Intercultural activities
About Lesson

An essential element of any mobility programme is the inclusion of sessions or activities that allow participants to discover the different cultures present within the group. One common way of promoting cultural exchange is to organise cultural evenings. These special evenings are organised in different ways depending on the type of mobility. In the case of youth exchanges, several evenings may take place, whereas in the case of youth worker mobility, it is typically one evening. At these events, participants introduce and discover their culture and learn how to build intercultural dialogue.

Traditionally, countries are presented through dances, food, etc., but it is important to note that these presentations sometimes reflected outdated or no longer widespread traditions. Therefore, when planning intercultural activities, such as an Intercultural Evening or an Intercultural Coffee Break (a concept that will be explained later), encourage a more contemporary and authentic cultural exchange.

For Intercultural Evenings, ask participants to share their favourite snacks and dishes from their country. Suggest topics for discussion, such as the current favourite music of young people in their country, popular leisure activities, trendy films or issues that concern young people. The goal is to create an environment where participants can genuinely exchange information about interesting and relevant aspects of their culture, avoiding competition or purely patriotic expressions.

You can choose to have an intercultural coffee break with your youth worker mobility. Here, participants are invited to bring snacks or sweets typical of their country, usually eaten between two meals. Each coffee break can focus on a different country, with participants presenting their snacks and sharing their knowledge of their country’s food culture and snack habits. This approach can also stimulate meaningful conversations.

Intercultural learning is not limited to coffee breaks or evening classes, but is integrated into the whole training process. Through activities, small group work and discussions, participants will have the opportunity to understand different perspectives, cultural differences and the realities experienced by young people from different countries. This approach allows them to learn about the systems, strengths and challenges of different cultures.

By creating this environment, we encourage participants to develop empathy and understanding for other cultures, and to move from a judgemental stance to curiosity. This is a crucial step towards genuine intercultural dialogue. Embracing differences, rather than fearing them, allows us to celebrate diversity and the different cultures represented in the room.

You can find more ideas on the YouTube channel of the YOUTRAIN video project, whose videos are also referred to above, or on the SALTO YOUTH website, where you can also choose the type of activity (icebreaker, name game, energizer, group building activity, simulation exercise, presentation, group break-up, etc.) you would like to add to your non-formal education and the type of action you would like to see to get the best results in your project!