Higher education student and staff mobility projec..
Higher education student and staff mobility project
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: Sep 30, 2016
The main vocation of Scuola Superiore per Mediatori Linguistici CIELS is to promote language learning to enhance the cooperation between countries, people and institutions. Our undergraduate students study Language Mediation and specialize in one of the following fields: Diplomacy, Tourism and International Business, Marketing, Criminology, Conference and Parliamentary Translation. Within this scenario, CIELS strongly believes that, since its students are to become future language and cultural mediators, international mobility plays a crucial role in their academic education. By giving them the chance to spend a study/placement period in another country, CIELS is aware of the enormous potential of mobility to foster not only their language skills, but also their Intercultural Communicative Competence (as defined by Byram, 1997) and, therefore, their intercultural citizenship competences. Guided by these main objectives, CIELS is putting great effort to promote international mobility among its students as well as to attract an increasing number of exchange students (and lecturers) from abroad. The inclusive and eclectic nature of the courses we offer allows CIELS to make agreements with very different partner institutions and to help the students to choose the destination that better suits their interests and special study and research requirements. As for SMS (Student Mobility for Studies), our current partners include faculties of Law, Criminology, History and Geography, etc., besides Languages and Translating. With regard to SMP (Student Mobility for Placement), our partners currently include heigher education institutions, translation companies, language schools, cultural and institutes as well as wellness and touristic resorts. Since CIELS started the “Erasmus Adventure” the number of international partners has been growing very fast.
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES, QUANTITATIVE DATA and STUDENT PROFILE
Over the years, an increasing number of undergraduate students enrolled at CIELS has profited from international mobility. In the a.y. 2015/2016 we undertook three types of activities within the Erasmus+ programme, namely Student Mobility for Studies (SMS, duration: 5 months) and Student Mobility for Placement (SMP, 3 months), and Staff Mobility (STA, 5 days). Our partners for these types of mobility were located in different European countries, including Germany, Spain, Belgium, Slovakia, Portugal, Ireland, and the UK. Overall, 48 students from CIELS took part in the Erasmus+ programme: the majority of them (32) engaged in SMS, while 16 participated in SMP. In addition 1 of our teachers participated in the Staff Mobility Programme. All the students engaged in the mobility programme were undergraduate students in their 2nd and 3rd year of studies. Of the total number, 22 outgoing students were awarded an Erasmus grant. In addition to outgoing students, CIELS also attracted 22 incoming students from its partner institutions (19 for SMS and 3 for SMP).
RESULTS AND IMPACT
In terms of quantitative results, two main observations can be made. First, we were pleased to strenghten our collaboration with existing partners, and to enrich the number of new partner institutions (e.g. Norway, Slovakia were inserted for the first time as possibile destinations). Second, we noticed an increase in the number of students who took part in the programme: while in the previous a.y. 2014/2015 the number of outgoing participants (only students) was 33, in 2015/16 the number increased up to 49 (48 students + 1 teacher). Given the size of our institution, we believe that this is a significant (and yet, still improvable) result. A remarkable number of students agreed to engage in the programme even with zero-grant, and this was for us the proof that international mobility is increasingly felt as a fundamental opportunity by our students. It is worth noting that some students who had first participated in SMS later took part in SMP (or viceversa): this choice, which some students also made over the course of two academic years, was for us a further indicator of the growing willigness of our students to stimulate their skills through a stay-abroad period. With regard to the impact of the programme, we can report on the fact that we ensured full recognition for the activities that our students accomplished during their SMS, and that the students were not required to take further tests in order to have their exams recognized. In order to achieve this aim, careful and individualized support was provided before/during the mobility to help the students choose the exams in such a way that they could best meet the requirements of their curricula. In addition, the students' answers to the final report let us conclude that the programme - despite a few challenges - fulfilled the objectives we had set, in that it stimulated the students' intercutural awareness and citizenship competences, as well as their language and personal skills.
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