Educational Approach

Intercultural Reflections Seminar

“He who is closed in a cage of his own culture is at war with the world and he doesn’t know it.” – Robert Hanvey

Structured and guided reflection is key to the Intercultural Reflections Seminar. Our students are stimulated to reflect on every single intercultural encounter they have, which can include but are not limited to reflections on:

  •  the surrounding environment,
  •  historic testimony,
  •  the host family,
  •  relationships between men/women,
  •  his/her peers,
  •  service.

The objective is to create a reflective awareness that allows students to open themselves to the world without getting lost, to discover the confines of their own culture interacting with those of the host culture, to see reality from different perspectives and to feel common ties of humanity under the flow of apparent differences. Reflective writing is the student’s personal tool to create his/her own personal understanding and knowledge.

All students enrolled at SIS take the Intercultural Reflections Seminar. The class meets once a week for 1 1/2 hours during which students submit weekly entries concerning their studies and their overall experience/service and share them with their peers. Class is led by the Intercultural Reflections Facilitator, who serves as a bridge between the two cultures by facilitating students’ process of decoding and encoding cultural signs.