“The world is so diverse, and because of that I believe intercultural learning is not about the goal, but a life-long process to build a better humanity,” said Darla K. Deardorff in Intercultural Learning through Global Engagement (ILGE). The conference which was held on 30th September 2019, in Malmö University, Sweden is the second conference arranged by International Network of Universities (INU) to provide a better understanding of cultural differences among its university partners. As a part of INU, Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) has sent its representatives namely, Yuliana Keke Febrianti (Public Administration, 2016), Magdalena Venasia Monitha (International Relations, 2016), and Ezer Lumika (Head of Administration of Research and Community Service Institute in Unpar) to attend this conference.
Not only attending the conference, the three of them also became the facilitators for intercultural peer-learning workshop with other students and staff that came from Kingston University (United Kingdom), European University Viadrina (Germany), and Malmö University (Sweden).
There were also other workshops in the conference, which are: Intercultural Learning through the SUCTI model (Systemic University Change Towards Internationalisation) by Marina Casals Sala, the Director of International Relations at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain) and Assessing Transformative Learning by John Dirkx (Professor and Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair (Emeritus) in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University) and Craig N. Shealy (Professor of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University).
The ILGE 2.0 Conference was opened with presentations from three great keynote speakers, they are Darla K. Deardorff (Executive Director Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and founder of ICC Global), Isabella Revina Wibowo (Unpar’s Alumni and exchange student in Malmö University in 2018), and Charles Hopkins (UNESCO Chairholder at York University in Toronto, Canada).
As the three keynote speakers in the conference had presented, each of them brought a new definition and methods of how someone could understand other people through their culture and how intercultural learning affects the sustainable education in the world.
Darla was talking about how to further advance intercultural competence in higher education as well as its approaches, curriculums, and strategies.
Isabella was talking about her perspective as a student on intercultural learning. She told us a lot about how she lived as an exchange student from Indonesia to Sweden, how she was facing the cultural shock, what she has learned from her friends that come from other countries, and many other things.
Hopkins was talking about intercultural learning as an educating platform for a sustainable world as well as intercultural communication, emerging global challenges, and also value, ethics, and education.
These exposures were followed by workshops from students, staff, and academicians who are active in their fields. They were not only presented their perspectives toward cultural differences, how to deal with it, and its implications to higher education, but also empowered and motivated staff from each institution to get involved in internationalism and asserted students’ important role through global engagement.
At the end of the conference, all the speakers and participants were invited to have a special dinner with the Malmö City mayor at Malmö Rådhus (Malmö Town Hall) and were served with a beautiful closing from Malmö University Choir.