Internationalisation at home

Module 2.1. – Advanced level

So, let’s learn more about different ways to gain international skills without travelling abroad.

You can start by watching a video and see what Miia from Finland thinks about the topic.

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Staff member proposes, plans and organises international activities at home and includes internationality in his or her teaching and work.

This module is for you if…

You already have some knowledge or experience in internationalisation and you want to go deeper in internationalisation at home.

What you are going to learn…

After this module you will be able to include internationalisation in your teaching and work, you have the knowledge to start virtual cooperation and you are able to host foreign students and staff.

Topic 1: What does internationalisation at home mean?

Before going deeper in the content it is good to think about the concept of internationalisation at home. Indeed, internationalisation at home, I@H includes a great variety of different themes and activities. There is not only one explanation for I@H.

However, one definition is made in Premier project, funded by Erasmus+ program. I@H is a range of activities that allow students and staff to gain international experience without leaving the country.

Here are some examples what kind of activities it could be

Internationalisation in curricula

  • learning foreign languages at school and at free time
  • using foreign languages at school e.g. reading manuals, blogs, recipes, books, magazines, songs
  • learning about other cultures at school
  • learning about geography, current news from foreign countries
  • involve different cultures to the daily activities

Incoming students and staff members

  • hosting, tutoring incoming students and staff members
  • integrating incoming students and staff in daily lessons at school
  • integrating incoming students and staff in local companies
  • free time activities with incoming students and staff
  • home stay for incoming students and staff

Thematic days and special events on internationalisation

  • multicultural activities or events at school
  • international students and staff
  • international meals

Virtual learning

  • video meetings, webinars with partners abroad on different topics

Topic 2: Virtual cooperation and learning

If you were not familiar with the virtual collaboration and distance learning you certainly are after COVID-19.

Finnish National Agency for Education conducted a survey to investigate the state of art of virtual cooperation in internationalisation in upper secondary educational institutions, also including VET in. The survey was made in 2020.

You can read more about the survey and the results here.

Some examples of the virtual activities:

  • virtual travels for students in hospitality and culinary arts
  • learning cafes in English lessons
  • presentations of facilities and equipment e.g., in logistics
  • coffee breaks, thematic lessons and discussions with your colleagues in other countries

And you can find some more examples yourself. Internationalisation at home can be small and concrete steps. It is important that you can involve students to participate, they might have some good, new ideas. I@H enhances inclusion and sustainability.

Topic 3: Internationalisation at home in practice

There are several ways to include internationalisation in curricula and to the learning of the students.

Here are some examples you can think about:

  • Using international cases/examples during lessons in class
  • Giving training to international staff
  • Integrate language training into professional studies
  • Organizing meetings or other events related to internationalisation
  • Integrating foreign meals into the school lunch
  • Linked to the schools’ lunches, each month could be about one country, in the different lessons they could integrate the country, for example, in history lessons the history of the country, in economy lessons the economic structure of the country, in sports they can play a traditional sport from the country. Sp many different options.
  • Organizing a tour at school for international guests
  • Organizing promotional days/events
  • Dissemination of the activities organized in in your school
  • Dissemination of the projects in which the your school is involved
  • Organizing and giving meetings related to internationalisation in your and other organizations joining international events

Welcoming international students and staff

International visitors will enrich daily activities in your organisation. Many VET colleges promote reciprocal mobility and besides sending students and staff abroad they also receive students and staff. In addition, you can also invite foreign lectures or specialists to visit your college.

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Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union logo.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.