Intercultural learning throughout volunteering in the field of art

Katya Owens

EVS (European Voluntary Service), funded by Erasmus +, gives a vital opportunity to young people to professionally and personally develop themselves in country other than their own (in the EU) and provides them with priceless experiences. From anywhere between 2 weeks and 12 months, the volunteer dedicates their time working in a professional field of their choice. Free of all expenses for the volunteer, the EVS experience is enriched with language studies, cultural lessons, professional certificates, training courses, independence, tolerance and many more intangible skills. This form of non-formal education is a critical step for youth, it promotes the importance of inter-cultural learning which can be defined as the development of intercultural competence, which is the ability to act and relate appropriately and effectively in various cultural contexts [1]. ICCS (Institute of Creative Civil Strategies) is the organisation that will be hosting myself (Katya Owens) and Marta Olaso for the next 10 months.

ICCS is dedicated to merging the borders between creative communication and civil strategies. Working predominantly with young people, the members of ICCS organise youth initiatives and exchanges to help create a bigger sense of European Identity and social cohesion among young people. This is the first year that the institute has hosted EVS volunteers and they hope to continue the project for years to come.

The project ‘Art Reporters Without Borders’ hopes to create a platform that helps increase the visibility of young Bulgarian Artists in and beyond the borders of Bulgaria. For the project to be successful it is necessary to reinforce the importance of inter-cultural learning and submerge ourselves into the Bulgarian culture.

We recieve knowledge about the history of Bulgarian art, modern art, artistic education and artistic institutions in Bulgaria. We are made aware of the normalities, values and practices of the local artistic society. We have Bulgarian language training in the hopes that we will meet and be able to communicate on some level with the local people as well as the visual artists we want to be in contact with. We strive to introduce ourselves to important players in the art field and spread our name and project to as many ears as will listen.

By the end of the project, we will have an invaluable intercultural experience for the price of nothing but motivation.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercultural_learning

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  • Научното електронното списание „Реторика и комуникации” започва да се издава като част от дейностите по проект № 167 от 2011 г., НИС, СУ „Св. Климент Охридски” „Особености на академичната комуникация в интернет (Уеб 2.0): писане и публикуване в научни електронни списания”.
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