FRIENDS Reunions at RTC, May 2022
A FRIENDS Reunion was conducted in a virtual mode by RTC on 7 May 2022 as part of the FRIENDS Intercultural Passport dissemination and promotion activities. The RTC FRIENDS project team members and the Student Bootcamp 2022 participants teamed up to create the presentations and agenda for the event. In total, 52 participants joined the online event. In addition to RTC academic community members, the FRIENDS Reunion event was attended by members from Norbuling Rigter College, Sherubste College, Gedu College of Business Studies and College of Language and Culture Studies. The online event started with Ms. Tshering Choden welcoming the participants and introducing the project team members. Ms. Tshering Choden also talked about the project goals and objectives, and the overall activities completed by RTC. She took the opportunity to present the FRIENDS project website and the Bhutan subsite. The interesting concept of Teahouses was met with interest from the audience. The success story of the Internationalisation at Home concept was emphasized by the presentation of RTC students who took turns and talked about their experiences in running the Teahouse and working on the project. Their speech inspired and paved the way for even more students to join. Following the students’ presentations, Ms Kencho Pelzom, IRM Manager at RTC continued to inspire with a speech on the topic inspiration session on “Importance of Cultural Dialogue and the Relevance of Intercultural Awareness and Competence from an Employability Point of View”. She described intercultural competency as ‘an individual’s ability to function effectively across cultures’. The event was an important opportunity for everyone involved in the project to meet and exchange opinions, remarks and discuss the real value of cultural dialogue and the relevance of intercultural awareness and competence from employability point of view. Total of 52 participants were present at the reunion. (FRIENDS Reunion Invitation, FRIENDS Reunion Agenda, Event Flyer, FRIENDS Project Presentation, FRIENDS Project Achievements, IACD and Tea House Presentation, FRIENDS Reunion – Intercultural awareness & employability, Event Minutes)
FRIENDS International and Intercultural Festival at RTC, June and July 2021
The FRIENDS International and Intercultural festival at RTC was initially conducted on 2 June 2021 at the premises of the university. The event was hosted to celebrate cultural diversity in RTC. However, due to the absence of International students on campus because of the pandemic, the event was unable to have international students showcase their cultures. Therefore the project team decided to celebrate cultural diversity, not by having students talk about their own cultures but have them present their experiences when put in a new cultural environment. The student speakers selected were those who had traveled abroad to Europe, the USA and Japan, and had lived there for a year as part of exchange programmes.
It was further continued on two separate dates later on as well. The first session out of the two was conducted on the 27 July 2021 with the faculties of the college with Dr. Samir Patel, the Dean of the Development and External Relations Department as the speaker for the sessions presenting the activities under the FRIENDS project and the importance of having a culturally diverse community on campus through the Internationalisation at Home (IAH) strategies implemented in the college and the improvements it brought to the college system.
The last session of the FRIENDS International and Intercultural Festival was held on the 30 July 2021. The session was led by AIRO Rigzin Dorji Wangdi and was conducted with the student government members. During the session, the speaker presented the importance of cultural diversity, especially on campus and various exchange programmes that the Bhutanese students went on in the previous semesters. The presentation highlighted on the experience and the change that these students went through during their journey in their host countries. More than 370 students were reached over the course of the three face-to-face sessions. (FRIENDS International and Intercultural Festival at RTC Presentation, RTC FRIENDS Teahouse Presentation, The Life in Sunny Spain by Karma Tshoki, Life in Japan by Jigme Tenzin Jamtsho, Cultural Exchange Experience by Sonam Chhoewang, Intercultural experiences in US by Vebaka Bhandari, Study Abroad by Yangchen).
Official Opening Event at RTC, March 2021
On 10 March 2021, the FRIENDS partners at RTC in Bhutan inaugurated the FRIENDS Teahouse on campus. In the efforts of promoting and nurturing an inclusive and multicultural environment on campus, the Teahouse has been established with the vision to serve as a hub for students from all walks of life and culture who will have the opportunity to interact and share intercultural experiences. The event was attended by 5 executive members including the RTC President and 27 attendees consisting of student government members and officers from the student services department, development and external relations department, and the IT department. During the FREINDS Teahouse opening ceremony, the three candidates selected for participation in the FRIENDS Student Bootcamp and who would be running the Teahouse as well were also presented.