Global volunteers immerse in Barili’s cultural milieu

Photo credit: IAI

European and Asian students, through the Global Initiative for exchange and Development (GIED) Inc., visited Cebu Technological University (CTU) Barili for a five-day cultural immersion.

Internationalization and ASEAN Integration (IAI) Barili chair Ricka Dumas welcomed Finnish, Icelandic, Austrian, and Japanese volunteers to one of CTU’s southern campuses.

Facilitating the inbound intercultural mobility helps contribute to the university’s internationalization agenda of improving its global reputation.

As the host institution, CTU Barili allowed interaction among them and the locals prompted by CTU partner GIED Philippines, specifically giving time for students and teachers in remote barangays to learn the guest’s cultural fabric.

On one occasion, the youngsters also emulated the farmers’ daily routine on the field with the water buffalo as the primary mechanism to till the land.

Realizing the goal of the Europe-based International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Federation, GIED president Queenie Dadulo said that diverse interactions of people across borders uniquely impact the world.

Since July of this year, GIED has shared with CTU the ethos of multicultural exchanges among students and staff, focusing on sustainable development goals. Such transformative initiatives, to which Dadulo dedicates her career, create a way for young volunteers to experience problem-solving in challenging contexts.

From left: (back row) GIED representative 1, IAI Barili chair Ricka Dumas, GIED representative 2, and CTU Director for Internationalization and ASEAN Integration Rhodora Magan; (front row) European and Asian volunteers

“It was the best alternative to the mandatory civil service because it broadens your horizon, and it is the most special, challenging, and interesting thing I could do with that gap year between high school and university,” volunteer Lukas Moser said in an interview with IAI Barili.

Moser carried the collective intent to promote the newfound trail to their respective countries.

Moving forward, these youngsters will factor into their specific organizations back home to better address the socio-economic conditions of societies drawing on their expertise. /IAI