Monday evenings spent getting to know other motivated learners became a part of my routine. The AFS NZ Global Competence Certificate consisted of engaging 2-hour zooms supplemented by fun, Kurzgesagt-style videos about cultural competency.
The programme helped me put into words everything we took for granted. Each video on the platform was engaging and bite-sized, with little ability to get lost or bored. They discussed things like the emotionally restrained-expressive cultural scale, how polarisation can snowball in real life and why businesses may look for critical thinking than diligence; all of which were concepts that are hugely beneficial for our future.
The programme was hugely introspective too. I figured out my learning style (I’m a “common sense” learner), the many facets of my identity and how I could prepare myself for the 21st century job market. While everything taught were concepts that I already knew, the zoom sessions put these skills and knowledge into practice. I enjoyed the accessibility of this virtual programme. I finished work every Monday at the time the zoom sessions started, but I could easily hop onto the call on my phone as I took the bus home. I would not have been able to do so, or meet the wonderful people outside of the Auckland region with an in-person programme!
My favourite module of the course was learning about the DIVE method. Standing for describe, interpret, verify and evaluate, the method is to prevent ourselves from rushing to judgement when we encounter a new situation. I’ve always tried to be open-minded and come to fair judgement, but this method streamlined what I was already trying to practice. What the programme does well is making the implicit obvious. With the world becoming smaller, it is important to continue practicing cultural competency. Cultural competency must be practiced regularly and the AFS Global Competence Certificate has provided me an overarching framework to continue growing my social awareness. I highly recommend this programme to all learners who’d like to better themselves, and to prepare themselves for a global career.