With the French school Lycée D’Arsonval hosting their inauguration of their cube a couple of weeks ago, the sibling school from Sweden, Hersby gymnasium with 40 students visited for the ceremony. Throughout the week stay in Paris the Swedish students stayed with the French students. This being a tool to get a close working relationship between the students.
In the days leading up to the opening ceremony of the cube, students from both Hersby and Lycée D’Arsonval had workshops to initiate cooperation between the schools and give a preview of how different opinions, stereotypes, values and perspectives on human rights can vary between students in diverse countries.
120 students participating during the week had the possibility to have a brief workshop on self-leadership, where they got to talk about their values and experiences in pairs. They also discussed their stereotypes of each other’s cultures and thereafter raised awareness of the complete picture of each culture. This lead to a better understanding between the different perspectives and culture while working for the cube project.
As one of the French teachers states, “The theme ‘people that make a difference’ was the concentration field that we gave them, we wanted to show them that it is possible to get involved in every part of our lives, says Delphine Lore, English teacher.” (1) This all over theme of the week became the main discussion point on how each and every one can make a difference in school and society. These discussions later became messages from the students that were presented on the cube, for the inauguration.
The countries was had intense contact since September 2016, first through Skype sessions, then moving onto a platform/a communication network for schools in Europe, called ‘eTwinning’. eTwinning has been a base for their mutual cooperation between the students, with sharing their works, letters, interview, and pictures with each other and give the students the possibility to get to know each other and each other’s cultures better.
To open the ceremony the students had decided to put on a flash mob with both French and Swedish students.
The opening ceremony at Lycée D’Arsonval with the Swedish ambassador was filmed, watch the film here.
The inauguration also included a speech from the Swedish ambassador, principle, as well as presentation of portraits of people that has made a difference in the world, these portraits being both Swedish, French and international role models.
The whole exchange and experience of the week was highly appreciated by both students and teachers. Here are some of the quotes from students,
“We got this unique possibility to really get to know more about the human rights in the world like we never did before, it was fascinating says Amira, 17 years old, and to work with the Swedes was fantastic, their culture is so different from ours.”
“It was really incredibly thrilling, fun and educational to visit France and work with the french students like we did. The Cube project has gotten us to reflect over thing that we otherwise often do not reflect over. Human rights are easy to just take for granted, since we live in the part of the world where it can be taken for granted. Therefore it feels like it was educational to bring it up so that we can become aware of them, what they involve and how lucky we actually are. Values was the other part of the project. Values ‘steer’ our decisions every day but we often have poor awareness of what they are. It is important to write them down on paper and really reflect on what we value”, said Fabian, a Swedish student.