Students who have participated on Dialogue of Civilizations programs in 2015 and 2016 will share their experiences "crossing borders". Dialogues were developed to empower students to engage with communities other than their own; the design is to place students "outside of their comfort zones"; to cross mental as well as physical boundaries and borders; and to serve as "academic ambassadors" with peers abroad.
As borders are crossed, stereotypes and generally held beliefs are challenged – perhaps reinforced but more likely than not shattered or shifted. Barriers are broken down between students as they engage with peers and others abroad. Virtual bridges are often built as friendships are made and students seek to maintain them, even after the journey ends. New ways of thinking develop as students make sense of the realities they experience, as their myths get debunked, or their knowledge gaps get filled.