Youth Exchange Program (YEP) is an international youth program for those who are not citizens of a country within the EOS economic area. The youth program is administered by BCC. The program normally extends over one year, and involves at least 20 hour’s training and education per week in the Norwegian language, Norwegian culture, and Bible knowledge. In addition, there is opportunity to contribute with voluntary work towards BCC’s activities.
The main content of the program is:
YEP shall provide knowledge regarding BCC’s faith foundation and history • YEP shall provide training in missionary work and church life • YEP shall provide education in the Norwegian language and culture • YEP shall contribute towards respect and tolerance through working together in a multicultural environment • YEP shall organize voluntary work in the church’s conferences and projects
Knowledge about BCC’s foundation of faith and training in missionary work and church life
YEP participates in Bible studies carried out by the Brunstad Bible School, in addition to regularly workshops concerning missionary work and church life, the central themes are:
– Focus on my chances to be able to show an interest, to help and to care – Focus on my chances of triggering the potential in the people with whom i have to do – The importance of being an independent and reflective person in the context of a larger community – The importance of making independent choices which can make a difference in my surroundings – The chance to be able to build community across background, culture, and personality
The most effective training however takes place through participating in the practical mission and church work. YEP participates in the following activities throughout the two seasons that the program spans:
– TV production and film production in BrunstadTV – Communication on web and social media – Translation of articles from Norwegian to mother tongue – Planning and implementing large international conferences – Planning of the implementation of smaller events with specific themes – Visits to different Norwegian local churches – Practical implementation of social work in both small and large arenas
Instruction in Norwegian Language and Culture
A part of YEP’s purpose is precisely that of learning the Norwegian language and culture. The participants are involved in a Norwegian course in several phases, both through lessons in the classroom and on the Internet, prior to them completing the exam and receiving a course certificate. In addition, YEP motivates the course participants to use their free-time to continue their study of Norwegian via competitions and training on the Net.
The participants take active part in Norwegian National holidays. Constitution Day, Sankthans (the longest day, 23rd June) and Christmas are celebrated according to Norwegian Traditions. Moreover, activity days are arranged together with local churches around Norway, where everything takes place in Norwegian.
Respect and tolerance in a multi-cultural environment
BCC has a tradition of stimulating national uniqueness in churches from abroad. In YEP it is a central theme to get to know, understand and respect each other’s cultures. This manifests itself at such times as the church’s biannual mission feasts that are arranged by local churches throughout the whole world.
With 17 nations represented, YEP is a topical arena for building community across cultures. Even though the participants learn Norwegian and learn about Norwegian culture, the year in YEP is an extremely international affair. The participants are therefore allowed to promote their own national uniqueness via culture feasts having a national character, wherein everybody in YEP takes part.
With many tens of people from many cultures that are together for an entire year, the participants receive an international network which is of use to them later on in life. By participating in the planning and implementation of international conferences at Brunstad, their network is further enlarged.
Voluntary efforts in the church’s conferences and projects
YEP takes part in BCC’s planning and implementation of the international conferences at Brunstad. Participants are given their own instruction book and are taught about health, environment and safety. Moreover, food serving courses are held, and training is given in customer service, communication, the workplace, work ethics and attitudes.