Interview with Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni, a fan of the Teaching Staff Mobility
Servizio relazioni internazionali e mobilità
11 Febbraio 2019
Since many years, Prof. Cantoni benefits from the Teaching Staff Mobility grants within the SEMP framework, in particular for his teaching activities at Eurocampus. We would like to thank Prof. Cantoni for accepting our interview.
How did you come across this opportunity?
USI is part of the European Masters in Intercultural Communication (EMICC) initiative, which is led by the colleague Jolanta Drzewiecka, from the Faculty of Communication Sciences.
Core activity of EMICC is the Eurocampus, a four-month intensive programme taught by professors from the network universities. In recent years I have lectured at the Eurocampus on intercultural communication / localization of tourism websites. In particular, I’ve presented the activities we do in this field at the UNESCO Chair established at USI in “ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites”, where I serve as chair-holder.
This was the reason why I’ve learned about the Teaching Staff Mobility opportunity. An opportunity that has supported me visiting Universitat Jaume I (Castellon, Spain), Universidade Oberta (Coimbra, Portugal), INALCO – Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (Paris, France), Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, UK), Tallin University (Estonia), and Università degli studi di Urbino (Italy).
Can you give us more details on how this works, academically speaking?
Involved academic staff has to inform USI’s International Relations and Study Abroad service about the visit, providing details on all foreseen activities at the partner University. In my case, mainly teaching activities and networking ones. While at the destination, a document from the hosting university is prepared, certifying the activities done. Once back at USI, a brief report has to be submitted, as well as the list of expenses.
You are a high-fidelity user of teaching mobility, why?
It’s a very efficient program, which offers great opportunities to visit colleagues and students in partner universities. I must add that it requires few documents to be prepared, a condition that I always found very positive.
How do you think the home institution can benefit from these experiences? Beyond financial support, what are the main advantages of participating in this mobility programme?
I would say through exposure and networking.
On the one side, what we do at USI can be presented to larger international audiences of students, on the other side, meeting students and colleagues from different institutions is always useful. It helps designing future collaborations, as well as improving what we do, getting inspirations from different experiences.
With Erasmus+ (for Switzerland, considered a Partner country, the SEMP applies), opportunities are available to spend time teaching at an education institution abroad. A teaching period between a Programme country and a Partner country must last a minimum of 2 days and maximum of 60 days and, during the stay abroad, the teaching activity must comprise a minimum of 8 hours per week of actual teaching time. In terms of funds, Movetia grants CHF 170 per day for teaching periods abroad between Programme and Partner countries and the reimbursement of travel costs.
The SEMP program for teaching mobility also allows to host a colleague, granted that he/she comes from one of USI's partner universities.