“Ambassadors in Sneakers” is a project for high school and college students in Germany and the USA. It goes far beyond the traditional objectives of regular school exchanges. During the period of one school year, all participants are supported by intercultural trainers and tutors during actual and virtual encounters. Both the German and the American high school participants are tutored by so called “Senior Ambassadors”, college students from the partner country.
The project occurs in three phases:
1. Warm-up: Intercultural trainings for students and senior ambassadors through preliminary workshops in both countries. Online encounters and meetings of Senior Ambassadors and high school groups.
2. The Big Adventure: “Real life” encounters with participating schools: They visit one another for two weeks and live with host families. During this time they go to school, play sports, and have fun while they also work on a project together.
3. Reflection: Program evaluation and experiences reflection with all participants. Professional support for further intercultural/global learning encounters between the participating schools.
The Goal of the School-Partnership Projects are:
1. This project supports German and US-American secondary schools in more rural regions. In Germany we work with schools that focus mainly on preparing their students for vocational training. Students of these schools (other than students at schools that prepare mainly for academic careers) stated their request for more support and information on international mobility options during a “Future Conference” in Stuttgart in July 2013. (See also: Future Conference Youth Mobility, Jugendstiftung Baden-Württemberg)
2. Our project allows college and high school students to gain a variety of intercultural communication skills while looking at their own and others’ cultural diversity.
3. AiS allows partipants to concretely experience the relevance of German as a foreign language (from the American side) and of English as a global-tongue (from the German side).
4. Our project shapes advanced awareness and understanding about the meaning of citizen diplomacy. (For more information visit Discover Diplomacy.)
5. In their project tasks participants examine relevant social and cultural topics and learn to also view them from transatlantic persepectives. In a final event towards the end of the school year the project results will be published.