“Dialogue changes lives” : the importance of international student organisations in the building of intercultural competencies
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- Institutt for geografi 
In a globalised world in which not only economic ties but also families, friendships and indeed our social environment at large are increasingly intercultural, knowledge about culture has maybe never been more important. Intercultural competencies are the key to understand the socio-political world from a multitude of angles. Acquiring intercultural competencies, it will be argued, is an important feature of prosperous development – indeed a basic need – should be recognised as such and not be submerged into a general need for education. This thesis claims that international student organisations play an important but apparently overlooked or taken for granted part in achieving intercultural competencies. Through a narrative exploration of his own performance as an active member in leading positions within the European Geography Association, the author concludes that the value of the gained experiences is not only an invaluable supplement to formal education. Building intercultural competencies has moreover a value of its own and contributes through challenging our knowledge, attitudes and skills to deeper understanding of the world In a global knowledge or learning economy this knowledge base is a vital resource for the development of countries – not confined to global north or south, but universal.