Many of us will remember being fascinated by the idea of going on an exchange when we were teenagers, whether it was to practice a foreign language, take part in a sports competition with clubs from elsewhere, or experience living with people from a different culture. However, perhaps we didn’t have access to the economic resources, logistics or contacts to make it happen.
Many years have passed since then and the internet has made life a lot easier, although it’s true that the once dreamed-of exchanges continue to be an experience enjoyed by a select few, either during their formative years or sometimes later in life. The high admin fees charged by intermediary agencies remain a stumbling block for many.
This is where dothegap steps in to change the rules of the game. This platform, conceived and managed by entrepreneur Mercedes Martínez, opens the door to a community where you can create a network of contacts and organise your own cultural exchange experience, without the middlemen and keeping the costs to a minimum.
So, what kinds of experiences are we talking about? Anything that involves a cultural exchange. The first thing that comes to mind is languages, but why not organise an exchange between students from cooking, art or dance schools? Or what about a few months as an au pair or an exchange between sports clubs? The possibilities are endless, as long as the user is willing to learn and share the experience with others.
In the case of language schools, it’s a fantastic tool that can offer primary and secondary school students, and even adults, the chance to put everything they’ve learned into practice in the most natural way. As well as gaining experience that will complement their studies, an exchange presents them with a challenge, a chance to make memories, and sometimes, it might even open the door to a new place to live.
We are all aware of the benefits of exchanges and how the internet has brought us closer to many people whom at one time we would not have been able to contact, let alone meet. But, have we really made the most of this revolution on both a human and cultural level? dothegap advocates going one step further, democratising the development of skills outside our natural environment and, consequently, contributing to open-mindedness and greater tolerance.
Because only by travelling can we really comprehend diversity.
Make your exchange happen, rather than paying for it.
Welcome to Dothegap.com your community for cross-cultural activities.
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