Culture Club has successfully achieved three Google Hangouts! This partnership between YMCA Academy students and Braemar College international high school students began before March Break, and we are thrilled to see it continue throughout our online learning platform! Each week, 15-18 students have fun conversations about different countries, food, and music through cultural exchange!
The world is a global village that is home to over 7.7 billion people! This opportunity allows for us to connect with others. However, not all humans take advantage of this worldwide friendship pool and are generally afraid of other cultures due to lack of exposure. Fortunately, we can debunk stereotypes about different people by listening and learning from them!
A YMCA 10th grader said, “I love Culture Club! It has let me meet high school students from all over the world – like Kenya and Russia! I like the same music as some of the girls!” One Braemar student, grade 11, commented, “This club is really great practice for my English with native speakers. I feel more confident talking to the nice teens. It also makes me feel less bored during quarantine because I am in a homestay in Toronto away from my family.”
Culture Club puts an emphasis on exchanging ones’ values and stories in a polite manner without judgment. Exchange implies equality, where groups do not have to sacrifice their individuality and instead can practice being more accepting to the beauty found in diversity. Students’ insight about their home countries also allows them to become positive ambassadors that spread a proud image of their homeland through their personality.
Culture Club is also important for students discussing their OWN culture! They can test their limits about what they already know and discover new questions about what they would like to talk to their parents or guardians about. Having students reflect on their upbringing and life chapters allows them to summarize important lessons they’ve learned. In all, it is our great pleasure that we align forces and share the importance of cultural exchange with our students, so they can take on new perspectives in their thinking and become more well-rounded individuals.