Unleash the full power of international mobility
Data collected by the National Agencies of Erasmus Programme shows that more and more students are interested in international exchange studies under Erasmus+ Programme year-on-year. Unfortunately the trend is not as dynamic when it comes to being sent on Erasmus+ Internships. In general, students are usually discouraged by the administrative procedures associated with going to the internship abroad, especially finding and proper contact with international companies that are willing to accept an intern. Not always students are also aware that the Erasmus+ Programme is not only an opportunity to study at foreign universities but also a chance to gain unique experience in the international work environment. This effectively reduces the motivation to go abroad.
At the same time, according to the majority of human resources specialists, multicultural experience is being found as a great asset that helps in finding a dream job. Candidate with experience gained during internship abroad is being perceived by recruiters as an active, determined and independent person who is ready to take on challenges and show flexibility and willingness towards new situations under demanding circumstances. Internship abroad is also the best way to acquire international adaptability and cross-cultural sensitivity and self-confidence by effective learning how to share your ideas, doubts or fears.
Internationalization as a driver of the higher education development
International experience is considered as the most important benefit of internationalization that is one of the key aspects of institutional strategy of universities and higher education institutions. It is no wonder that student mobility and research cooperation are priority actions to increase the level of university internationalization and one of the most important challenges of higher education in Europe. More and more often universities open their door to partner institutions in other countries,
supporting exchanges of students and university staff. A larger percentage of international mobility indicates consolidation of the brand and the position of the university on the European market.
Currently, most rankings, whether national or global, include the university’s internationalization rate as one of the most important factors in the quality of education. Therefore, educational centers strive to gain international recognition, and thus reliability and visibility that make themselves more effective and competitive towards other European scientific institutions. However, apart from being classified on top-rated positions in in national and global universities rankings, internationalization provides also the opportunity to improve the quality of education and acquire unique competences. It is also an opportunity to increase the effectiveness of research and recognition of scientific achievements in Europe.
Why to internationalize the university?
To develop the level of internationalization, universities are involved into joint international research projects or joint study programmes as well as the employment of foreign researchers, but above all into increasing the mobility of their students and graduates. Integration with a multinational academic environment leads into creating a kind of international culture by promoting mobility and internships abroad among graduates who will largely need international experience in the labor market. Internationalization of education also facilitates the promotion of ‘international features’ desired in the global economy, such as being openness and sensitivity to intercultural differences, foreign language skills, flexibility of thinking, tolerance and respect for others. Therefore recognized European universities compose international networks to bring themselves to increase the transfer of knowledge and research as well as potential of their students. Internationalization of education and dynamic academic exchange may become important benefits for sustainable development of science and international mobility as well as building social and economic potential. In addition, efforts in this area are reflected in the budget subsidies granted to the university. In order to raise the level of recognition in Europe, and thus strengthen its position on the international arena, universities should represent their interests in a coordinated and planned way using available promotional activities or establishing cooperation with international recruitment agencies that facilitate increasing individual student mobility. In addition, it is worth to use new technologies and social media as influential tools to increase public access to relevant information to facilitate recruitment and training of talents abroad.