To establish intercultural communication I decided to participate in Van Der Poel. Despite my inability to speak Japanese I joined this group to integrate myself into the local Japanese community as that is something that is perhaps quite challenging for a foreigner. Thus we held a christmas party. This party allowed for us to get together with children from all of the childrens homes as well as some of the elderly and plan, organize and enjoy a fun day of games, performances, presents and christmas activities. For me this was a great experience as I am a part of the communications team in Van der Poel, meaning that we take care of all of the advertising and fundraising that comes with Van der Poel. The christmas party was the culmination of all of the work that me and the communications team put in through creating posters, writing posts for the daily to be heard by the whole school and the fundraising at each of the tutor classes from elementary all the way up to grade 12. This was not only an effort for me to integrate myself into the local Japanese community but to also bring the Japanese community into YIS. All of this effort allowed for us to raise around ¥400,000 and contribute to a wonderful christmas party. This was such a great experience for me to be a part of as it allowed for me to see the joy that we are able to bring to people simply through donating not necessarily money but our time to initiate and plan something on such a large scale that has so many moving parts. This was especially enhanced through the communication skills that I was able to build among the community at YIS and the children and elderly of Van der Poel.
On the day of the christmas party I wished to extend my efforts to communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers. To do this I used the universal language of photography, at the party I was able to take photographs of the children for them to look at and enjoy, whilst posing for photos and even taking some of the photos themself. In doing this I was able to communicate across the linguistic and cultural barrier that was initially built between us, and to bridge this gap. This was such a valuable experience for me as I was able to communicate with members of the community that I otherwise would not be able to communicate effectively with.
I continued this intercultural communication that I had developed in Van Der Poel in school. This time I aimed to integrate myself not within the local Japanese community but with the local YIS community, I began teaching English to a child in grade 9 during my grade 11 year. This was a chance for me to extend my intercultural communication through a different medium, this time I was able to speak the language and was therefore aiming to bridge the gap between myself and others. The student that I was tutoring was initially not so strong in terms of his writing in English and therefore one of my teachers approached me asking if I could help him with this issue. This was a great opportunity for me to improve my communication abilities and was able to share my cultural understanding of language with someone else in the school who needed said help.
Through these two examples I have been able to establish intercultural communication in two different ways. One through photography where the language barrier was present and the other through my knowledge of my own language. Therefore I was able to display my commitment to bridging the gap across both linguistic and cultural barriers.