On December 9th, 2021, Educate Magis offered some Jesuit schools the chance to take part in a pilot project on “Intercultural Communication”. A delegation of high school students from Istituto Massimo was involved in an online meeting with students from Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Guatemala.
Following the guidelines of Spiritual Conversation, our students interacted with their peers on the theme of Identity.
In this article I would like to share a presentation prepared by the 5 students who took part in the experience of Intercultural Communication. You can read some of the text below or click here to download and see the full presentation.
What did we do?
On the 9th of December 2021 our teacher Mrs Lizzio gave us the opportunity to participate in the project launched by Educate Magis: Intercultural communication.
Thanks to this experience, we had the possibility to get to know twenty-five students who came from five different schools located in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Guatemala.
The meeting started with a warm welcome, followed by a prayer. After this, the educators explained to us the importance of Interculturality in Jesuit education system and introduced the main topic of the discussion in the conference: Identity.
We analysed all the different factors that shape it.
We were given a Diversity Wheel which was divided into three groups: personality, internal aspects (which are not chosen, such as our birthplace, our age) and external aspects (that we can control, such as our political or religious orientation).
Then we got divided into five groups, with one student from each school and an educator.
We had a conversation regarding the spiritual aspects that have mostly shaped our identity.
After returning to the main conference, a student from each group shared the results and opinions that came out during the previous discussions.
The next day we gathered at school with our teacher to discuss our impressions about the project and the feedback received was positive.
The experience was considered interesting, educating and original by everyone.
“At the start of the meeting I was anxious and nervous since I thought that my level of English wasn’t enough to sustain a conversation with a stranger or to understand the accent of a Spanish English speaker. I gladly found out that nobody was there to judge my English but only to communicate with people from a different culture and to have a good time talking about traditions. In conclusion, I enjoyed this meeting and I discovered new cultures while I was sharing mine.” Francesco Becchetti, 4°A Scientifico
“To be honest, when we first got divided in groups by the educator I felt a little anxious about the activity we were about to experience. After some chatting I got to know better the other students that were in my group: we shared difficult situations we went through in our lives, but at the same time we laughed and discovered everyone’s passions and hobbies. It felt like we already knew each other – including the educator – and it was nothing but a great reunion with friends from all over the world: I listened carefully to other people’s experiences and even connected them to my personal ones. At the end of the meeting I truly felt heard and not judged by others, despite what I shared.” Martina, 4°A Scientifico
“As soon as I saw the Diversity Wheel I felt really intrigued by this project: the topic was original and before that moment I had never thought about the aspects that might determine who I am as a person. What surprised me the most, though, was the fact that, despite coming from different parts of the world, we shared the same values. I found myself completely comfortable talking with the other students. I felt accepted, understood and, above all, not judged. This encouraged me to speak and to be proud of who I am without having to hide behind a mask, since sometimes we are forced to do so.” Beatrice, 3°B Scientifico
“Educate Magis was an experience that will surely have a huge impact on my student career. Even though I was tense at the beginning, since the moment the organisers split us in various little groups the environment became more enjoyable. Every student,
probably also thanks to the expertise of the educator, was able to express their own idea about the concept of identity, that was the focal point of the debate and is the focal point of the philosophy behind our school network, whose aim is the enhancement of a single person inside various contexts.” Federico, 4°A Scientifico
“As soon as I was told that I had the opportunity to participate in this experience, I got extremely enthusiastic and curious. After the introduction, we were introduced to the activities we would have done and then we got divided into 5 different groups.
I was not nervous at all, I was just really curious and excited, but apparently the other members were a bit anxious and shy during the first minutes. Indeed, as we started talking, we found out that we had many things in common but also some completely justified differences mainly concerning our origins. Thanks to our educator that gave us some topics to discuss, we started talking quite fluently and we ended up having interesting conversations mainly concerning the internet and the stereotypes that each country has. I believe that these kind of experiences are fundamental to shape yourself as a global citizen, and everyone who took part in this experience was not only joyful and happy, but also very grateful for the opportunity that they were given.” Claudio, 4°B Scientifico
We are beyond grateful for the wonderful opportunity that our school and our teacher gave us. Being able to connect with other people from other countries never felt so easy and fun.