A trip abroad
Running for the second time from last November, the module consists of (online) group coaching, a central project, discussions and guest lectures by experts, all facilitated by the seven collaborating universities. Students are given a lot of flexibility to put the module together according to their own interests. There is also the possibility to go on an international trip at the end of the programme. The first edition it was Toulouse, the second one Barcelona. 'Developing intercultural competences is essentially about communication skills,' Buunk knows. 'But via a computer screen you can train that to a limited extent. That's why students can choose to go on a trip abroad, which gives them one extra study credit in addition to the two fixed ECTS.' According to Snijders, this trip abroad is highly appreciated. ‘We saw students come together and form a very engaged and close group in such a short time. Some of the students even ended up traveling to each other over the summer again.
The programme is open to all bachelor and master students within ECIU University and is very popular, according to its initiators. Around 85 students are currently enrolled in the second edition of the course. According to Atis Kazaferi, UT-student assistant coaching, the module is suitable for students who want to develop alongside their regular study programme.' In the long term, the programme also offers great opportunities for lifelong learning projects, for example for people from who are already working, adds Buunk.