City – Region: Ankara
Description of the Best Practice:
Learn about the experiences through the report and research of Ankara University Exchange Students.
The aim of the study was to learn through the experiences of Ankara University mobility students, find out the reasons for attending Erasmus mobility, how they experienced it and if it changes according to the host country.
Since 2004, 2056 students, in total of Ankara’s University benefitted from student mobility grant to study one or two semesters in a European university and 689 students benefitted from placement grant (Ankara University, 2013). We should note that Turkey is not a European member, but a candidate country and it has a different cultural, educational, religious and economic structure than European countries (especially western European countries). This report / study contributes by giving different views and evaluations from a different setting. In the report 95 (65 women and 30male) Erasmus student mobility participants shared their experiences in 20 different European countries. Following are the main aspects of the report, where you may see the importance of cross-border learning through students’ experiences. Students had the opportunity to answer questions and share their thoughts regarding:
- The reasons for applying to Erasmus student mobility.
- The good practices at host Erasmus universities.
- The general evaluation of Erasmus experience.
Here are the results:
- Reasons for applying to Erasmus student mobility.
|Reasons of applying to Erasmus student mobility||Ans||%|
|Improve foreign language knowledge and skills||89||93.7|
|Acquaintance with foreign culture||82||86.3|
|Get new experiences||79||83.2|
|to increase job opportunities in the future||66||69.5|
|to meet with new people||61||64.2|
|to live in a foreign country||60||63.2|
|to get education in a different system||54||56.8|
|to spend funny time||49||51.6|
|to be free||32||33.7|
Good practices in Erasmus Universities.
⮚ The general evaluation of Erasmus experience.
Academic organizations (conference, seminar etc.)
Language courses at university
Social activities in host university
City and general atmosphere at university
Through the study, they concluded that the Erasmus programme achieves its objectives of learning the languages of the EU and learning other cultures. Students mostly prefer a host country whose language is widely known and/or they have learned (Maiworm Teichler, 1996). Studying in another country and culture helped Erasmus students to familiarise themselves with another European culture. Also, they had a chance to practice their foreign language skills. In general, according to this study/report students indicated positive effects of Erasmus experience on their personal and professional developments. They underlined the positive improvement on their self-responsibility and feeling of freedom after Erasmus experience which was helpful for their self-reliance.
Country: Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Greece, Estonia, Turkey, Moldavia
City – Region: EU
Description of the Best Practice:
The “world around us – seasons”, is an eTwinning project where young (6-10 years) familiarize themselves with the evolution of seasons. This is accomplished through various forms of artistic expression such as music, painting, poetry, staging, collages, photographs. Children got involved in both artistic reception and creation, combining two types of activities, e.g., by creating lapbooks based on Vivaldi’s music. The project was integrated into the life of 7 partner schools, by organising artistic performances on the Day of Spring. Despite their age, pupils communicated through several channels: video conferences, letters, small gifts, videos, etc. in order to get to know each partner’s culture they created a general dictionary, exchanged cooking recipes, etc. Organising and planning were clear, and it is noteworthy that it had a great impact on pupils and teachers.
Pupils had the chance to present themselves, their school, and their country. During the project they created the logo of the project and worked in two month cycles. They learned the seasons in partner countries and took pictures of the landscape and nature. Pupils learned Vivaldi’s music “Four Seasons” and created art works in different techniques. As a result of this project pupils created a song about the seasons and nature and prepared an artwork with the use of a scrapbook about the seasons.
By integrating this eTwinning project in the classroom, teachers fostered the international dimension of the curriculum and gave their pupils the chance to be part of a global learning community. Pupils but also teachers had the chance to broaden their minds, meet new cultures and also collaborate with foreign students and teachers.
City – Region: Patras
Description of the Best Practice:
The Hellenic Open University (HOU) is a public Higher Education Institution, founded in 1992 and based in Patras. The HOU’s mission is to provide undergraduate and postgraduate education and training, with the development and utilization of appropriate educational material and teaching methods for distance education. HOU also defines scientific research and the development of technology and methodology in the conceptual framework of distance education.
- 8 undergraduate programmes,
- 51 postgraduate programmes,
- 449 Individual Thematic Units,
- 1 Special Program.
The applications are exclusively online and for the admission of students, a priority order is observed based on the time of submission of the application.
At the level of Tertiary Education, Universities based on “face-to-face” teaching are characterised by several limitations (impossibility for the student to be physically present in the classrooms, obligation to take entrance examinations, small coverage of the age range, etc.). Open systems of Tertiary Education are governed by the notion that education is a right for all throughout their lives. As a consequence, they appeal to a wide range of stakeholders and provide more educational opportunities, as students choose the place, time of study and the pace at which they learn. There are no entrance examinations and students shape their own educational profile by choosing self-contained cycles of study within the modular system.
The HOU is collaborating with several other institutions from Greece and Cyprus. The HOU has also had an Office of Strategic Planning and Development (OSPD) since October 2010. The OSPD carries out an independent, objective, and consultative activity, designed to add value and improve the services provided by the HOU.
The HOU also has a Distance library, where students can find books, e-books, e-journals, dissertations, articles and can place a hold. The main purpose of it is the support of distance education processes, research at the HOU, the organization and disposal of all kinds of material (print, electronic, legal access to network services, etc.), so it is a center for collecting and disseminating information with modern means. The library provides its services remotely and live. Its users are informed and educated from a distance but also in person, participating in special programs. It is also a place to collect printed and electronic material related to Distance learning.
Furthermore, HOU has several other services for its students, such as the Alumni Network, mentoring programmes, Liaison Office, publications, psychological support center, web radio, online educational platforms, legal services and more. The HOU also participates in Erasmus+ programmes.