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Discover work experience and life in London
Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 31 May 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project „Discover work experience and life in London“ (DWELL) involves our school, Kaufmännsches Berufskolleg Oberberg (KBKO) as applicant institution and its project partner, the ADC college in London. The sending organisation KBKO focuses on the training and job preparation of business students. We have taken part in several EU-funded projects including Comenius and Leonardo trainee programmes. However, we urgently need to incorporate international learning as part of our long-term curricular strategy. Our project partner, the ADC College in London has been involved in professional training for more than 20 years. They were accredited by the British Council and they specialize in offering work experience in a number of businesses which act as work placement partners in London’s multicultural atmosphere. They also have a network of host families and theirstaff come from a variety of European countries. So they are acquainted with cultural differences and learners’ common language obstacles. Their competences and resources make them an ideal partner for our mobility-of-learners project. The project DWELL is vital to our school’s objective of incorporating the notion of internationalisation into our business courses in order to give them the long-needed European dimension, thus improving our school’s international competences in an increasingly competitive environment among educational institutions. As for the participants, the project is aimed at broadening their horizons in an international work environment where intercultural skills and multilingualism are the rule rather than the exception. The project we planned completes this experience by further improving the learners’ language abilities with the help of a tailor-made English course. Also, it is to enhance their professional skill in the field of business and administration. The participants are meant to develop their skills by doing our special project task, observing and recording people’s time management and work-life-balance in order to find cultural differences or similarities to their home country. The task demands the development of a questionnaire which the participants will use to conduct interviews with people in their new social environment abroad. We expect they will examine factors like specific work patterns, commuting times, lunchbreaks, after-work parties and private leisure activities. They are bound to find differences in the timing and duration of these activities on both sides of the Channel. Our project participants will be trainees on the dual education system as well as full-time students on preparatory business courses with a language level of at least A2 according to the CEFR. We will prefer applicants with little international experience, who consider the relevance of the foreign work experience for their current or future job a strong motivation to take part. The second criterion will be social factors like difficult family backgrounds and psychological features such as low self-esteem. There will be a pre-selection after consulting the form-teachers followed by an interview of the applicants conducted by our EU-coordinators. On their arrival day the participants are going to meet their host families. The first workday will see a meeting at the ADC to pass on any necessary information needed for the time in London. The language course is scheduled for the first week. During the work placement in week two and three, the participants will be in touch with the ADC College mentors, who ensure the quality of the placements and monitor the development of the students. At the weekends the students take part in their host families’ activities. During the time of their stay the students will also carry out the assigned project task. On their last work-day the participants will meet up at the ADC College, receive their certificates and fill in a feed-back sheet to allow the participating institutions to evaluate the quality of the programme. The project is meant to have an important impact on the professional qualification of its participants. It will also strengthen personal characteristics by exposing them to a multicultural experience with unexpected situations. It will certainly have improved their language proficiency and intercultural competence. Everyday life in the host families will have confronted them with the need for tolerance and empathy. Taking part and bringing home a certificate will improve their chances on the job market. Our college staff is hoping for a long-term impact of the project on publicising our school profile to the parents and the training companies. After evaluating the results we hope to have improved our management and organisational skills and the project will have a positive effect on the quality and stability of our plans to internationalize our curriculum. We intend to improve our attractiveness through a carefully planned dissemination of the project results in the local press.
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