Global competence is becoming a key skillset for employees of global companies and organizations. The AFS Global Competence Certificate (GCC) was developed through a partnership between AFS and the Sentio Network, a consortium of organizations dedicated to quality intercultural learning experiences and global competence training. This benefit, provided to all AFSNext participants, will serve as a valuable measurement and validation of your knowledge in this increasingly important field.
The AFSNext certification program launches a deeper exploration of intercultural learning through a modular, blended, and experiential learning approach. Through this course, you’ll learn to make the most of your AFSNext program. When you return from your international AFSNext experience, you’ll be able to include your achievement on your college or university application and, likewise, on your resume.
The GCC content was designed to meet key educational goals to help learners develop intercultural competence. These goals are organized into four core areas:
- Self- awareness
- Awareness about others
- Emotional intelligence
- Bridges to others
The content of the GCC is designed to follow the four areas of the experiential learning cycle, as described by David Kolb (1984):
- Concrete Experience
- Reflective Observation
- Abstract Conceptualization
- Active Experimentation
- There are 18 modules on key intercultural topics.
- Each module includes a video with forums and assignments.
- Assignments are both reflective and interactive. Some can be done on your own; others include engaging with others (virtually and/or face-to-face).
Pre-departure modules and discussions take place with AFSNext participants from the United States who will be traveling to different destination’s around the world. These modules include:
- A roadmap to intercultural learning
- Metaphors of culture
- “Me” as a cultural being
- Stereotypes and generalizations
- Cultural values
- Communication styles
- When cultures collide
- Balancing challenge and support
- How to cope with the challenges
While you are on the AFSNext program, there are modules and discussions that will take place in your host country.
- “Them” as cultural beings
- Cultural surprises and irritations
- Navigating culture
- Describe, Interpret, and Evaluate: a framework
- More cultural values
- Dealing with conflict
- Power and privilege
The final training sessions take place when you return home. These sections are done with fellow participants who went to different places abroad. The interaction and themes are specifically designed to maximize the conversation and different points of views offered during the debriefs.
- Making sense of the experience
- Taking action