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Förderung von Auslandspraktika an der HLW/HF Lienz
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The College for Tourism and Commerce and the Secondary School for Hotel and Catering Lienz aim at being a perfect starting point for the international job market. A profound theoretical and practical education and training in the field of tourism, competent language skills in English, Italian and French as well as a focus on services management and international communication is a comprehensive educational framework for this goal. Part of this work-oriented education are obligatory practical trainings of 12 weeks in the college and 24 weeks in the tourism school. In the past two years the interest of both the students and graduates of the two schools in doing a practical training abroad has risen enormously. In order to facilitate all the work regarding practical trainings abroad for all people involved (students, parents, teachers, partner enterprises) two teachers got in charge of co-ordinating the entire Erasmus+ programme for the school and founded the Verein der HLW / HF Lienz zur Förderung von Auslandspraktika in the school year of 2015/16.With this additional offer of training places abroad as well as the entire co-ordination of the Erasmus+ programme organised at the school, the internationalisation and the quality management of the two schools could be intensified and the positive reputation of the schools as a contact point for international work experience was established. Due to the positive feedback regarding the Erasmus+ programme by students and their parents as well as teachers of secondary schools we can also assume that the option of doing a practical training abroad has already become one of the main reasons why these students choose our schools their next educational step. Additionally to the strong co-operation with the partner enterprises, based on mutual visits and a regular communication and contact throughout the whole year, the Erasmus + programme was promoted at the school and in the whole area with a vast amount of information about it. This included informational meetings as well as a buddy project with former trainees, information evenings for parents and students, permanent information boards introducing the Erasmus+ programme as well as all the parntner enterprises at the school, articles and blogs about the project on the homepage of the school, presentations about it at the parents' day and all secondary schools of East Tyrol etc.. Through this advertising of the programme as well as the personal networking of the trainees regarding this project other schools have already been inspired to consider practical trainings abroad for their students and a number of young people (including students and apprentices of the area) have contacted us with the wish to get more information about it. The news about Erasmus+ programmes is spreading.Currently 35 students are involved in this project. All of them have already signed their placement contracts as well as Learning Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with the partner enterprises in England and Italy. All the training places have been chosen by the students themselves. They all got a positive reply for a practical training after their application including Europass CVs, motivation letters and personal job interviews. As all partner enterprises only have had positive experiences with trainees from our two schools, this co-operation has turned out to be a win-win situation for both: our schools profit from this additional international offer and the training places can rely on polite, helpful, dedicated and competent trainees for the most hectic period of work. Besides an improvement in practical knowhow, intercultural knowledge and linguistic competences, which all lead to better resuls in the final exams as well as the A-levels, a practical training abroad is especially important for the positive development of all personal and social skills, especially an enhanced self-esteem of the trainees. The experience of the last years has shown us that our trainees start their practical training abroad as teenages and finish it as young adults. This huge step in their personal development obviously also has a great impact on their further career at the school and in their later life. Their career prospects do not only increase because of this international work experience but also due to their - often newly gained - openness, flexibiltiy and professional appearance which they get during an international internship. A large number of students who have done a practical training abroad plan a longer placement abroad after their final exams and they are much more confident and sure about their future plans when they start applying for jobs in international companies. This naturally makes them become role models for many others.Due to this project an international way of thinking, working and evaluating has been established at the HLW / HF Lienz and has made it a more modern and more attractive place of education.

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