BethBC Cultural Exchange with Group from the United Kingdom
At the end of June, our students participated in Erasmus+, a cultural exchange program, with a British group from different cities across the UK.
It was a very extraordinary experience for our students who had the chance to get to know new people from a different culture. It helped our students to develop their English skills, as well as their confidence in speaking English.
The Erasmus+ Program is a European Commission Youth Exchange Program that allows groups of young people from different countries to meet, live together and work on shared projects for short periods of time. Youth exchanges take place outside the school or university environment. On a youth exchange, you can expect to participate in activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-playing, outdoor activities and more.
This time the program took place in Bethlehem, Palestine. A British group of eighteen people came to the Holy Land and experienced our culture, food and music, all the while taking a deeper look into the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that is taking place in this land.
Through this experience, participants learn to develop soft skills, the ability to interact with different cultures, and build self-confidence to take on challenges. This experience allowed them to experience new cultures and languages. Our students improved their English, leadership skills and grew in experience.
Our students really enjoyed having the group among us for a whole week.
“I learned a lot of new things about British people on a cultural and political level. This program gave us the chance to meet new people and to get to know them and their way of thinking, which is a lot different than us.” Raneen Abu Sada, Biblical Studies student.
Adham also agreed: “It was a great chance to meet people from other countries, other languages, and other cultures. We enjoyed this week a lot; we laughed a lot. The activity I enjoyed the most was the camp in the desert; although the temperature was really high, we didn’t feel it because we were enjoying our time together talking about the differences between our cultures and ways of thinking and living. I personally got the chance to share the Word of God with people who are not believers, and I’m praying the words I shared with them will stay with them, and that the Holy Spirit will continue the work.”
Afeef also enjoyed the camping, and he said that he got the chance to improve his English and is more confident in talking in another language with new people.
Najeeb, a Mass Media student said: “The program was amazing because we met with new people from England, and through the tours and activities that we did, they got to know about our life, the hard situations we are living under, the Occupation and how it is affecting our lives. They got to know about our culture, food, and way of life.”
Mousa: “We found that difference is good, and we are looking forward to meeting with new groups. What was remarkable for me was the song workshop we did together. We joined in one heart to sing a song, and merging the two languages together was an amazing thing that showed that we can unify two different groups in one song. Music is the language of all people.”
And we agree with all of our students. We really enjoyed having this group among us on our campus for a whole week. Difference is good indeed! And we are looking forward to meeting the group again next year in England!
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.