Intercultural Competences Went Online – Our Experience

The main objective of our project Building Intercultural Competences: Sharing Good Practices is to support young people and youth organisations. For this purpose we had planned different events for and with young people.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic came and we all had to cancel any face-to-face meetings. Back in the spring of 2020 we believed that soon the situation should get better. We thought we shall just wait for couple of months to make all activities happen. So, we postponed the events with couple of months… and than with couple of months more… and than we postponed again… From one hand, we believed that only in person, we can have successful events. From the other hand, some of us were a bit afraid to conduct activities online.

At some point however, in November, all partners agreed that we shall try to conduct at least the first piloting session online. We had several weeks of intensive preparation and planning. But in the end it turned out much better than we actually expected (if you are interested, check the publication about it).

So, based on the experience and the positive feedback from the participants, we decided to prepare the local debates online, too (as all countries, involved in the project were still in lock-down). Every partner had the freedom to chose the platforms and tools, for the local meetings. Some of the organisations used GoogleMeet and Microsoft Teams, as their target group (the students) use these platforms for their online learning. Other partners went for Zoom or Skype, as these are the usual means for communication they use anyway. For conducting the online activities and collecting feedback, we also had a variety (and different combinations) of tools, as Menti, Padlet, Jamboard and the good old GoogleForms. In the end, every partner shared their experience, taking into account the feedback from the participants, of course. As a result, we had a series of successful online local debates in Malta, Greece, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Italy and Portugal.

Intercultural Competences Went Online
Intercultural communication went online, too

‘So, which are the best platforms/tools to conduct activities online?’ the reader might ask. Well, each tool has different advantages and areas of improvement. But we found out that the best one is the one you and your audience feels most comfortable with.

Just like with the intercultural communication – there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If one dares to try different approaches, ways of expressions and ideas, s/he can only gain more experience and open their horizons.

We wish you happy experimenting!

BTW, very soon we launching two interactive guides on building intercultural competences, so stay tuned and follow us.

BIC team