Global Engagement > Partnerships > Programs for Partner Institutions > Building Bridges: Fostering intercultural competence amongst Italian and American students
This GLE project focused on how school and community mental health counselors (DePaul) and social workers (Università di Verona) collaborated with their cities to broker community assets for their students and their families. As such, students were placed in groups and assigned to a local neighborhood. They then analyzed the resources available within their assigned communities and created a community asset map. The purpose of this assignment was to help students identify all of the resources upon which they can draw when they enter their chosen professions. Each local group was assigned to a corresponding international community group. The students then analyzed differences and similarities between their map and their international partner group’s map and expanded their global perceptions about community-building and their professional roles through an applied case study activity.
Students analyzed cross-cultural practice and implications for school and community-based assistance.
"It was a joy to work internationally with such dedicated professionals. Marta, Elena and Elisa were organized and highly motivated to complete the project. This project pushed our students to get out of the classroom and explore the neighborhoods which they will serve. Moreover, students thought critically about how community services in the United States compare with services in Italy and what we can do as a human family to better serve migrant children and their families."
~ Dr. Melissa Ockerman
"Despite the language barriers of the Italian student group, a significant and positive level of interaction was achieved. In my opinion, this resulted from the commitment of the students, but also from the excellent organization of the project phases."
~ Dr. Marta Milani
"The most important moment was collaborating with DePaul University and finding the best way to make two very different groups of students interact in terms of language and culture, crossing different skills such as pedagogy and counseling. And mapping work is a tool to be developed and disseminated."
~ Dr. Elena Guerra
Institution: DePaul University Discipline: CounselingCourse name: Counseling Children and Adolescents
Institution: Università degli Studi di VeronaDiscipline: Intercultural Education
DePaul UniversityChicago, IL, United States
Università degli Studi di VeronaVerona, Italy
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