Where in the World? Promoting diverse destinations for student mobility (Claire Belkadi)

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By 2026 Birmingham students will thrive by discovering new cultures, learning new languages and travelling to more varied academic locations. Our network of global university partners is one that offers a great diversity of destinations, offering opportunities to study in all five continents of the globe, including Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Sweden, Israel, Chile, Ghana and Vietnam to name just a few. Our network of global university partners offers programmes delivered 100% in English for Birmingham students to be able to succeed academically, bring back academic credits that count towards their degree, whilst also  learning about old and new traditions in countries and civilizations different from their own. However, currently the majority of our students in 2016 select destinations close to their home comfort, favouring exchanges in the USA, Canada and Australia as their preferred destinations. So is it fear or misperception that prevents them stepping out of their comfort zone? Is it conscious or unconscious? Is it recommended or discouraged? ML students often have to choose less common destinations (predominantly in Europe, but also in Asia and Latin America) for the purpose of developing their language skills, and these students often enjoy the most culturally-enriched experiences. So by 2026 we hope that the wider Birmingham student body will seize the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and take advantage of more diverse study opportunities.

Our team of mobility advisors, along with personalised pre-departure briefings and a new non-credit bearing compulsory education enhancement module called #Myglobalstory will deliver personalised advising, matching students desires and needs with a range of short- and long-term opportunities from next door to far-afield, but always with the intention of widening student horizons at the forefront of our mind.

1 thought on “Where in the World? Promoting diverse destinations for student mobility (Claire Belkadi)”

  1. The Insider’s Guide to the Year Abroad is peer-to-peer support resource on Canvas. It was created by the College of Arts and Law Student Experience team, working in collaboration with students, to provide guidance and information for CAL students preparing for mobility. Based on the success of the initiative we have now rolled this out to all second year students across the University preparing for mobility. The guide is extremely popular – peaking at nearly 2000 page views per day – which demonstrates students’ appetite to get ‘real life, insider information’ in order to inform their mobility choice, and help prepare them for their experience.

    The content is produced by students who have experienced working or studying abroad, and are eager to support their fellow students. We have 38 diverse regions represented and this includes a range of European countries, as well as Israel, Martinique, Japan, China, Russia, Uruguay, Singapore and Mexico. The written and video content provides useful general tips for things such as dealing with homesickness, managing money and making friends etc., whilst also providing information on accommodation, travel and cultural difference specific to the region and based in each ambassador’s own experience of their year abroad.

    The Insider’s Guide to the Year Abroad will link with the new My Global Story module and our hope is that students will be able to learn more about a diverse range of destinations and make informed and empowered choices.

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