FRIENDS Caravans in Bhutan

FRIENDS Caravan by the Royal Thimphu College on February 28th, 2022

The FRIENDS Project Caravan was conducted by the Royal Thimphu College on 28th February, 2022 as part of the FRIENDS Intercultural Passport Dissemination and Promotion. The caravan event also had a brief introduction to the FRIENDS Project including its purpose and focus on Capacity Building in Higher Education Institute’s like RTC.

For the Caravan event, though the initial plan was to visit Norbuling Rigter College in Paro physically with RTC FRIENDS Team and the Intercultural Passport Award winners, this was not possible due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in Bhutan which resulted in a lockdown till date. Therefore, in order to accomplish this task, the RTC FRIENDS team members had several coordination meetings/correspondences with the Dean of Norbuling Rigter College and a faculty member to facilitate the Caravan virtually.

The caravan event started with Ms. Tshering Choden welcoming the students from NRC and their Faculty Mr. Kuenzang Dorji to the event, Ms. Tshering Choden was accompanied by Ms. Kencho Pelzom, International Relations Manager along with Ms. Leki Dem Tamang, Mr. Jigme Thukten Singye and Ms. Choeing Lhazin from RTC as part of the FRIENDS Team. Ms. Tshering introduced the RTC FRIENDS team members to the audiences and briefly talked about how the teams were selected and what their respective responsibilities/functions were. Ms. Kencho Pelzom also welcomed everyone to the event on behalf of the management team at RTC.

The first part of the caravan activity focused on the FRIENDS Project including a brief presentation on the project and also explaining why such a project is beneficial for HEIs. Ms. Tshering also took the opportunity to present the FRIENDS Project website to the audiences and presented to them the Bhutan subsite. Ms. Tshering also introduced the FRIENDS Teahouse concept to the audiences and also showed pictures of the Teahouse on RTC campus.

Under these sections, Ms. Leki talked about how the digital storytelling contest was tied with the MOOC and how students were able to receive the Intercultural Passport Award. Ms. Leki explained that the theme for the Digital storytelling contest was in line with the objective of the FRIENDS project to help promote internationalization of campus and exploring Cultural Diversity while remaining aware of the intercultural differences.

The third part of the event focused on the experiences of the students who were successful Intercultural Passport holders. The students explained how they had prepared for the entire process which required them to submit a digital story focusing on any sort of intercultural experience or engagement they had without necessarily having the need to travel out of Bhutan. The students also talked about how taking the MOOC helped them in getting to understand the international students who were on campus with RTC and at the same time, they had a different perspective to every situation and they were able to analyze the situation more effectively.

The students also explained how they learned other skills through the MOOC such as time management and multitasking, because though they were attending the MOOC virtually delivered by our European partners, they also had to make sure to meet their academic requirements at RTC so juggling between the two have helped them become better organized, learn time management skills and at the same time they could see the potential within themselves to challenge their capabilities and succeed.

The students had also showcased their own digital stories in their presentation in order to motivate their fellow student colleagues from Norbuling Rigter College to take up any opportunities that may come their way and to keep the passion for learning alive. The final focus of the presentation was with regard to the FRIENDS Teahouse established on the campuses of RTC and RIM. Since our intercultural passport winner students are in charge of running the Teahouse, Ms. Choeing briefly talked about how the space has benefited the students on campus and the equipment through the FRIENDS project is helping the students with getting their assignments done and helping them to research/print anything very conveniently.

The caravan event concluded with Ms. Tshering thanking the Dean of Norbuling Rigter College and their faculty Mr. Kuenzang Dorji for facilitating and agreeing to provide assistance to RTC for the caravan and also thanked all the students who had taken the time to attend the event virtually. A total of 91 attendees participated in the event (Agenda of the Event, Event’s Minutes, FRIENDS Caravan Poster, Presentation on the Internationalization at Home (IaH), FRIENDS Caravan Presentation)

 

FRIENDS Caravan by the Royal Institute of Management on February 28th, 2022

The FRIENDS Project Caravan was conducted by the Royal Institute of Management on 28th February, 2022 as part of the FRIENDS Intercultural Passport Dissemination and Promotion. The caravan event also had a brief introduction to the FRIENDS Project including its purpose and focus on Capacity Building in Higher Education Institute’s like RIM.

For the Caravan event, although the initial plan was to visit Gedu College of Business Studies physically with RIM FRIENDS Team and the Intercultural Passport Award winners, this was not possible due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in Bhutan which resulted in a lockdown till date. Therefore, in order to accomplish this task, the RIM FRIENDS team members had several coordination meetings/correspondences with the President of Gedu College and a faculty member to facilitate the Caravan virtually on 28th February 2022.

As the Gedu College agreed to take care of all the logistical issues, the RIM FRIENDS team and the Intercultural passport winners teamed up to start working on the presentations and agenda for the event. The students even showcased their respective Digital stories to the students of GCBS and talked about their experience and some takeaways from the experience.

The caravan event that was attended by 26 participants, started with Ms. Sonam Wangmo welcoming the students from GCBS and their Faculty Ms. Deki to the event. The RIM FRIENDs team was represented by Ms. Sonam Wangmo along with the Ms. Sonam Pelden Thaye (Director RIM), Ms. Kesang Dechen.

The Caravan started with the introduction of the FRIENDs team with the participants of the event. The first part of the caravan activity focused on the FRIENDs Project including a brief presentation on the project and also explaining why such a project is beneficial for HEIs. FRIENDs Teahouse concept was introduced to the audiences.

Followed by the presentation on the FRIENDS project, Ms. Kesang and Ms. Kuenga took turns to present on the second part of the event and presentations. Ms. Kesang introduced and presented on the following topics:
1. Presentation on Internationalisation@Home (IaH)
2. Intercultural Awareness & Cultural Diversity Massive Open Online course (MOOC)

Ms. Kuenga talked about the following topics:
1. Intercultural Awareness and Cultural Diversity – Digital Storytelling Contest
2. Intercultural Awareness and Cultural Diversity – Intercultural Passport Award

The third part of the event focused on the experiences of the students who were successful Intercultural Passport holders. Mr. Tshering Gyeltshen and Ms. Deki Wangmo also explained how they learned other skills through the MOOC such as time management and multitasking, because though they were attending the MOOC virtually delivered by our European partners, they also had to make sure to meet their academic requirements at RIM so juggling between the two have helped them become better organized, learn time management skills and at the same time they could see the potential within themselves to challenge their capabilities and succeed.

The students had also showcased their own digital stories in their presentation in order to motivate their fellow student colleagues from Gedu College to take up any opportunities that may come their way and to keep the passion for learning alive. They also briefly explained about RIM Teahouse and how it functions.

The caravan event concluded with Ms. Sonam thanking the President of Gedu College off Business Studies and their faculty Ms. Deki for facilitating and agreeing to provide assistance to RIM for the caravan and also thanked all the students who had taken the time to attend the event virtually (FRIENDS Caravan Agenda, Presentation on Internationalisation@Home (IaH), Intercultural Awareness & Cultural Diversity presentation, FRIENDS Caravan event flyer, Minutes of the event)

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