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Intercultural learning and work experience for apprentices
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Frankenlandschule Wallduern as responsible body of the project and Guildford College as hosting institution are planning and carrying out the Erasmus+ Program VET together. Sixteen students of the vocational school of the Frankenlandschule participate in the Erasmus+ Program VET. They do their apprenticeship as industrial clerks, office clerks, IT clerks or retail salesmen/saleswomen. The town of Wallduern is situated in the Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis (county in Baden-Wuerttemberg) where infrastructure concerning traffic or internet isn’t well-developed. Nevertheless, a growing number of medium-sized companies have established in the area, which are often highly specialised and closely connected on an international level. The apprentices are expected to adapt to and be oriented in companies doing business internationally. For this, it is necessary for them to develop key skills, including intercultural skills in business environments as well as an understanding for cultural similarities and differences. Acquiring language skills is a precondition for acting safely in an intercultural context. Due to this, apprenticing companies support and wish for the opportunity of work placements for their apprentices in an English-speaking country. Course of program: 26 February 2016: departure for Guildford, Surrey, GB, 3-week stay - Work placement four days a week - Language course at Guildford College one day per week - Cultural activities (planned, organised and carried out by the students themselves) on two Saturdays and two Sundays - Accommodation with host families, offering opportunity for an intense personal exchange with English culture 20 March 2016: end of project, return to Germany The participants in the program are being prepared for the work placement and their stay abroad during a seminar which takes place on five Saturdays à three hours. In addition they have to work on projects focusing on subject-specific and cultural issues. After their return home from England, they have to finish off and reflect on their experiences and impressions which they disseminate by giving presentations, writing newspaper articles and reports and at a final event which will be attended by other apprentices, trainers, the school administration and others who are in touch with the participants and/or the Frankenlandschule. On a long-term basis, the participation in the program will lead to higher self-esteem concerning a more flexible and more competent use of English as a foreign language within the company but also in everyday life. While being in touch with international business partners they will profit from their acquired intercultural skills. This will enable them to act with higher responsibility in their future jobs which will also be a benefit for the apprenticing companies or their future employers. Besides enforcing language, social and intercultural skills, the professional key skills and transnational mobility of the apprentices will be promoted as well as improved career prospects.

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