The CONTACT Program – Conflict Transformation Across Cultures

Are you interested in a combination of Intercultural Learning, Peace Building, and Conflict Transformation? If you are, the CONTACT program, offered by the SIT (School for International Training) is worth knowing about! It is a program that offers learning opportunities that aim to make transformation of conflicts across cultures possible. The program has a special focus on the intercultural conflicts that we are confronted with and which often need special attention in an increasingly globalized world. In many cases, they are more difficult to transform than conflicts that occur with people from familiar contexts. In addition to this, many of them are even further compromised by stereotyping and other challenging intergroup dynamics.

The CONTACT Program deals with dynamics of intercultural conflicts, and with how these conflicts can be transformed. More specifically, the program introduces participants to the tools that can be used to achieve this. In the 3-week Summer Peacebuilding Program that takes place every year in Brattleboro, VT in the United States, practitioners from all over the world come together to learn more about intercultural conflicts and to share their experiences. The Contact program also offers a 2-semester-distance Graduate Certificate Program, which includes a field seminar. In addition to these two options, CONTACT now offers a Program in Kathmandu, Nepal, for South Asians who are interested in learning about the topic. Participants take part in a process which combines theory, self-reflection, community building, and collaborative problem solving which, within a multicultural learning environment, is extremely powerful.

The Contact program can support us in achieving the goals that we as AFSers have set ourselves: to provide intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. This may be a reason why more AFSers than ever are signing up for structured Intercultural Learning opportunities around the world. Find out more!


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