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A Peruvian touch that sparks an insightful exchange

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The students with Mr. Carlos Javier Castillo. Photo by the author

By: Caning Jaramillo

The collaboration between Universiti Malaya (UM) and a consortium of Latin American and Spanish embassies is seen as the catalyst to reshape the landscape of Spanish studies and cultural exchange. This partnership has ushered in an immersive educational experience that will provide UM students with a valuable opportunity to explore the rich tapestry of the Spanish language and culture, enhance their skills and broaden their horizons.

Caning Jaramillo

An important step in this collaboration unfolded last January when the Spanish department at UM’s Faculty of Languages and Linguistics hosted an Elite class workshop focused on Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Theory. The workshop was guided by Mr. Carlos Javier Castillo, a distinguished figure with a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Peru. Mr. Castillo also holds dual Master degrees in Business Administration and Conflict Management and Negotiation from Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA. His presence marked a significant stride in UM’s commitment to global education, especially for students pursuing Spanish bachelor’s degrees.

Mr. Castillo’s credentials are truly impressive, with over 23 years of experience in the diplomatic Peruvian Service. Currently serving as the Deputy Head of Mission for the Embassy of Peru in Malaysia, he has previously held the same role in key countries such as the USA and Indonesia. His visit was made possible through the collaborative efforts and generous support of the Embassy of Peru in Malaysia.

The students with Mr. Carlos Javier Castillo. Photo by the author

According to Lic. Caning Jaramillo, the Coordinator of the Spanish Internship programs and lecturer of the Business and Administration module, UM’s Spanish students are now presented with a host of opportunities. This is a result of the collaborative efforts between the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics and nine Spanish embassies in Kuala Lumpur, representing Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, México, Perú, Uruguay, and Spain. Together, they have united with UM to provide a diverse range of resources for Spanish students in Malaysia.

The Elite workshop on Conflict Resolution Theory stands out as a strategic cornerstone in UM’s commitment to equipping its students with essential skills. It offers several advantages, significantly contributing to their personal and professional development as such:

1. Enhanced Communication Skills: The workshop emphasizes effective communication, enabling students to express their ideas and perspectives clearly—a crucial skill for any professional setting that values collaboration.

2. Negotiation Expertise: UM students gain insights into negotiation strategies and techniques, essential for navigating diverse and complex international environments. This competence is particularly valuable for those aspiring to engage in global business or diplomatic relations.

3. Cultural Sensitivity: Conflict Resolution Theory encourages understanding different perspectives and cultural nuances. This cultural sensitivity is pivotal for UM students aiming to engage with the diverse Spanish-speaking world, facilitating smoother interactions and collaborations.

4. Professional Conflict Management: Students acquire insights into managing conflicts in professional settings, enhancing their ability to diplomatically handle workplace challenges. This prepares them for the intricacies of global business environments.

In conclusion, the collaboration allows UM to leverage the expertise and resources of the participating embassies. This enables students to gain insights into various aspects of Hispanic culture directly from native speakers and diplomats. Additionally, the partnership opens doors to potential internship placements, providing students with first-hand experience in the Spanish-speaking world.

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The author is the Spanish Industrial Coordinator and Spanish language instructor at the Department of Asian and European Languages, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya. He can be contacted at caningjaramillo@um.edu.my

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