You’ve probably heard about many of the ways that cultural exchange can take place, from semesters abroad to mission trips and everything in between. Cultural exchange as a tactic to spread cultural diversity gained traction in the 1960s. Since then, exchange programs have become one of the greatest ways to build a lasting, meaningful relationship between two countries.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what cultural exchange is, why it’s important, and what the ATSCC is doing to bring Atlanta and Toulouse closer together.
So, What Is Cultural Exchange?
As you might have surmised, cultural exchange is a critical tool in our toolbelt to help bring two nations closer together. There are several ways we can facilitate cultural exchange to happen, but it can’t be forced:
- Student Cultural Exchange Programs
- Professional Cultural Exchange Programs
- Virtual Cultural Exchange Programs
- Volunteer Cultural Exchange Programs
The above programs can be organized by the following different entities: education institutions, third-party organizations, government departments, and international organizations. Here at the ATSCC, we make use of government and international departments to facilitate local cultural exchange between Atlanta and Toulouse.
Why Is Cultural Exchange So Important?
Why go through all of the effort to begin with?
Because we believe that culture is important and cultural understanding is critical to the relationships between the world’s countries. When we make meaningful, intentional connections with one another, we can begin to understand each other better, facilitating a brighter future for our countries’ citizens! Here are a few of the other benefits of cultural exchange:
- Cultural exchange reminds us how beautiful our world and its people are.
- It reminds us to focus on how similar we actually are, as people.
- Cultural exchange creates a more connected, inviting world.
Sister Cities: Atlanta and Toulouse
Atlanta, GA, and Toulouse, France have been sister cities since December of 1974. Since then, we’ve welcomed many French citizens and have sent many of our own to France, as well! Establishing sister-city connections is another amazing way to facilitate cultural exchange between two areas across the globe. An official connection is made that allows for easier planning and logistics between the two cities.
What Does Cultural Exchange Look Like for Atlanta and Toulouse?
Here at the ATSCC, we regularly help set up exchange programs for the citizens of Atlanta and Toulouse. We are involved in planning, selecting candidates, and finding host families and living arrangements. However, encouraging cultural exchange between these two cities is only a part of what we do here.
Are you looking to get involved in a cultural program here in Atlanta? Check out what we do here at the ATSCC and see how you can get involved today! Or, if you don’t have the time to volunteer but still want to support local cultural exchange, donate to our committee to help support the work we do here in Atlanta and Toulouse.