Internationalisation is for everyone

According statistics Internationality in VET is concentrated in girls and students that already are international with good knowledge of languages. Internationalization often accumulates for the same students, even from one level of education to another. These young people start internationalization at an early stage and gain international experience and language skills. However, students who are less successful in their studies can often benefit from the international experience even more than the so-called “good students”. The Finnish National Agency for Education had a project ”Internationality for all!. Brahe Education Center took part in that project as result we found following good practices and guidelines:

The key is to encourage different types of students to internationalize:
• involve as many teachers as possible in international activities
• motivates new participants by telling about the concrete benefits of internationalization
• encourage not to place too much emphasis on eg. English proficiency requirements
• sharing the experiences of earlier exchange students
• use of social media and mobile devices
• coaching is important, students are met several times before and after the exchange
• constant contact with the home country, eg WhatsApp
• reporting on blogs and social media
• include a gender perspective in the institution’s internationalization strategy
• shift lengths tailored (not too long) to 2 to 6 weeks
• more competence points from periods abroad through everyday learning

Target groups: VET students, specially students who are less successful in their studies.

Benefits: The objective is that students should have equal opportunities to internationalize, regardless of place of residence, gender, age, language, culture, health status or socio-economic background. In Brahe’s experience, these measures have contributed to this goal.