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Hazar Yildirim & Tonya Muro


Inspiring Curiosity and Fostering Intercultural Competence with Creative Experiential Learning Activities

Presenter(s): Hazar Yildirim &Tonya Muro

Description: Educators, students and professionals of today's globalized world are required to have intercultural skills to deconstruct barriers to effective collaboration across cultures. Building intercultural competence and increasing one's sensitivity (and adaptability) to cultural differences can be a lengthy process requiring extensive experience, reflection and support. On the other hand, well-designed and skillfully facilitated non-formal learning activities can be very effective in helping people shift their perspectives, gain awareness of their own value assumptions and even identify their own prejudices. Such activities can serve as a crucial initial step towards a long intercultural learning journey. Attendees of this session will not only participate in, but also get a chance to facilitate quick and easy-to-adapt experiential learning activities aimed at enhancing intercultural skills. The participants will then discuss strategies for implementing these activities in different settings, identifying ways to turn these brief experiences into purposeful and long-lasting learning opportunities for their audiences. 

Level: Intermediate

Delivery: Game/Simulation

Track: International Education, Training, Exchanges

Hazar Yildirim

Manager, Education Content and Communications

Hazar Yildirim is the Education Content &Communications Manager at AFS Intercultural Programs providing ongoing service to AFS Network's educational content needs as well as working to increase AFS's international visibility as a quality non-formal intercultural education provider. An AFS alumnus himself, he has been in various AFS volunteer and staff capacities since 2002 and served as the president of the AFS Turkey Volunteer Association for 2 years. Hazar has lead a number of intercultural training events around the world as a Qualified Trainer for the AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program since 2011 and a member of the European Federation for Intercultural Learning Pool of Trainers since 2007. A graduate of Istanbul Technical University, his educational background is in architecture, but his passion is education, organizational development and intercultural learning. He has lived in Turkey, Cyprus, UK, the US and France and is currently based in New York.

Tonya Muro

Director of School Outreach & Educational Partnerships

As AFS-USA's Director of School Outreach and Educational Partnerships, Dr. Tonya Muro works to establish AFS-USA - an intercultural learning organization - as a thought leader in international education, global competency and 21st century educational skills. Tonya cultivates partnerships with like-minded organizations and develops relevant, intercultural learning resources for secondary school educators and their classrooms. Prior to joining AFS-USA, Tonya was the Program Director at Global Nomads Group, an NGO that fosters dialogue and understanding amongst the world's youth. Tonya holds an Ed.D. and M.A. in international educational development from Columbia University's Teachers College, where she was a U.S. Fulbright scholar in Tanzania. She received her B.A. in primary education and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). However, her most important achievement is being a mother of twin daughters, to whom her efforts to advance global citizenship are dedicated.