Good practices in internationalization – WhatsApp in guidance
When individuals are studying abroad communication between partner staff and students can be difficult, and poor communication can place students in dangerous or unhappy situations. Many students are young and travelling alone for the first time. In our project this could be for up to for up to six months.
What we wanted was a way for everybody to get the same information at the same time. We believe this will both help people stay safe and ensure that everybody has the same opportunities. We chose WhatsApp to do this because it is free, which helps, but more importantly it is very widely used and easy to use.
The WhatsApp group has three main purposes: To enable the students to share news of their experiences, both good and not so good, to receive news about their placement and to provide information to the organisers of any problems they need help with.
In Samiedu Vocational College we now create a WhatsApp group for each group going abroad, each WhatsApp group being open to the students, their professional teacher, and a member of our international team.
We also have WhatsApp groups for the foreign students who are completing their on-the-job training in Samiedu. In these groups there are the students and members of the international team as well as the tutor students. Tutor students are Samiedu students who help and guide our foreign students.