Virtual and hybrid mobility
Many opportunities of hybrid Erasmus+ mobilities
The Erasmus + mobility period is an excellent opportunity for students to develop their key competencies. It is a splendid tool for increasing their professional skills as well as understanding of their field of study. During the mobility period, the student can make tremendous progress e.g. in multilingual competence, personal, social and learning to learn competence and cultural awareness and expression competence.
In the new Erasmus + program, virtual mobility and hybrid mobility have become an opportunity alongside traditional mobility periods. This is a great reform that will make Erasmus + periods more equal, more achievable and more responsible. The benefits of traditional mobilities are undeniable, but virtual sessions and hybrid mobility sections bring additional benefits to students.
Virtual mobility refers to the period during which a student works online in a foreign company. For example, a media student creates a logo design for a media company as a distance worker. Virtual mobility is not supported in the Erasmus + program, but gives the student excellent international experience. Practicing distance working skills already during studies is necessary in many fields.
Hybrid mobility means that the mobility period starts virtually through teleworking and the physical mobility period takes place later, however, during the lifetime of the Erasmus + project. For example, a restaurant student prepares a theme week in his/her home college and during the mobility period implements it in a restaurant in the receiving company. The duration of physical mobility must be the minimum of a mobility period, i.e. 2 weeks.
Examples of hybrid mobility periods
Case 1. An electrical company collaborating with a German educational institution wants to receive Erasmus + students from Finland. The company, students and teacher meet in an online meeting. This job interview reveals that before the exchange period it would be good to practice certain types of professional methods. The students’ teacher creates together with the foreign company an exercise so that the students learn the new working method, the whole group in the Finnish college can participate in the exercise. During the mobility period, some students of this group work in the German electrical company. Due to this preliminary exercise they have a better chance of success during the Erasmus+ exchange period. Students are connected online with their own group during the course to be able to get support and share the experience. At the same time, other students in the group will have the opportunity to participate in international cooperation, without leaving the country.
Case 2 A Finnish restaurant chain has a shortage of employees during the high season. The company wants to host Erasmus + exchange students with the idea of employing them after Erasmus+ period for the high season. A group of students can be found in Hungary. The company offers customer service and hygiene training to a group of students of a Hungarian restaurant school in Zoom before the start of the Erasmus+ period. Together with the Erasmus + exchange students the whole group can take part in the training. As part of the training a virtual trip to the destination city is also offered, organized by the tourism students of the host institution.
Case 3 A Finnish and an Italian teaching restaurant work together with the aim of organizing teacher mobility sessions on regular basis. During the virtual period teachers provide distance learning lessons to students in receiving college and during the physical mobility period a theme week is organized in the host teaching restaurant. The foreign teacher is involved in the arrangements of this theme week.