11 December, 2009

Study and Placements abroad

This week our CMV year 2 students got detailed information about opportunities for studying abroad or going on a placement abroad.
For that purpose I had prepared a powerpoint presentation with essential information. Again it proved to be such a rewarding task to really delve into the materials I had stored on my computer about previous placements abroad. I'm still glad that all of the students that take the international jump compose a report or a PPT presentation for the next bunch of students. To read about their wonderful experiences was so enjoyable and really brings you in the mood to tell an enthusiastic story to the next group.
This time I had decided to literally take over some of the comments and advice that students had recorded after their experiences abroad. Who better to listen to than the students themselves? Here's the resulting presentation for further reference.

Encouraging call from the UK

Yesterday a mail in my in box alerted me to the fact that the UK is in dire need of social workers. A social work recruitment agency had sent out a mailing approaching me about recruitment of social workers: "Work in the UK" and "We help you" the brochure in the attachment announced.
In fact the agency which has been running for 6 years now recruits social pedagogues from Europe, predominantly Germany, as well as Austria, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands and Spain. What an interesting development ! Especially in the light of the internationalisation of our curriculum.
Although there is still some scepticism from different sides about how international developments are impacting on the social work field, there is no doubt that we live in a globally interdependent world and that some are already taking advantage of this by recruiting staff outside their own country. In the world of business this has been going on for quite a number of years, but it's still relatively new in the social work field.
John Dewey said: "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow". Indeed higher education institutes have a responsibility to educate tomorrow's workforce and since the future is international, we simply must prepare our students for that globally interdependent world.
"When I started working at the Children and Family Services (CAFS) of a Scottish local authority, I soon learned from my international colleagues that Social Pedagogy is not very common in the UK, the USA or Australia. Whereas in Germany Social Pedagogues and Social Workers are employed in the same fields of work, Social Pedagogy, as an independent area within Social Work, with its own concepts, approaches and methods, is only now being discussed in Scotland," writes a German who packed his bags and started working abroad.
This is just one example of many ways in which lecturers can easily integrate international trends in social work curricula as a way of alerting students that there may be a world beyond the Netherlands waiting for them to work in. After all, social work competences do not stop at the border.

26 November, 2009

visit from Plzen

This week we had visitors from the Czech Republic at our university. It was our turn to receive a group of students within the context of an exchange with the University of West Bohemia.
Here the SPH and Peda students had prepared a full week programme under the guidance of Astrid Delleman. They visited a number of special schools and a community school, but also went to the Hague and admired our miniature Holland in Madurodam, to name just a few of the activities.
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures when the group was received in the red symposium room on their first day, a day full of introductory talks which were meant to familiarise the Czech students with the Dutch education system and internships among others.
Exchanges like these are wonderful for dialogue among students. Often they open people's eyes for the national peculiarities that so often persist but which you are blind to until someone starts asking questions about the (for you) obvious. Visits like these are always inspiring and good fun for both sides.

21 November, 2009

Anniversary !

A year ago to this day I started up this international weblog. The first post proudly mentioned that it was BLaID day. And in fact it was that occasion which gave me a push to try out blogging more seriously. I'd had a provisional blog, just to try out, so I was not a complete novice.
But somehow I felt I had no real topic or focus to blog about. Until I realised that my passion was and is internationalisation, and has been for quite a number of years now. So I decided that was going to be the direction I was going to take with the blog.
Looking back on the past year I see that there were 21 posts all in all. For a blogger that's not really much, still it's something.
For me (and others)it's more or less a kind of overview of the international steps that have been taken during the past year. A special year because it was the first year that the School of Social Work made an investment in internationalisation by appointing 4 people to be international coordinators of the 4 different course programmes and to have one overall coordinator.
A major part of the past year was spent on discussing and drawing up a joint policy plan on internationalisation for our school of social work. This was meant to lay the foundation for all kinds of future international steps on a number of fronts.
It also meant finding our place within the school in relation to management, other committees and organisational entities.
In retrospect I can now say we have accomplished quite a lot. This blog however does not fully reflect all that was done, probably just the variety of activities that go hand in hand with internationalisation.
Let's see what this second year brings! Je maintiendrai !

