When I first heard of the Worldwide Culture Swap- where schools or families can “trade” cultural packages with others from around the world- I was SO excited. What an amazing experience for the kids involved to be able to deliberately choose artifacts that represent their culture, and then exchange them with those that another child around the globe has specially picked out. I asked one of the site’s founders and organizers to help explain the process.
My name is Rachael from Worldwide Culture Swap – a completely free resource for schools and families who are interested in learning more about different cultures around the world.
The project started lasted year when I set up an exchange on my blog. I asked if any families wanted to register to send packages to each other representing the country in which they were from and within a few weeks I was able to put together 25 swapping groups, each made up of 5 different families worldwide – the Culture Swap had started!
As time went on the swaps became more and more popular but I was struggling to keep up with the growing group of people. At one point I thought I would have to just close down the project so that I could catch up with the organisation but before I did I posted a quick plea for help on my Facebook page and that’s when I ‘met’ Deb and Mymy, fellow bloggers and former participants in the project whose help just immediately transformed the project into the form that it is today.
We are three expat mothers all with a shared love of learning about different cultures, and together the three of us were able to set up a dedicated site just for the project and expand the types of swaps offered to suit schools, homeschools, families, clubs and just about anyone with an interest in cultural education.
Currently we offer the following (free) options:
- Worldwide Culture Swap – A group of 5 families from around the world swap packages containing items related to their country and culture.
- US State Culture Swap – A group of 5 families from different US states swap packages containing items related to their state’s geography and culture.
- Culture Swap for Schools – An exchange between two schools / classes which takes whatever form is agreed between the two educational establishments.
- Find a Pen Pal – A service putting children and families in touch with potential pen pals from around the world
All that remains is for me to thank Becky on behalf of Deb, Mymy and myself for giving us this amazing opportunity to spread the word about our project. This site is absolutely inspirational and we are honoured to be part of it!
Rachael, thank you! My kids and I will be signing up this summer!:)