Authors: Nilüfer PEMBECİOĞLU, Adnan KILINÇ
Abstract: Understanding of cultures requires many different perspectives focusing on “Global Understanding” more than anything else. The self and the other in the same community should be integrated, dissolved and melted in the same pot. The individuals and the groups begin to get to know each other through images rather than the actions. Nowadays mostly the media is responsible for the images contrary to the days of verbal culture. The days of the spoken stories left its place to the media as the main story teller of the society. Thus, the images are provided as to lead believes, change policies, shape prejudices or help people to overcome their fears and stereotypes. The negative impact of the media is more rather than the positive outcomes since the good examples are very rare to help to gain good experiences. Thus the “Global Understanding Project” helped the people to overcome such a negative impact. Real and physical mobility might be a bit expensive and tiresome due to the high costs of travel and education. But instead the virtual mobility, with the help of the technology and mobilized intellectuality creating the individuals and groups kind of distance learning opportunities would provide a lot to the participants. Seen as the virtual mobility experience in a multicultural context this paper concentrates more on the outcomes of the global understanding and intercultural experiences. The study involves face to face and focus group interviews and responses to a questionnaire to find out the impact of such experiences on their point of view. The sample group includes individuals from different cultures varying from Turkish, Dutch, German, Syrian, Japanese ones to North Korean, Pakistani and others. The study is limited with the accessibility of the sample group which would be limited with the number of the exchange group for 2015 spring term and with the ones agreeing to be interviewed on the issue. The preliminary results show us how the prejudices prevent the natural communication atmosphere and cause the stereotypes to be created. The individuals are questioned face to face, one by one and their replies are evaluated both in a qualitative and quantitative way. The data collected through the study is on the xenophobia of different cultures. The facts and actions experienced and involved through this type of mobility might cause integration This paper is supported by Istanbul University with BAP 51965 Project “Analysis of Citizenship Perception Between Turkey and China and accepted to be presented in The Eighth Global Partners in Education Conference, Shaanxi Normal University - Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China, May 11 - 16, 2015. and seldom misunderstanding or pre-shaped stereotypes. The sample group involves both the Erasmus Exchange group of students and Global Understanding group of students. The ones attending to an exchange program or the distance learning program would be clarifying how the direct contact with the other culture would reveal the truth and positive impact yielding its roots from natural communication circumstances. The feedback of the participants would provide a setting for all cultures to bridge the gap between the individual and the other. The study also involves the documentary film of the interviewed ones and their reflections as well as feedback. The study compares and contrasts the data regarding the differences between the real experience and virtual experience regarding the multicultural context.
Keywords: Multicultural, Virtual, Mobility, Turkey