The Incoming Preparation Seminar: A rendezvous of cultures
IPS day, which is also known as the Incoming Preparation Seminar is a unique and mandatory event in almost every AIESEC entity around the world which is done by their volunteers. IPS day is where all the volunteers of a project get the opportunity to bond with other participants as well as the Organizing Committee while getting to know more about Sri Lanka & its culture. The host entity organized this event in which the volunteer is willing to partake within their volunteering period. Usually, the IPS day takes place before all the volunteers officially start working on the project.
The purpose of conducting the Incoming Preparation Seminar is to enable the successful implementation of the project. The seminar itself is one of the exchange standards that should be fulfilled by the host entity, it allows the exchange participants to get a head start on the project and thereby clear their doubts about the country’s culture. It is therefore held to primarily identify the objectives & set clear expectations about their role as a volunteer. In addition, as their first encounter together, these volunteers get to know the other volunteers and AIESEC members whom they will be associating with throughout their project timeline. Ultimately, expectations sharing through this event was an important and key process. It creates an open space for exchange participants to express themselves. Various sessions developed cooperation between the project, AIESEC members and exchange participants.
Global Classroom by AIESEC in CN
Similarly, AIESEC in University of Kelaniya (AIESEC in Colombo North) successfully conducted the IPS day for the project Global Classroom 1.0 by introducing our unique culture through various activities. The IPS day was all about giving our volunteers a warm welcome and helping them adapt to a different culture. The day started with roll calls where all participants joined with enthusiasm and great energy. Next, there was a cultural exchange session on sharing cuisine from Egypt, Belgium, Germany and Sri Lanka. The arranged table included all the Sri Lankan traditional food and the oil lamp. The participants got to taste our food and witness our culture and vice versa.
Afterwards, Local Committee Vice President for Incoming Global Volunteer Sathunika Wijeratne conducted a session to make the volunteers understand well about the job role they should adhere to as a volunteer. Finally, at the end of the day, all the volunteers shared their thoughts about the projects and their expectations. The day ended with taking pictures and doing tik-toks where everyone danced to songs from Sri Lanka as well as Egypt which made the day memorable.
As a result, conducting the Incoming Preparation Seminar impacts cross-cultural understanding. And makes the volunteers easily acknowledge the cultural differences in both countries. It is a significant event during their volunteering experience of 6 weeks. As they encounter new things and fully set their expectations. At the same time, volunteers got to expose the culture of AIESEC. As they get to perform different activities which are significant to the local entities. At the end of the day, everyone shared new knowledge in a friendly and amusing ambience.