3 Questions

A conversation among friends from around the world is a great way to begin spreading peace. Start now by answering one or all of the questions below or by joining the dialogue of others who have already shared their answers.

  1. What do you think needs to happen for the world to achieve peace?
  2. If you traveled to another country or went on an exchange program, tell us where you went and how that experience changed your perspective on the world?
  3. Do you agree with the statement “International youth exchanges promote peace.” Why?

See below to learn how other people from around the world have responded to these questions.

Your answers

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  1. all we need is communication and better understanding....
  2. i have not yet traveled to other country..but i'm hoping that one day i can go to a lot of places..to be friends with people and learn their culture...
  3. yes i do...because through that international youth exchanges,socializing with other people is develop..and if people are getting along together,we'll have peace...

Apr 24, 2008, contributed by shanie, Philippines

  1. No super rich people
  2. VT , USA friendly people i have learned that people all are the same.
  3. Yes, the peace with this idea is happening everyday, but the other peace that we are looking for is not here yet because of greedy people.

Apr 24, 2008, contributed by Karin Machema, Thailand

  1. everyone must have respect for each other. Don't do to others what you don't want others to do unto you.
  2. Travelling and knowing to understand and appreciate others cultural trait is one honourable deed. But don't criticize and condemn other poeple and the country from your own backyard.
  3. No. International Youth exchange only contribute very, very minimal to promote peace. The UN should put a stop to all weapon-producing countries from producing anymore weapons and totally prohibit the sale of any kind of weapons to other countries. Money used for producing weapons, combat planes be it jet fighters or helicopters and missiles can be used for food crops and domesticate animals to feed the hungry world population. But the greed of man to become millionaires/billionaires; the greed of one country to control the resources of other countries thus create animosity among fellow human beings.We can all live peacefully and die peacefully. So do not kill each other, don't discriminate the weaker or minority group.Once all these are achieved then the internatiol youth exchange can achieve its objectives.

Apr 23, 2008, contributed by jen sangel, Malaysia

  1. I was an AFS exchange student to USA in 1988. That definitely changed my life. It was a great year for learning and sharing culture. Now a days I'm an English Teacher (EFL) and I keep telling my students that we travel the world to learn, to teach and to TOLERATE. Being an exchange student abroad is a great opportunity to practice tolerance, to be free of any kind of prejudice and to learn how to live in a world of difference, no matter who we are or where we come from. After all, we are all humans.

Apr 23, 2008, contributed by Clarissa Ribeiro, Brazil

  1. People should not let the difference in culture, ethnic, religion and background be a hindrace. They need to be more understanding and rational when making decisions. They should think over the consequences that will occur due to the action taken and not do something without thinking thoroughly.
  2. I have never been to another country under any student exchange programme. However ,I do hope that I will get the chance to participate in one in the near future.
  3. Yes. There are just too many to learn from another person from an entirely different place. From there, we can learn to understand and appreciate our differences, thus allowing us to accept and embrace it. Not fight over it.

Apr 20, 2008, contributed by Phoon Yik Chi, Malaysia

  1. Individuals must understand and realize that national and religious identities and any other discriminations between humans, are socially constructed and these aim to spread hate among "different" groups of people which therefore lead to wars, etc. The understanding of that will make each of us become more human centric and that there are no real causes of struggle. Of course, in order to make people realize the above mentioned, each state's education must change and people who really want peace in the world must be active enough to awake world's citizens.
  2. I attended in an exchange program-the Erasmus program- and I went to Istanbul. It must be mentioned that I come from Cyprus, a country which is half occupied by Turkey. Also, my mother is a refugee. One can easily understand that before I decided to go to Istanbul I did not have the best feelings for Turks. Although, I got the hard decision and went to Turkey and interacted with Turks and since then all the myths concerning them have been demolished. I realized that it does not matter where a person comes from but all it matters is whether he or she is a good person. Everywhere, all over the world, there are good and not that good persons. Problems, such as the "Cyprus Problem", are all about politics and interests. My Istanbul experience was a life experience which really helped me view the world by a different angle and realize one of the real meanings of life...PEACE
  3. I strongly believe that International youth exchanges promote peace because youth is the most potential part of global society. Youngsters from various countries can exchange their ideas, views and convictions on any topic, thing that totally helps in understanding and accepting differentiation. And of course people who attend in such programs can learn from the others and can take advantage of that knowledge by working for peace.

Apr 14, 2008, contributed by Vasilis Tseriotis, Cyprus

  1. People need to become more understanding of one another. They need to understand the consequences of their action and think about what they are doing.
  2. I have never traveled very far away but I would love to go to many countries to understand different cultural approaches to life.
  3. Yes. When someone interacts with people from a different culture, he/she can learns firsthand what life is like for those people. With this knowledge, people can become more understanding of different cultures.

Apr 14, 2008, contributed by Jillian, United States

  1. We need to mobilize people with a peace message. We need to become global and local embassadors teaching and inspiring by example. We need to understand where people are receptive to this message and ACT.
  2. I went to Germany as exchange student when I was 17. Then a couple of years after my university studies I moved to Switzerland, then Belgium and I am currently in France. The german experienced shaped the way I see and understand the world.
  3. I agree, because it helps you understand that no matter where we come from, deep inside we are the same: we have hope, we seek happiness & we live faith (no matter how you call it), and we all want to live in peace.

Apr 10, 2008, contributed by Judith De Labastida, Ecuador

  1. 1.Get together (in separate groups) and think over or brainstorm 2.Promote Youth Interrelations such as AFS. 3. Send people to conflict areas to help trauma relief or recoveries. 4.Make bureaus containing youths that responds to many social needs all over the world, spreading in branches and posts.
  2. 1.I went to Australia as an AFSer. It was the one year that change my whole life, my view and way I take decisions. This affected the view of many people as well; my congregations (I'm a priest), my students (also a lector) and my community. 2. Traveling abroad encourage us to speak out and be the agent of change wherever we are. That is obvious and frequent found on other returnees as well. 3. I believe "there is nothing wrong with us, only differences"
  3. Yes. I believe by being away make youth see their origin from different view, experience new life, gaining encouragement to act more, obtaining knowledge and wisdom, etc.

Apr 10, 2008, contributed by Adrian David Arif, Indonesia

  1. We have to be more accepting of differneces and embrace them. We also have to be responsible for one another and one another's well being. This is a global world!
  2. I spent a year in South Africa with AFS. My experience taught me to be more tolerant of other's views even if I disagreed them them. I learned to listen and to understand that it doesn't take much to bridge the gap between two people. We are JUST people, not countries.
  3. I certainly agree!! The youth are our future. It is through the understanding of individuals that we will learn to understand whole cultures.

Apr 10, 2008, contributed by Trish, United States

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