USI @ EAIE in Geneva
Servizio relazioni internazionali e mobilità
9 Ottobre 2018
Founded in 1989, the EAIE (European Association of International Education) is a centre for expertise, networking and resources in the field of internationalization of higher education. It annually holds the Europe’s largest international higher education conference. The 30th edition took place in Geneva from 11–14 September 2018. USI, represented by the International Relations Service staff, had the chance to promote its educational offer thanks to the Swiss higher education booth hosted at the exhibition.
This year’s theme, “Facing Outwards” has been widely covered through presentations, panel sessions and workshops. We had the opportunity to attend a number of them, gaining new knowledge and ideas related to internationalization.
It must be said that EAIE conference always offers topics for every taste and every need. Part of our time was dedicated to the “incoming students” topic. Presentations such as “Bienvenue! Creating a welcoming environment for incoming international students”, “Alternative ways to welcome international students” and “At home and abroad: internationalization through buddy programmes” were of good ways to learn how to be better prepared to welcome international students coming from different cultural contexts, how to set up inclusive and appropriate welcome activities or how to implement an efficient buddy programme.
Of course, we also wanted to devote some time to our outgoing students. The session “From ignoring to pampering: types of support for your outbound exchange students” was a good opportunity to hear about the best practices in pre-departure, post-arrival and re-entry support activities.
Other sessions focused more on strategic and long-term themes: “Beyond the MoU: bringing strategic partnerships to life” and “International mobility post-Brexit: creative Erasmus alternative”. The first one enabled attendees to acquire tools and practices for developing successful partnerships, whereas the second one stimulated a discussion among participants on possible alternative scenarios when it comes to student mobility outside the Erasmus framework: a situation that Switzerland knows very well!
The EAIE was also the occasion to meet nine colleagues from partner universities, whom we thank for their availability, as well as two new potential partners, with whom we are carrying on the conversation on potential collaboration.
As every year, the EAIE conference is an enriching experience full of great opportunities. We look forward to the 2019 edition in Helsinki!