This year’s Constanze took place under the theme “Intercultural Learning to the fullest”. Constanze is the biggest training event of AFS Germany taking place once per year. The event started on Friday 9 May evening and ended on Sunday 11 May after lunch and took place at the Karlshochschule in Karlsruhe.
Intercultural Learning has been a topic at Constanze before, but this year the concept of Constanze changed. After an inspiring key note speech, participants were able to join 3 Intercultural Labs. The lab facilitators gave a short input followed by a discussion of participants on topics such as “Universalism vs. Cultural Relativism…How to deal with cultural differences”, “Diversity”, “Intercultural Competence from an intercultural perspective”, “Prejudices and stereotypes” and others. With the different incentives given by the Intercultural Labs participants then chose 2 workshops linked to Intercultural Learning and/or AFS Programme related topics. Next to internal trainers from the German Pool of Trainers, a lot of external trainers were present from within and outside the AFS network.
I was able to join this event as a trainer and participants of AFS Germany and found this event to be very inspiring with different approaches towards Intercultural Learning (ICL). Not only did Constanze foster discussions on what ICL is, deconstruction of different models, and reflection on one’s own behaviour in intercultural situations, but the event also brought self-critical discussions of how ICL is addressed in AFS and how open we are towards others as AFSers.
Especially the seminar “Critical approach towards Intercultural Learning” offered by an external representing glokal e.V. has inspired me (Glokal focuses on topics such as equal global citizenship, critical whitness, anti.bias and post-colonial perspectives on materials used in development cooperation education).