Graciela B. Chua, third-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) of Universidad de Sta. Isabel and an American Field Service (AFS) volunteer, recently completed the AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program last January 13, 2022.
With its goal to increase its volunteers’ intercultural and global competence, the AFS Intercultural Programs- Philippines created an online learning program called Foundations of Intercultural Learning and Global Competence (FILGC) 2021.
“What’s fun about the program is that there’s this interactive platform during or after each module, aside from quizzes, of course. You’ll see comments from volunteers and facilitators all over the globe taking the same program as you. That platform encourages interaction,” Chua said.
Chua, who is also the AFS-USI School Coordinator, said that the learning was never a prerequisite for her to excel from the volunteer program to facilitator program offered by the AFS organization, but rather a recommendation for her to be equipped as a facilitator for the meetups with the foreign exchange students. “I just didn’t want to facilitate the meeting without being prepared for it,” Chua explained.
“I am glad I got to immerse myself in a new organization; one that is credited as an international, as well with close ties to each country and participating university, I would like to thank Mr. Randy P. Iniego, AFS International, AFS PH, AFS Naga and all those who supported the events and my journey,” Chua expressed her gratitude.
The said FILGC is a self-paced learning course held from November to December of 2021, is an introductory level of the AFS Intercultural Link Learning program that is open for all AFS staff members and volunteers.
Consisting of 11 modules of videos, forum questions, quizzes, and activities, each module takes between 20 to 60 minutes to complete.
During the course, a 90-minute Live Session was held where volunteers met other volunteers who signed up for the program from the AFS Global community and dove deeper into the course topics. — Last December 11-12, 2021, Chua, along with USI Student Affairs HED Coordinator and newly appointed AFS Intercultural Programs Philippines Foundation, Inc’s Trustee, Mr. Randy P. Iniego, represented the AFS Philippines in the 1st Virtual Volunteer Congress organized by AFS Malaysia, where AFS volunteers and staff from across the globe participated in taking part and knew their roles in the growing AFS global community.
As the AFS-USI School Coordinator, Chua plans to reopen the AFS-USI after years of inactivity. This will then open opportunities for students interested in taking its program.
"If you’re looking for an organization that could teach you to be more culturally self-aware and embrace diversity, AFS is your best bet… Remember that curiosity keeps leading us down new paths and that there is no better day than the present. Carpe Diem!” Chua stated