31 October, 2009

First talks on ethics

Ethics is hot. Since the start of the economic crisis leading us into a worldwide recession, people have been realising that it was the greedy and unethical behaviour of the banks and brokers that caused the crash.
A quote from the Journal of Business Ethics (Volume 8, Number 8 / August, 1989 !!): "A bank's responsibility extends to Government, customers, shareholders, staff and the community. In the future, as we face increasingly complex and conflicting issues, our resolve and commitment to ethical behaviour will be tested." And so it has !
Codex Diplomaticus: could this be an example to us?
Recently, the media have been drawing our attention more and more often to the ethical dimensions of particular issues to be considered. Besides, there seems to be a growing receptiveness, among both educators and ordinary citizens, toward including ethics training in all types of education. From these developments one may conclude that a specific project on teaching ethical competences could hit the nail on its head.
This week 4 lecturers from the CMV department travelled to Lithuania for two days of intensive international discussions on that very issue. The Vilnius meeting formed the kick off for a new learning partnership (within the LLLP) focussing on teaching and evaluating ethical competences.
At Vilnius College of Higher Education we got to know each other first via presentations by each organisation separately, but also later by the collective sharing of values that we felt were ethical values to be taught in education.
Still, it's always the talks in between and the talks during breaks, lunches and dinners that people get to know each other best of all. This social networking is often crucial in establishing good working relationships in projects, especially to fall back on while working in your own home institutions before the next meeting comes up.
Exhausted and full of (international)ideas, having experienced fascinating exchanges with all the 6 other European partners, we returned back to the Netherlands.
Click here for a visual report of the meeting.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This blog post reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.

26 October, 2009

Rotterdam has its MUNRO

Today was the big day: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences organised its first university wide Model United Nations. Students from many different departments gathered at the Kralingse Zoom location to play their roles as delegates and world leaders at a simulated United Nations session.
In the morning a warming up took place under the skilful leadership of Edo Brunner, actor/director at BNN. In this interactive session a variety of issues were put to the vote, all linked to the general themes of sustainability and climate change. Are you willing to do your bit? e.g. eat vegetarian food three times a week? or sacrifice your short breaks by plane in order to put a stop to global warming?
Even though the big auditorium was quite full there were lively discussions and many took the opportunity to speak out on issues that were close to their hearts. It was obvious that the training sessions in debating were gradually beginning to pay off.
Here some pictures of the interactive session in the morning.

MUNRO: an impression from Jane Traveller on Vimeo.

05 October, 2009

Meet the Dutch delegation

Today was the first real preparation meeting of the four staff members that will represent ISO / CMV at the first project meeting in Vilnius. Just a few more weeks to go before they'll meet EU partners from Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
Although there have been lots of short discussions and exchanges in the corridor, in between meetings and classes, this was the first time that we actually sat down to talk extensively about our input at the kick off meeting in Lithuania.
It is never easy to decide on the appropriate amount of information about one's organisation, one's perspectives on education and the way education (in this case ethics)is provided at one's own institute within only 10 to 15 minutes. There is always the risk of an overload of information. Educational systems differ from country to country and so do teaching methods, as well as values and norms in general.
The partnership in this new Grundtvig project not only covers 7 different countries, but it also represents a variety of organisations dealing with adult education. This will definitely mean a lot of new impressions and ideas to absorb in a short time.
As this is a learning partnership this is also what we are aiming at, learning from each other and moving forward together to produce a number of interesting results in the field of teaching ethical competences within Europe. It will be exciting to find out what the common European ground will be.
These are the four delegates from Rotterdam: Hans Donders, Harry Vrins, Danitsja Polak and Anja Stofberg.

04 October, 2009

Learning to think internationally

Building an international dimension into your graduation paper has been a requirement for the 3rd consecutive year now for all CMV students. Prior experience showed that thinking internationally does not come automatically to the majority of the students, even though there have been a number of outstanding exceptions.
This year it was decided to draw attention to this requirement at a very early stage, namely by having a short presentation at the first conference for year 4 students under the theme of "The Plan". In 30 minutes students were given an overview of the ways in which they could introduce an international dimension in their papers. Our students are the future workforce and the future is international after all !

