Besides the warm and sunny weather, summer is a great time for a change of routines from our everyday life. Some of us will devote this time of the year to start their dream internships, others commit to their summer jobs, and then there are those who backpack to other countries or visit their home countries. If you are still unsure of what to do this summer, maybe attending an international students’ conference or a festival would be a wonderful experience.
Crash courses into global cultures and traditions
International students’ conferences and festivals are destinations of hundreds of international students from all over the world. Attending these multicultural events would be golden chances for participants to meet and make friends with like-minded students from different nations. Events for international students are usually thematic and have well-designed programs. Throughout a variety of activities like discussions, dialogues, or even debates, you will have the chance to interact and learn from each and every one of the participants.
Photo by author.
Besides the core learning activities, international students’ conferences usually are places for international friendships. Performing national dances, sharing meals and stories from their own countries are always the highlights of the events. Students come back to their home countries feeling inspired and motivated to continue their own journeys, knowing that the friendships they have had are memorable and valuable.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Meeting and learning with many new people from different backgrounds and cultures in a short period of time is not particularly an easy task. For many people, this is especially challenging if they do not attend those programs regularly. However, as daunting as it might sound, putting yourself out of your comfort zone is the best way to learn and grow. Meeting new people and having intense conversations about particular topics are greatly beneficial for your personal development. As you practice various soft skills from working in groups, giving presentations, or simply expressing your opinions in front of an audience, etc you may experience some discomfort, or even make mistakes. Yet, those things are parts of the learning process that you need to experience in order to thrive.
Photo by author.
One common “myth” is that those events are reserved for people who are extroverted and like to party only. However, it is completely wrong since usually international students’ conferences are platforms where participants gathered together firstly because they care about the topics. Most events are thematic, and the programs are designed to maximize students’ learning opportunities about the themes. The themes are often global issues, so that regardless of backgrounds or cultures, participants can easily relate. Therefore, events like these are preferred and suitable places everyone who is interested in learning and meeting like-minded people.
Where to go this summer?
Photo taken from ISWiB’s Facebook Page.
International Student Week in Belgrade (ISWiB in short) is an international educational and cultural festival that annually takes place in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. This year ISWiB 2017 will start from 16 to 24 July, 2017. In order to participate, you need to fulfill a number of steps to apply for the program. This year application is open until 28th of February. If you are interested, then you can find out more about the Conference here.
Photo taken from ISWinT’ s Facebook Page.
Also, look out for ISWinT (International Student Week in Timisoara). ISWinT is an international festival takes place in Romania since 1994. The purpose of the festival is to provide the participants from different countries the chances to communicate and express their opinions in a respectful manner, while experiencing joys in local cultures. You can learn more from here.