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Internationalisierung des HAK Lustenau
Start date: Jul 11, 2016, End date: Jul 10, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The requirements for students of the business college Lustenau have changed radically due to changes in the working world, especially in Vorarlberg. While until a few years ago it was small to medium-sized enterprises that were active mainly at regional level, it is now high tech companies that act on a global basis. This increased internationality is also illustrated by Vorarlberg’s export quotas and can be seen in the job descriptions and vacancies: Working in international teams, multilingualism and international work experience are increasingly sought-after and ever more important job qualifications. In order to prepare students in the best possible way for increasingly networked working environments, the business college Lustenau introduced an international branch of study three years ago and this year the project ‘Business college Lustenau goes International’. The branch features three main characteristics:1. Multilingualism: In addition to English, French/Spanish, Russian is taught as a subject.2. General-education subjects and especially economics are taught in a foreign language (mostly English).3. Students do internships abroad.However, especially the first and second items from the above list represent great challenges for the school: Learning between three and four languages simultaneously demands the use of efficient teaching and learning methods on the part of the teachers. This constitutes an intensive teaching situation which their studies did not prepare them for adequately. What poses an even greater problem is the fact that there is only a small group of people disposing of the linguistic and methodic abilities needed to teach a subject (other than the language) in a foreign language. If the international branch is to continue to exist permanently at the school, a group of teachers who possess these abilities is required. But it is not only about the language-related and methodical skills – teachers act as role models. How can such role models credibly convey “internationality” to their students if they have neither had a stay abroad nor – even more importantly – worked and cooperated in international groups? This is why the following six activities for teaching personnel have been planned:1. Language courses (9 mobilities): to equip teachers with the language abilities needed to teach non-linguistic subjects in English as well as to make them role models with regard to international training and cooperation;2. Methodic training (8 mobilities) for those teachers who do have the linguistic abilities, but are facing the challenge of applying them in a methodically adequate way in order to advance the teaching quality. Beside the improvement of language abilities and methodic training the project ‘Business College Lustenau goes International’ is achieving the following impact:1. Networking: There are clear instructions for the course participants to socialise with the other participants. Thereby, a new, international level of cooperation should be opened. This is essential especially with regard to teaching materials in foreign languages. On the management level, a networking among educational institutions is aimed at. This is all about creating a network of businesses (for internships abroad as well as for further education for teachers).2. Creating a datapool with documents in foreign languages3. Quality advancement of the international branch: Participants will be part of a control group which are responsible for the quality advancement of the international branch.4. Another vital aspect is for the HAK Lustenau to build an international reputation as an “international educational institution” for itself – among students as well as, and especially, among companies.At the outset of this project, the goals to be reached with the project and the Erasmus-Plus programme were introduced in the context of a conference. After that, an information- and counselling-week was initiated in the course of which the needs of the participants were determined as well as the possibilities offered by the Erasmus-programme with regard to those needs. The whole project is planed and conducted with project management tools (structure plan, time table ...).In the long run both students and enterprises should regard the business college Lustenau as an international educational institution. This should assure that graduates get a job quickly and more importantly, they should be well prepared for the work with international teams and enterprises.
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