First visit to ISS

Not many people active in Dutch social work education are aware of the fact that there is a unique institute housed in the Hague, providing policy oriented social science. I'm referring here to the international Institute for Social Studies (ISS). In fact, I even dare to state that it's probably better known abroad than anywhere in the Netherlands, with more than 10,000 alumni in more than 160 countries.
Via an introduction from a colleague at our school of social work I managed to make an appointment with the welfare officer at ISS, Martin Blok. Before showing me around through the building, I was told about the multicultural community at ISS and the range of teaching programmes provided for postgraduate professionals, mostly from developing countries and countries in transition, but also from the EU and northern America. Although it recently (July 2009) became part of Erasmus University Rotterdam, it will remain based in the same building in the Hague with its own student residences on the campus next to the ISS building.
What a wonderful learning environment this must be for the student body and academic staff; with students from all over the globe an excellent opportunity is created to stimulate and enhance learning from the inside knowledge and diverse experiences of each other, a unique and unequalled resource to the best of my knowledge.
This preciously hidden gem deserves to be in sharper focus within our own institute.

10 July, 2009

creativity and innovation

Those were the terms that triggered me and set me off to Brussels for a 2-day conference organised by the EU. And what an inspiring 2 days it became!
It was the first time I saw Ján Figel' speak, EU commissioner for education, culture, training and youth. I had read some of his speeches before, but seeing him "live" made me realise how this man really tried to make an impact on the audience by actually speaking to a huge gathering instead of just reading out a text prepared in advance, as did the second speaker Luc Van den Brande, President of the Committee of Regions and Odile Quentin, Director General EAC, in her closing speech. What also struck me was that he stressed the fact that it was all about "making human life more human", his captivating speech was a real message to the listeners and came across as authentic.
I was quite happy about the choice I had made for the session on the crucial role of schools in innovation and fostering creativity. The key issue of new skills needed for new jobs was highlighted and the audience was presented with creative answers to the key question of what to teach in schools to prepare the young generation for these new jobs.
The next day I had decided to go to the session of social innovation to hear a number of fascinating examples of societal entrepreneurship. Turning something seemingly bad into something good, was what all the speakers drove. Budapest Beyond Sightseeing for example is a case in point: it's a different type of city tour that takes the participants to one of the most neglected districts of Budapest where they get to experience the area’s hidden treasures through active participation, stories and encounters with locals, aiming to change the perception of the neighbourhood and its residents. The two people in charge of these social cultural walking tours both come from a social work background.
The conference ended with the rapporteurs summarising the policy conclusions from each of the theme sessions, here's the link to the report.
And here are some of the pictures I took to get a flavour of the whole event.

16 June, 2009

Dutch dialogue bench

Following a Danish example a class of ours from a minor tried out the dialogue bench set up by teacher Anna Hendrix. They talked in numerous pairs about their mutual similarities and when they felt a European. They also provided answers to the open-ended phrase: "intercultural is ......" .
Although our department is still busy designing and implementing an "international / intercultural corner" within the "meeting area" of our school of social work, the students just seated themselves on the new red furniture to start their dialogues.
This new idea is a result from European cooperation within the BLaID project, an EU funded Grundtvig project with 6 different EU partners.
In brief, the dialogue bench is in fact a bench or couch, or even just a corner within your institute or organisation, which invites you to communicate. It provides room for diversity and a variety of (inter)cultural expressions, the main aim being: promoting mutual respect. A fascinatingly simple initiative worth stimulating within our department.
Here's a short photostory of some of the BLaID activities that took place in Rotterdam.

BLaID project activities in Rotterdam from Jane Traveller on Vimeo.

13 June, 2009

Final stage of BLaID project

Stimulating educational exchanges, constructive cooperation, interesting topics for (informal) discussion, open-minded people, warm friends, a positive atmosphere, inspirational stories: those are the phrases that come to mind when looking back on 2 years of activities within the BLaID project.
CMV was fortunate enough to be granted a lump sum for a Grundtvig Learning Partnership 2 years ago in order to participate in a project dealing with intercultural dialogue and blended learning, BLaID in short.

