International interpersonal competency
Learning cannot be an individualistic endeavour in today’s world. When we leave university we will be working with and across teams and experiences. Here at NMBU, your agroecology peer group will be very international, with a diverse demographic makeup, in educational background, experience and interests, as well as culture. In your first semester you will be working in two different teams and on two projects simultaneously. Consequently, you must be ready to build your intercultural competence and facilitation skills to work most effectively with your peers. This is not just useful for the sake of this program either. Group dynamics resemble a real-life working environment where you will be working together with colleagues.
When working in groups, some have experienced frustration, whereas some have had good dynamics. You might question your role in your group because of the variation of experiences and knowledge basis. In a mixed group like this, you may have to look for concepts and skills that will stimulate you to learn more and learn better, negotiate understanding through interaction and bring your best into your team, honour diversity and learn how to collaborate. What is significant is each group member’s unique perspective that they bring in the process of problem definition and improvement. We will thrive all together; we need to place each element where they are most useful. Understanding better how each individual plays a role was key in relieving this tension and stress for us.
With time, you will discover that some of your peers share the desire to find answers to the same burning questions you have. We have had “Deep Dive” sessions where we came together either at the Station Café or Café Klubben to discuss a local and current issue or a global one, a paper or just a subject we found intriguing.