The goals of the mentor program are for students to have a cultural guide and friend in the city of Barcelona, Spain. Each mentor is a staff member who is a local or has lived in Spain for a number of years. In the beginning, mentors and mentees meet to set up goals for their time abroad and discussions to prepare them for upcoming challenges by reflecting on different situations.
The mentor card game is a reflection tool used by the mentors to target topics of diversity. The game has purple cards outlining situations that were challenging for past students. The students select a card and then reflect on what he/she would do in the same situation.
This has been helpful in starting conversations around the number of diverse topics including race, LGBTQ+, and disability identifications. It also helps students know the state of some issues in Barcelona like how locals are dealing with the recent rise in immigration and historic issues of stereotypes and prejudices.
Staff and Partner Intercultural Training
Barcelona SAE staff in the US and in Spain, including partners such as homestay families, have all been engaged in various training sessions in intercultural competencies.
To date, we have coordinated the following training sessions:
- Microaggressions Advising Training for US/Spain Staff
This training was created to bring awareness of microaggressions and how the use of microaggressions can create a hostile environment for students, faculty and staff. Participants learned how to avoid microaggressive language and best practices for moving to inclusive language.
- The Homestay Intercultural Toolkit (Focus on Microaggressions)
The purpose of the toolkit is to provide homestay families with resources and best practices they can apply to support with students of different backgrounds. We encourage our homestay families to think of this experience as a great opportunity to create an open and diverse environment in their home. This allows for open dialogue between students and families.
- HBCU Legacy and other MSI’s (Minority Serving Institutions) Introduction
This serves as an introduction to Spain-based staff of the different MSI/HBCU institutions and the historical significance behind them.
- LGBTQ+ Inclusion Training
This training was organized to train staff of current issues and terms in support of the LGBTQ incoming students.