A student exchange programme is a programme in which students from an educational institution travel to a foreign nation. Mostly the student who travels abroad in this programme also studies at a foreign university or school. These cultural exchange programmes have gained worldwide popularity, and educational institutions in India are also adopting this positive trend. Reputed Indian educational institutions like Sharda University have set up student cultural exchange programmes by framing alliances with educational institutions in different nations to allow their students to travel abroad. This has encouraged the students of the university to develop tolerance and understanding of other cultures.
Cultural Exchange Programme Benefits
Here are five reasons why a Cultural Exchange programme is a welcome step:
1. Study abroad at a fraction of the cost: The low cost of student exchange programmes is maybe the most appealing component. Studying abroad normally costs a lot and many students cannot afford it. However, students can get the experience of studying and living in a foreign country at a fraction of that cost when they travel abroad on a cultural exchange programme. This is because most of the cost is born by the universities and the government.
2. Get exposure to alternative ways of learning: Every country has a specific manner of teaching. When a student from a specific nation travels abroad, they are presented alternative approaches to learning which they retain even after returning to their native land. Hence, the students gain exposure and upgrade their knowledge and also influence their fellow students.
3. Gateway to personal development: In the foreign land, students are exposed to living on their own, far from home and away from the protective periphery of their parents. The experience will lead to increased self-confidence and self-esteem. It will likewise improve the students’ leadership and reasoning abilities and advance their comprehension and understanding of diverse societies and points of view. Staying abroad, regardless of whether it is only for a semester or two, will give the students a world view.
4. Prepare for the global economy: Every field prefers experts who understand the global economy and can adjust in it. Since most college students who travel abroad on cultural exchange programmes are on the verge of entering the job market, the experience of studying/living abroad inculcates the relevant skills in them. They gain a better understanding of the universal market and are better prepared to solve challenges at their workplace.
5. Form life-long bonds: A lot of student cultural exchange programmes expect students to stay with a local family in the host nation. This enables students to understand and welcome the way of life and lifestyle of the host nation, transforming them into global citizens. This experience proves to be useful if they ever choose to work or settle abroad. Besides, receiving warmth and hospitality in a foreign land enables students to form long-lasting bonds.
Cultural Exchange Programmes
These kinds of programmes promote diversity and inculcate new perspectives. They are beneficial in the following ways:
- They serve as an asset in social studies and foreign language classes.
- They include cultural exercises which besides classroom education.
- They discuss perspectives on universal issues that impact students overseas.
- They celebrate/lead International Days and exchange fairs.
- They encourage students to tutor or help classmates with foreign languages.
Diversity Programmes for College Students
Diversity programmes for college students promote inter-cultural understanding and positive relationships which are required for student achievement and creating an inclusive campus community. These projects encourage students to be compassionate and people and cultures that belong to different races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, gender characters, and articulations, financial classes, religious and spiritual traditions, ages and capacities. The atmosphere cultivates student leadership and individual commitment by encouraging students to offer help and increasing campus awareness. This is done by making spaces for cultural festivals, promoting leadership and giving opportunities for training and reflection.
Some components of diversity programmes are:
- advise and support to the students
- intercultural centre library
- mentorship and leadership program
- networking openings
The project prompts and encourages diversity-focused student organisations and teams up with academic and other departments.