From 9 to 13 June the last face-to-face meeting was held and organised by our Lithuanian partner from Zemaitijos College in Rietavas. And what a wonderfully well organised meeting it became. As part of an international week all the BLaID partners had the opportunity to talk to other international contacts as well while visiting local cultural hotspots and networking at the same time with people from Romania, Germany and Ukraine.
Apart from a number of interesting talks on other projects and project ideas, we could also compile relevant information and compare notes for the final report to be handed in within a few weeks.
Even though our project was a learning partnership, focussed more on the process than on products, all project members emphasized that we had produced quite an impressive number of concrete results. Actually, we had even established more than originally envisaged in the project application.
This was definitely one of the most positive and rewarding project experiences I've ever had and I was not the only one in thinking so. Each project member has benefited enormously from the BLaID activities.

No one could have anticipated that the basis we had laid at a contact seminar in Bucharest in February 2007 would turn out to be so successful.

07 June, 2009

CMV students active in M U N

M U N?? Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about civics, effective communication, globalization and multilateral diplomacy, according to Wikipedia.
For 3 years we've organised a mini MUN for 3rd year CMV students and each time it was great fun and an interesting learning opportunity to get immersed in talks at a global level.
Having appointed delegates for 17 different countries the issue on the table was "the war about water", a topical issue but still quite open for debate within the appointed timespan of 3 and a half hours.
Although hesitant at first during the opening speeches most students adapted pretty quickly to the session and the jargon used at those sessions.
It was especially the honourable delegate from Zimbabwe, who stole the show, although he was the first to respond to the chair that "Zimbabwe is not known for stealing".
Within the last half hour it became clear how much overall progress all delegates had been making when all countries present had to respond to the crisis in Pakistan in their one-minute speeches.
Helping to prepare students to become global citizens can be seen as evidence of a growing tendency in higher education institutes to try and demonstrate a sense of (worldwide) social responsibility. Organising a MUN is a brilliant way of doing this.
Preparations are already underway to organise a university-wide MUN at Hogeschool Rotterdam( MUNRO ?) covering a few days and trying to tempt even more students into taking on roles as delegates, debating and developing solutions to worldwide problems.

14 May, 2009

Erasmus student in Parijs: grève !

Als Erasmus student wil je graag naar het buitenland om je studie op een internationale manier vorm te geven. Maar ook vooral om je onder te dompelen in een andere cultuur en er persoonlijk veel te leren van de andere perspectieven die je er mee krijgt. Nou dat heeft een studente wel geweten, toen ze afgelopen januari naar Parijs afreisde om daar deel te nemen aan een paar vakken geschiedenis en alles te leren over de Franse revolutie. "Uiteindelijk kreeg ik 27 april mijn eerste officiële college over de Franse revolutie" schrijft de studente, die eind januari was vertrokken. Wat bleek Parijs was "en grève", men staakte en onduidelijk was wanneer de lessen weer zouden worden hervat. Positief als ze is concludeert ze: "Al heb ik dus feitelijk nauwelijks colleges gehad, toch heb ik wel een interessant verschijnsel ontmoet. Niet vertrouwd met het cultuurverschijnsel grève is het voor mij onvoorstelbaar dat er praktisch een heel semester ‘opgeofferd’ kan worden aan een staking. Waar men in Nederland gaat onderhandelen gaat men in Frankrijk blijkbaar staken."
Ook dat kan dus de opbrengst zijn van een semester in buitenland, naast de vele twijfels of er nog studiepunten worden toegekend of niet !
Hier de link naar het gehele artikel.
Kort hierna las ik nog de speech die Jan Figel, lid van de Europese Commissie en belast met de portefeuille opleidingen, training, cultuur en talen, gaf in 2006 over het Erasmus programma 2007 - 2013. Quote: "I see Erasmus as a great opportunity to prepare for working life both at home and abroad. Many students have formed their view of Europe as a place to work and develop their careers during an Erasmus exchange. Our need for an open, flexible, mobile and linguistically fluent workforce will, given what we know about the future world of work, be ever greater in the years ahead. The main challenge for Erasmus therefore is to help form this workforce." Spot on !!

20 April, 2009

bye bye international class !

