An increasing number of English degree programmes are available at various universities in Europe attracting foreign applicants. Along with them, a great number of Erasmus students choose to do a period or exchange study, increasing the scope of their education providing knowledge and skills required of graduated professionals in the field. However, the guidance skills of teachers and mentors vary between countries together with the amount of experience the HEI’s have with foreign students.
The Soulbus project considered this issue and decided to study the case further. To that end, a case study method of partner countries was done to collect more information on the matter. A semi-structured interview was carried out in January 2014.; 43 participants were included consisting of teachers (15), mentors (14), international students (5) and home-country students (9). These facts were then summarized by each HEI and sent to the leader of WP2, Faculty of Health Care Jesenice for analysis. Based on the information, FHCJ produced a case repository which represents the 1st milestone in our project. The case repository is a collection of experiences described by teachers, mentors and students (international and home-country) grouped into categories listed below (followed by a brief description of the terms):
- cultural awareness is described by Campinha-Bacote (1999) as being aware of how your own cultural background and experiences and attitudes, values, and biases influence interactions with others.
- cultural empathy means having the ability to be empathic with the feelings, thoughts and behaviours of members of groups with a different cultural background. (van der Woning, 2013; Kosteijk et al., 2006)
- open-mindedness entails having an open and unbiased attitude towards members of a group with other cultural norms and values. (van der Woning, 2013; Kosteijk et al., 2006)
- cultural knowledge and skills: Cultural knowledge is the process by which you seek out and obtain education about various worldviews of different cultures. Cultural skill, involves learning how to do a competent cultural assessment. (Campinha-Bacote, 1999)
- communication and self-efficacy: Edgecombe et al. (2013) explain that the focus on English as a second laguage in the literature about international students stresses the vital role clear communication plays in socialisation. Self-efficacy represents the level of confidence which is operationalized by looking at the extent to which you “dare” to lecture one hour in the English language etc.(van der Woning, 2013; Kosteijk et al., 2006)
- social initiative is best described as the ability to make contact with people from other cultures (van der Woning, 2013; Kosteijk et al., 2006)
- emotional stability is described by Van der Woning (2013) and Kosteijk et al. (2006) as the ability to deal with psychological stress in an intercultural context, one is indeed confronted with different cultural and interpersonal situations that must be coped with.
This repository is a stepping stone to producing the Multicultural coaching programme; next, an eLearning module will be designed based on the programme and submitted to a virtual platform. The module will be evaluated and modified accordingly and then be piloted for further use and development. You will be informed in due time, just follow us!
Campinha-Bacote J. A model and instrument doe, addressing cultural competence in healthcare? Journal of Nursing Education 1999; 38: 181–84.
Kostelijk E, Julsing M, Versteeg A. Onderzoek Internationalisering docenten HanzeHogeschool Groningen. Groningen: Hanze Connect, 2006.
van der Woning René JA. International Competencies. A quantitative study to explore if lecturers of the Faculty of Social Work and the Faculty of Health are familiar with “International competencies” and use those competencies while lecturing. Birmingham City University / Birmingham, Saxion University / Enschede – Deventer. Master Thesis, 2013.