Insights from our partner ‘ESIEE Paris’

One of the partners offering ‘Climate Movements’ at their institution this spring is ‘ESIEE Paris Grande Ecole’ graduate school of engineering. We approached their coordinator Internationalisation at Home, Helen Eve, to get a partner perspective on the relevance of Virtual Exchange.

Why do you think it is important to use Virtual Exchange in your curriculum?

While physical mobility is compulsory for all students at our institution and irreplaceable for its immersive and full sensory experience, it only brings students in contact with one national culture. This is all the more problematic if the experience is not a happy one. Young people today need several international experiences in order to be ready for a globally-connected workplace. High international competence is sought by businesses, and it is vital for reducing political and economic tensions between countries. On a personal level, it is an empowering and stimulating experience.

What does this Virtual Exchange course offer your students?

This Virtual Exchange gives our students the opportunity to discuss important global issues with young people from several different countries. They hear different perspectives on these issues. This broadens their understanding and encourages them to think more critically. Our students connect empathically with people from different cultural backgrounds, which helps to reduce ‘othering’. Strong bonds are created during the course, and many of the students continue their friendship on social media, after the course.

What can interested professors expect when partnering to implement Virtual Exchange at their institutions?

At first, one feels rather on the outside. The course materials are available for professors to watch and read when you look for them. It is your job to ask the students to share their deliverables with you if you want to evaluate the quality of their deliverables.

Helen’s advice for future partners is to [m]aintain a balance between giving the students some autonomy and your expectations from the students”.

Thank you Helen Eve, Coordinator Internationalisation at Home and English modules at ESIEE PARIS, for your cooperation.

 

Get involved

Partnership conversations for the autumn iteration of ‘Climate Movements’ are currently taking place. Learn more on how to offer this online course at your education institution or organization here >
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