This week we're saying goodbye to the students of the international class. It's been an intensive and busy programme for them these past 3 months. There were lots of excursions, new experiences, new views, many different topics and as many primary schools to visit for them. One student wrote in her evaluation: "A lot of work involved but it is an amazing experience. Best 3 months of your life." So endearing to read !
This year the international group was an interesting mix with 9 students altogether, coming from Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain and the Basque country. All in all they were so positive and enthusiastic about what they have come across here in Rotterdam and at our university. And they were delightful students to have in class, was the comment I often heard from my colleagues.
When asked to provide some advice to future students coming next year, they came up with the following top tips a.o.: buy a bike, be on time (just do it the Dutch way !), buy a discount card for travelling by train, don't leave home without your map of Rotterdam and don't lose it, be aware of Dutch timetables, don't complain about the weather, travel as much as you can, prepare yourself for eating spicy food, "krokets" and potatoes, or for cooking yourself and last but not least: if you are drunk, don't take your bike.;-))
Really pragmatic tips aren't they !
Here is a short impression of this wonderful group of international students on a visit to CVD/STAP:

01 April, 2009

Hello and goodbye !

On Monday March 23rd a number of SPH and Pedagogiek students gathered on our top floor, with views extending over Rotterdam, a suitable location for a so-called hello and goodbye party. The idea of the party is knowledge exchange and transfer around international placements. Students coming back from their placements abroad gave presentations and students getting ready for an international experience coming September had the opportunity to ask lots of questions.

hello and goodbye session from Jane Traveller on Vimeo.

Many tips and suggestions were given and many experiences were related. It was fascinating to see how these “placement abroad” students had overcome a number of the difficulties they faced, how they had gone through a period of personal growth and how they had benefited from this.
And just as eagerly as always the new bunch of students took it all in and left the meeting with their heads full … of anticipation.

annual NUFFIC conference

Yesterday I attended the annual Nuffic conference for the first time. The decision to go was easily made because it was to be held in Rotterdam and the theme appealed to me. The focus was on the relation between internationalisation and development cooperation, an issue that has been on my mind for a few months but which I haven't been able to explore up to now.

The main issues and messages that I took away from this day were: it is operating in (global) sustainable partnerships and educational networks, cooperating with local NGO's and utilizing their local expertise, finding global solutions to the global problems we are now facing, empowering people to prepare them for dealing with the issues at hand, but it is also instilling a sense of social responsibility into students (and educational institutions) in various ways, for example by introducing the concept of global citizenship to students and discussing what place they envisage for themselves in the global community, that was generally seen as the road ahead of us, to put it in a nutshell.

The two keynote speeches and the workshop on Capacity Strengthening in Developing Countries were definitely eye-openers for a novice like me in this field. These sessions provided me with a number of new insights, such as the 3 levels of engagement at which one can operate.
It was especially Doekle Terpstra, chairman of the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, who made the most lasting impression on me, emphasizing the new and different tasks which should be tackled in the near future. He told the audience that especially the universities of applied sciences have a substantial contribution to make in development cooperation due to their vocational nature and their potential to play a leading role in practical, hands-on knowledge exchange, based on applied research. In this way they can also maintain their role as a transformative agent in pursuit of humanity’s highest ideals.
With all due respect he also gave the Nuffic organisers an indication of how particular (funding) programmes could be changed to everyone's advantage.
After watching the amusing new Study in Holland video it was time for informal networking chats. It was amazing to see how many Dutch speaking people from all over the world had gathered here in Rotterdam to attend the conference.

17 February, 2009

Op naar Varna !

Tweemaal reeds reisde SPH docente Astrid Delleman af naar Bulgarije met 2 doelen voor ogen: kennismaking met de de Association for Support for People with Mental Disabilities en mogelijkheden tot samenwerking verkennen en in kaart te brengen. Al snel bleek dat deze gerenommeerde organisatie een pionier is op het gebied van gehandicapte zorg en een voorbeeldfunctie heeft in Varna. Ook al verliepen de gesprekken vaak via tolken, duidelijk werd dat men grote behoefte had aan praktische werkwijzen en materialen om te werken met de cliënten om goede resultaten te boeken.
Dit was dan ook de directe aanleiding voor de docent om tijdens het 2e bezoek samen met twee 4e jaars SPH studenten meer in te zoomen op de concrete wensen t.a.v. de samenwerking met de opleiding SPH.
Aan het einde van het bezoek konden de meereizende studenten o.a. aan bestuursleden verslag doen van hun impressies en thema’s voorstellen waaraan gewerkt zou worden tijdens het 3e bezoek. Want het was vanaf het begin af aan helder: studenten zouden een belangrijke rol gaan krijgen in de invulling van de samenwerking.
Heel concreet werd het toen de studenten in hun terugkoppeling suggesties deden voor de invulling van een 6 tal workshops (van 3 uur) die zij zelf zouden leiden samen met medestudenten in het kader van hun afstudeertraject. Deze trainingen zouden dan vervolgens weer een follow up krijgen waarbij de studenten assisteren om het geleerde toe te passen in de praktijk met de cliënten.
Al met al was het een indrukwekkende reis, waarin de studenten een bijzonder actieve rol vervulden om via een behoefteanalyse te komen tot een concrete invulling van de deskundigheidsbevordering van de hulpverleners. De uitgebreide observaties en in-depth interviews met de hulpverleners van Villa Riviera hebben daarvoor de basis gelegd.

