Students Connecting Cultures  

Our story

The project began in 2016 during an Erasmus stay in Istanbul. At that time, some of us noticed that fewer and fewer students were doing an exchange semester in Istanbul and Turkey. Students from the Department of Political and Administrative Sciences at the University of Konstanz and the International Relations Club at Marmara University in Istanbul took up this idea and agreed: We needed to talk more to each other and less about each other. Under the motto "Building Bridges", they developed the concept for the unique IstKon Student Exchange project.

In summer 2018, we founded our non-profit association to transfer the idea to other exchange projects, to offer alumni a platform for networking and to reach even more young people. With our association work we would like to create an intercultural experience in the sense of international understanding for young people, and enable projects that aim for these goals to be realised.

Our mission

Even though we are living in a deeply globalized world, prejudices and misperceptions still shape all our mindsets. Currently, forces that want to widen the cultural and political cleavages gain strength. Consequently, it is highly important to establish opportunities for intercultural contacts and cross-border friendships. We aim to contribute to a global social setting which enables us to live together in mutual respect and peace.

We believe in the connective potential of academic and cultural exchanges to foster individual ties between nations. We want to encourage other individuals who share our vision and offer the tools they need. Through the further networking of the alumni of SCC projects, the association contributes to the long-term and sustainable preservation of the international acquaintances and friendships that have developed. Making international friends enables the participants of SCC projects to change their perspective and to broaden their own cultural understanding, to increase tolerance for (cultural) differences and carry forward the idea in own initiatives.

Our ways of working together

We have an open approach of working together within the association. To accomplish that, we meet regularly to discuss current issues and new ideas.

Our project teams work independently and self-organized. On their journey to set up and carry out an exchange project from initiation phase to finding sponsors and participants, our senior members support them with experience and professional advice. A particular focus of our work is the qualification and active learning of the organizers.

Find more on our principles in our charter.