Student Engagement: Interview with PIASTA

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··Student Engagement: Interview with PIASTA

Introducting the PIASTA student organization

The University of Hamburg (UHH) is definitely home to a lively student activity!

The Program International for All Students und Alumni (PIASTA) is a student organization and program run by the Department of International Affairs at the University of Hamburg.

As part of the the world’s biggest student consultancy, 180 Degrees Consulting Hamburg supports the mission in promoting the rigorous interculturality at the University of Hamburg. It is with great pleasure that we share some valuable insights within the topic of Intercultural Awareness and Understanding from our partner, PIASTA.

Being able to communicate and work with people across cultures is becoming more and more important in nowadays society. 180 Degrees Consulting Hamburg is a place where our consultants develop a deep cross-cultural competence, as well as hard and soft skills in strategic business activities and in advancing social and environmental impact. Following the very same value of cross-culturality and the benefits it can grant, PIASTA is actively engaged in spreading knowledge and insights about the topic.

Let us hear more about cultural diversity from PIASTA!

Why do you think it is important that students engage in cultural diversity? How does diversity impact learning?

What might be most extraordinary about cultural learning is its capability of showing your own world to you in a new light and – for some parts of it – even understanding your own ways of thinking for the first time. How? When you learn something about a new culture, you will find ways of looking at things differently. Take the example of conceptions of family, the relationships and the cohesion amongst relatives.

The first step is noticing that people might value family differently, influencing the way they treat one another. This allows for self-reflection on your own concept of family and how you interact with each other. Once this concept has become clear to you, you are capable of valuing it more – or questioning it. Therefore, intercultural learning is a way to broaden your mindset.

How does PIASTA promote cultural diversity? What are the tools for intercultural competence and diversity?

At PIASTA, students from Germany and international students come together and learn together, by getting to know Hamburg, trying new sports, cooking together and engaging in many more activities. We think that while sharing experiences, they will start to exchange their ways of perceiving the world. These perceptions might be very different, or surprisingly similar.

In our seminars and workshops, we give tools that help students understand their own cultures, as well as those of others, and options to solve misunderstandings and conflicts that might appear in intercultural settings. For example, you can get to know models of analysing situations and ways of communicating problems in a constructive way.

Language Cafés help students get comfortable speaking a new language, and in the end, are able to talk about the basis for intercultural learning and experiences in a different language!

For international students, we also provide information and advising on legal, social, and personal matters.

What is the Certificate of Intercultural Competence (CIC)? Why should students aim to get it?

The CIC certifies that the recipients have acquired comprehensive intercultural skills and experiences. In order to receive this certificate, students do not only have to spend time in a different country, but also have to follow up with this experience by taking part in one of our intercultural trainings. Additionally, two more components have to be fulfilled that deepen their intercultural knowledge. For example, students can help an international student with his or her start in Hamburg.

With the CIC, students demonstrate multilevel active engagement with intercultural experiences and topics, with the theory and practice of living in a globalised world. This is not only a possibility for personal growth, but also often a requirement in certain work contexts.

By joining us as a consultant, PIASTA accepts the 180DC participation as proof of intercultural involvement at Universität Hamburg. For more details, please visit: Component C: Campus International.

Are you interested? 180 Degrees Hamburg is looking for YOU! Join 180DC Hamburg team as a consultant!

Application deadline is the 15th of November 2020.