Anna and me got the chance to join the international week in Belgium for the topic “Managing Diversity”. This means we were able to have classes to this topic at the HELMo international office teacher training department in Liège. We were very lucky to stay the week at the apartment of a student of that university. We shared the flat with her and 3 other room mates of her and it was really lovely and a nice place to stay. She made us feel very welcome and already on the second day we felt like we were home. The best part was, that the university was only 10 minutes by feet away.
On the first day, some students prepared a really nice tour for us. Our whole group, which was a group of 15 people with 6 different nationalities, was separated in two groups. It was kind of a competition to find some spots in the city, take pictures and then you can earn points for it. It ended up with making a stranger a proposal in front of the town hall in french. We got to see famous spots and got to dive into the culture of the city. It was a really nice afternoon to get to know everyone and the city as well.
The rest of the week was simply great. We had different courses and workshops to talk about and also play games about “Diversity”. We also got the chance to visit a primary school and gain some insight how teachers work in different classes.
In our free time we enjoyed the time with some other international students, ate loads and loads of waffles and fries and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
In the evening we went for dinner and also had some great nights out in the party street “Carre”.
At this week we did not just gain learning experiences but we also saw the irony in the way we came together. We were all strangers from different countries and wanted to learn about Diversity, but we, in our group itself, were diverse. We talked a lot about the differences but also similarities of our cultures for instance in Norway and Austria. We came together as strangers and left as friends. This week showed us deeply that being different gives as so many new ways to work and bloom together.