DIS Ambassadors Engage in Intercultural Diplomacy!
Cultural Discussions with the Danes
The DIS Ambassadors Program is an opportunity to engage in small-scale intercultural diplomacy by visiting Danish schools or other types of academic organizations to discuss the burning issues of our time. These visits have proven not only to be excellent opportunities for DIS students to immerse themselves in Danish culture, but they also challenge DIS students to reconsider their own world views and become better accustomed to the complexities of the globalized world.
Topics of discussion in the past have included: cultural differences between Danish and American educational systems, issues of adolescence, college life, contemporary political challenges, impacts of modern science, violence in society, justice and the penal system, Obamamania, and much, much more.
Topics of Discussion
Students with a particular interest in a certain topic can let the program coordinators know either at the initial orientation and brainstorming session or later in the semester, and they will do their best to set up a DIS Ambassadors visit on that topic. The more energy, ideas and enthusiasm put into the DIS Ambassadors Program, the more enriching of an experience it will become.
The number of DIS Ambassadors visits each semester depends on the level student involvement – but there is usually between seven to twenty visits arranged per semester. By signing up for the program, you do not commit to attend all of the DIS Ambassadors visits, but rather your name is put on a list and you can sign up for an upcoming visit if the topic is of interest to you.
How it Works
The format of the DIS Ambassadors visits varies, but a typical visit consists of a panel of about five DIS students and a class of approximately 25 Danish students. After the introductions, the majority of the visit is conducted in a Q&A format, with most questions coming from the Danish students, with DIS students also posing questions to the Danish students.
To participate on a panel at a DIS Ambassadors visit, you do not need to have studied that particular discussion topic in school or be an “expert” on the topic. Coming from a different cultural background is quite enough to make what you have to say an interesting and genuine account of the experiences that you have had, allowing you to compare and contrast your experiences with those of the Danes.
A Worthwhile Cultural Experience
The substantive conversations that take place during these visits are one of the best ways to develop one’s global competencies, broaden one’s world views, and strengthen one’s intercultural diplomacy skills. The DIS students who have participated in the DIS Ambassadors program in the past have found it to be one of the most rewarding and intellectually enriching intercultural experiences of their semester abroad.