You want your kids to have every opportunity to succeed in this world. You want them to learn self-discipline, how to be healthy, and to gain an appreciation and understanding for the world around them. The business world is becoming increasingly globalized. Intercultural competence, the skill which allows people to operate effectively in an international setting, is becoming ever more important.
What better way to ensure your kids are ready for the "real world" than to make sure they know how to navigate a variety of different cultures? And what better way to introduce them to the concept by using a sport they already know and love: soccer?
Soccer (or football) is the most popular international sport. Millions of people all across the globe eagerly play it and keep up with it, and international soccer camps bring students from every nation together.
Get your kids ahead of the game with an international soccer camp. Here's what to look for to make sure your camp is providing the most in terms of both soccer and intercultural competence.
Immersive language classes
If you're looking into international soccer exchange programs, immersive language classes are a must. These classes are taught completely in the native language of whichever country the soccer camp is in. The only way to truly learn a different language is to be completely absorbed in it. If your child visits Italy, he should hear nothing but Italian. If she's in Spain, she should hear Spanish 24 hours a day. These language classes should be as intensive as soccer training.
The younger your child is, the easier it is for them to pick up new languages. Some international soccer camps allow children as young as 10 to enroll, so if you really want to give your kids a good grasp of other languages, consider letting them enroll then.
Something that makes perfect sense in another culture may seem strange or rude to us. In some Hispanic cultures, for example, unflattering nicknames are commonly assigned to friends and associates, but at the same time they are not meant as insults. An example would be "flaco" (skinny) or “huesos" (bones), used when referring to slender people.
Check with the camp's director and see if your kids will get a chance to see more of the country than just the soccer field and the four walls of a classroom. Intercultural competence isn't going to be fully learned there. Students need to get out and experience daily life in that country and culture. They need to come to learn its slang and its quirks. An international soccer camp that emphasizes intercultural competence won't keep its students stuck inside all day.
Intensive soccer training
The best international soccer camps will put just as much focus on the "soccer" part as they do the "international" part. Practices should be held daily, or even twice a day, for at least two hours. Professional coaches should be teaching the students during these practices, and like everything else, they should be in the country's native language.
Give them the tools they need to succeed
You want them to have a well-rounded education that gets them ahead in the work force. They want to learn more about their favorite sport. With an international soccer camp, you get the best of both worlds. Your kids get the soccer training they want, and even better, they get an in-depth cultural experience that will put them ahead of the curve. Even if they decide on a different career than professional soccer, with immersive international experience, they'll always have the skills to outmaneuver the competition.
Get your student athlete started on the path to intercultural competence today. Visit EduKick.com to see which international soccer camps are right for your child.