In this report we would like to share our insights and experiences from our participation in a Staff Exchange and Partner Week (3-7.06.2019) organized by the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland as a part of Erasmus + programme concerning staff mobility for training.
The Exchange and Partner Week aimed at arranging a set of workshops for academic teachers and International Office staff in order to broaden our professional networks.
All sessions were based on active participation comparing how different issues are handled in our institutions.
On Tuesday 4 June we took part in workshops covering the issues of Internationalisation and mobility as a part of the curriculum. In this session, we discussed how we could include internationalisation and mobility as a part of student’s studies. Therefore, the curriculum, timing, selection of host institutions, studies to be completed and type of mobility (short-term, long-term, virtual, blended, internationalisation at home)were the topics taken into consideration.
Later on that day, we joined a session about Virtual Mobility as an integral part of curriculum and how to support it. The presentation provided an overview of the different virtual mobility practices in higher education including various forms of interaction and/or collaboration between students from different countries such as projects facilitated and coordinated by teachers.
On Wednesday 5 June we participated in a session concerning Coaching students through the mobility period. In this session, the raised questions referred to how students are supported in preparing their study plan for student exchange at different universities, the credit transfer process and how the scholarship process is handled (payment schedule, number of instalments, possible credit requirements, scholarship recalculation and payments back etc.)
During the last day of our stay we took part in an interactive workshop based on examples from JYU and from participating universities concerning Assessing and maximising the benefits of teaching visits.
Moreover, we have learnt how International staff services at JYU provides support services for academic employees travelling abroad (acoordinating the tax, pension and social security issues for JYU locally hired employees outside Finland).
In conclusion, the Staff Exchange and Partner Week in Jyvaskyla helped us develop our professional competence, cultural, language and sociological awareness. It was a great opportunity to build new or strengthen the old networking and, what is more, exchange experience concerning the mobility issues.
We would also like to express our gratitude towards the College Authorities and our International Relations Office Coordinator, Mr Krystian Chołaszczyński,PhD who supported and facilitated our Erasmus exchange in Finland.
Dorota Hoffmann and Anna Chrzanowska