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Tanulni - együttműködni - bővíteni nemzetközi szinten
Start date: Jul 1, 2015, End date: Jun 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Debrecen Summer School has offered foreigners Hungarian language and culture courses since 1927. During the past two decades, our traditional Hungarian Language and Culture summer course has been complemented with further offerings. Today you can choose from a variety of thematic courses which present slices of Hungarian culture in English. We also participated in many international, mainly EU-funded, projects in the past four years. Each supported program focused on introducing aspects of Hungarian culture to foreigners or the Hungarian diaspora. To expand our profile, in 2012 we introduced new courses offering so-called “LWULT” languages such as Swedish, Norwegian, Romanian, Portuguese or Turkish. In spite of our long-standing prestige, we know that, in order to maintain a high level of our services, it is essential that every staff member be given the opportunities to further develop their personal skills by gaining experience in truly international environments. The present project, which was as successful as the previous one, represents the second phase of this effort. Since we have established working relationships with a steadily growing circle of partners in Europe in the past 3-4 years, we hoped to set up the bases of further training primarily in some of these institutions. Thus, the individual 5-day mobility projects were designed originally to take place in Belgium, France, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. However, due to certain shifts in the international safety and security situation, we were obliged to introduce the following changes: Belgium: CLL Centres de Langues (1 person), France: Párizsi Magyar Intézet (1), Romania: Asociatia Bridge Language Study House (2), Slovakia: Pozsonyi Magyar Intézet (1), Austria: sprache und kultur Cloos KG (1) and Switzerland: inlingua Sprachschule Bern (1). The training plans, the tasks to establish new connections and to gain new experience were tailored specifically to the persons involved, so we expected to further strengthen the competencies and knowledge required for their everyday work so that they can build new skills and proficiencies later on. As regards the study trips of the senior management, they primarily aimed to expand international relations. Each one of our selected partners had the experience and best practices that are necessary and adaptable for us. What is more, the mutual exchanges of experiences have proved to be beneficial for both sides, due to the openness and flexibility of the cooperating partners. Concerning the objectives of the project, we managed to implement practically all of them. Nevertheless, what we find especially important is that our staff members have been able to acquire new hands-on competencies in person, as they visited institutions that pursue activities very much like ours. Though every one of us focused on specific areas and aspects of the work of the target institutions, we were also on the watch-out for any method and competence the development of which could assist us in working even more efficiently. Almost without exception, we could acquire concrete experience from our partners’ practice concerning student recruiting, organizing and preparing individual courses, the advantages and disadvantages of multilingual environments, as well as the adaptation possibilities of best practices. Our international relations have become more solid with each and every mobility, and there also occurred the possibilities of joint plans and proposals for future cooperation which we will lok into later. As for the communication and language competencies of our staff, we have noticed an almost immediate improvement after their return home, as they have used either English or other foreign languages much more smoothly and confidently when helping our present and future foreign national adult students. Out of the range of best practices encountered, we have taken over quite a few, which we continue to integrate into our daily routine. A few examples for these: we put up a “Meet our staff and teachers” bulletin board on the wall of the institute corridor, we started to use various social media much more broadly in order to provide info updates for our students, we introduced extra-mural classes and the possibility of auditing higher-level classes. The in/direct influences of the project can be measured with respect to the quality of our daily work regularly evaluated by our students through various questionnaires. We must not disregard the HR-related fact that our staff could make sure during the course of the past two projects that there is indeed a range of possibilities at their workplace for development and that the introduction of best practices and “innovations” acquired through the mobilities into their own work can definitely strengthen their current positions. In addition, the present successful project can serve as an incentive to implement similar future projects and learning processes.
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