of the world. This is vital as we see a generation of students whose world continues to shrink as they forge ahead to live and work in places with high degrees of cultural diversity.
Different World Views
It’s safe to say with 7 Billion people on planet earth, there are almost as many different world views students need to learn how to navigate. Values that matter include…
Where they were born
What values were important to their families
What faith components they believe in
What social values are high on the list of their world
Each way our environment speaks into who we are dictates what lens we see the world through. Traditionally, America has a reputation of seeing the world through the lens of the last great super power. So the questions begin to rise quickly to the surface
What is my role in the world as an American Citizen?
How do I interact with other countries and how they see the world?
What is my role in understanding someone else’s world view, and being able to value my own way of thinking?
As more and more students are leaving home to attend University life, it’s imperative they are able to navigate their own worldview in the confluence of world views they will be exposed to, even right there at home.
Different Social Impact
In America, we have two oceans on either side of our country that insulate much of our thinking from the rest of the world. In Africa, it’s normal to see a high social value given to the family, while our sense of family may vary from region to region.
In the Middle East there are different social norms put on gender, where here in America we strive to create equality the name of the gender game.
In South America, there are certain social ways of interacting with a culture long created by the colonization of the European Catholic societies mixed with the native groups. While here in America, there is an amalgam of cultures all trying to live and work together in a “melting pot” that centers on the question of What does it mean to be American?
As students are exposed to different social norms, we invite them to explore the reasons why societies are different, and how they can integrate in those social groups depending on their circumstances.
All in all, when a student Graduates from the KIVU Gap Year, they are equipped with the tools to help them with Different Global Cultures, Different Global World views, and Different Social implications no matter where they live and work.