Would you like to form a duo with an international student ? Join our Duo for Knowledge programme!
The aim ? To encourage mixing between international students and citizens living in Belgium, through the creation of intercultural and intergenerational duos. Reinforcing the principle of global citizenship, this programme creates links that can last well beyond the academic year.
The aim is for each pair to benefit fully from the encounter with the other, in all that it has to offer. The volunteer can also provide valuable assistance to the student in terms of proofreading academic work.
For more information and to register, please contact
Background to the project
The "Duo for Knowledge" programme was developed at the time of covid, when we were able to emerge from the period of confinement imposed for many months. This new community was created in particular to break the isolation suffered by Belgian students and citizens far from their families, thus enabling stimulating exchanges between people from the North and South.
Objectives of this initiative
The aim of this initiative is to create a mix between international students and Belgian citizens, promoting openness, intercultural relations and intergenerational relations. Reinforcing the principle of global citizenship, this project creates links between cultures that can last well beyond the academic year.
Objective 1 : Break the isolation caused by a year of confinement and encourage encounters
Our aim is for each pair to make the most of their encounters with the other, in all that they have to offer.
Objective 2: To create more intercultural and intergenerational links around UCLouvain's international foyer, as a centre for interculturality
In addition to tandem meetings, D4K members meet for activities organised by the hostel, as well as several events specifically for members (in particular a training workshop on cultural codes and a cultural outing outside Louvain-la-Neuve).
Objective 3: Sharing knowledge through guided mutual scientific assistance
The Belgian citizens who are part of D4K offer students the opportunity to review their academic work, in line with each person's interests and areas of expertise.
Objective 4: Extend this project to other Centre Placet initiatives and export it to other Hautes Écoles in Louvain-la-Neuve.
More information and registration:
Images of our previous activities
This "Duo for Knowledge" experience offers us a lot of experience, such as :
• Convivial moments while sharing meals with Zech-Absil family, which allowed me to discover Belgian food ;
• I have been very touched by the attention paid to me by the Zech-Absil family when they contacted the Director of Centre Placet to make sure I was OK; when, absorbed by the work in the laboratory and unreachable on the phone, I had forgotten the appointment of dinning with them... ;
• It is a real pleasure of meeting with Yacouba, who shows us some of the customs and experiences of his country, Burkina-Faso !
• The possibility to explore the Burkinabé meaning of French expressions such as "Tu me donnes la route ?" or a culinary speciality : "le poulet à bicyclette"- and some Belgian expressions that make Yacouba bilingual French-Belgian: when it rains very hard, "il drache" • Listening to Yacouba talking about his plans when he returns back to his country helps us discover some of his projects and/or dreams ;
• The discovery that, despite very different age and very different lives, we often feel close to him, and we are so grateful for all that he allows us to discover with him ;
• When my husband had health problems, Yacouba offered to help us by lowering a box that was too high for us
• We also experience different moments when we go with Yacouba discovering places in our country that we love, such as the Atomium, the medieval ruins of Villers-la-Ville, la Baraque in Louvain-la-Neuve...
Thank you and your team for giving us this opportunity to meet and be friends !
Annick & Yves Zech-Absil
Then I met Eric, a Peruvian PhD student and friend of Clara, who writes in French, so I also help him prepare his oral presentations and correct his written work. We see each other at the same rate as Clara and he also introduces me to Peruvian culture, giving me advice on films and authors and telling me about the customs back home. We alternate between French and Spanish, so that I can make progress too, but he's doing better than I am. We're looking forward to continuing this friendly exchange of discoveries as soon as he gets back from Peru (...)".
Cécile De Bruyn, Clara Figueroa Echavarria, Eric Arenas Sotelo