Classes from Hanil High School in Korea and AMITY International School in India met together in a productive partnership during the IVECA International Virtual Schooling Fall Semester of 2020. The Principal of Hanil, Mr. Insoo Shin, shared that “this experience has been a great opportunity for students in both countries to learn about each other, and also about their own country, more deeply.” Students from both schools were led by Ambassador Dr. Hesham Elnakib, an expert in public diplomacy and soft power, through a course focused on branding and promoting soft powers from their countries. In a series of Live Classes starting on December 16th and ending on December 18th, teachers from both schools guided their students in virtual combined classes. These Live Classes focused on presenting and discussing the unique branding ability of each country’s soft power.
Joining from Gongju, Korea, the classes from Hanil High School shared the IVECA virtual classroom with their partners in Noida, India, at AMITY International School. Students were challenged by the activities initiated from the guidance of Ambassador Dr. Elnakib to find the unique soft power owned by their nation that could be branded to benefit their partner country and humanity. Ms. Nivedita Verma, Vice Principal of AMITY, elaborated during her closing remarks that, “this programme has enabled the students of both the countries to become more aware about their soft powers and through their research and exchange have become more aware of its global impact. They have become more empowered by understanding the value of working for humanity on a global level.”
Each student worked collaboratively with their partner from another country to identify the strengths and uniqueness of their country’s soft power in an effort to improve sustainable development and the quality of human life in their countries. According to Jiwoo Lee, a student from Hanil, “we were able to understand the power of culture in a country and respect the cultures of both countries, Korea and India.” Students developed presentations examining topics which varied from K-Medicine and Indian Architecture to K-Pop and Bollywood to Traditional Foods of Korea and Indian Spices. Through the feedback from their IVECA partners and the input from Ambassador Dr. Elnakib, in addition to the teachers, students were able to focus their presentations on the unique elements of their country’s soft powers and the impact on the international community.
The virtual exchange continued with a discussion between students considering what they learned from viewing their partner’s presentations and the effectiveness of strategies put forth by their partner’s soft power branding. The presentations served as a successful representation of the months of teamwork and collaboration by the partner schools. Niamat Gill of AMITY reflected upon the exchange as “an incredible journey which has not only added to our knowledge but has taught us invaluable skills such as team-work, coordination, time management and public speaking.” The Ambassador concluded the classes by encouraging the students toward the future of a growing friendship between Korea and India, “I am so sure that in your hands our future and our tomorrow is much better than today.”
#IVECA #GlobalCitizens #VirtualExchange #PublicDiplomacy #SoftPower #UNSDGs #GlobalEducation #InterculturalCompetence