25 January, 2009

Studiereis naar Tsjechië

Op 12 oktober reisde een groep studenten SPH en Pedagogiek af naar Plzen voor een afwisselend, educatief en indrukwekkend programma georganiseerd door studenten van de Universiteit van Plzen. Hier een greep uit het programma: een jongerencentrum, een daklozenopvang, een opvang voor tienermoeders, een instelling voor de minderheidsgroep van Roma’s, een opvang voor kinderen met een beperking, een opvang voor verslaafden en een café gerund door mensen met een beperking.
De studenten kregen ook de kans om te genieten van culturele activiteiten, zoals een bezoekje aan de bierbrouwerij Pilsener Urquell, een opera, een theehuis en bovendien kon iedereen een dag cultuur snuiven in de prachtige hoofdstad Praag. Onze studenten waren onder de indruk van het hartelijke onthaal en het feit dat het programma tot in de puntjes verzorgd was.
Niet lang daarna was het tijd voor een tegenbezoek vanuit Tsjechië. Onze studenten hadden een mooi weekprogramma in elkaar gezet om een interessant en gevarieerd beeld van Rotterdam te bieden aan hun Tsjechische vrienden.
En …… de meerwaarde van het organiseren van een dergelijk uitwisselingsprogramma? Dit is wat een paar studenten in hun verslag hierover schreven: “je leert de Engelse taal meer ontwikkelen, je ontwikkelt je organisatorische vaardigheden, je leert zelf veel van de organisaties die je voor het bezoek regelt, je leert van de Tsjechische cultuur en je leert nieuwe mensen kennen.”
Kortom een waardevolle en leerzame ervaring.

20 January, 2009

leafing through the booklet Pact op Zuid

During the final session of the programme the booklet Pact op Zuid was handed out to every delegate from Windhoek, Namibia.
The report (Spierings & Meeuwisse, October 2008) outlines the activities undertaken in the south of Rotterdam as a joint and innovative initiative by municipal authorities, entrepreneurs, active citizens and housing corporations.
The booklet comprises visual material, statistics and stories from residents in the different neighbourhoods "on South".

PS This was an experimental post straight from an account on flickr.com, works well obviously.

12 January, 2009

A visit from another continent

This weekend a Namibian delegation landed at Schiphol Airport to pay a visit to Hogeschool Rotterdam.
They had come at the invitation of our Teaching Training College within the framework of a cooperation agreement signed between Windhoek College of Education and our “PABO”.
One lecturer from the University of Namibia joined the delegation and is to continue talks between our School of Social Work (ISO) and her own Social Work programme in Windhoek, capital city of Namibia, this week.
Here are some of the photos taken during the welcome drink on the first day and the informal dinner at the Euromast.
At the end of the week we could draw the overall conclusion that both sides recognise mutual advantages in strengthening the relationships between the universities. Both sides expressed keen interest in each other. All the talks were conducted in a most pleasant and open atmosphere and proved to be informative on both sides. The ground has been explored and both parties are ready to move forward.

06 January, 2009

Teaching abroad !

Have you ever thought of going abroad to teach !? It could be the ideal solution for people interested in working internationally: there’s the opportunity to move around and see a lot of the globe, while being active as a professional in the field you love, making lots of connections and networking with lots of like-minded people.
Without knowing the exact statistics for our university or any university for that matter, it is safe to say that not many take up this interesting challenge. It would be interesting to hypothesize why this is the case, but for now I leave that to the reader.
Here’s why: this blog post is meant to be about someone who did take the jump and went off to Poland to teach, Han Bakker. He combined his specific interest in Poland with his passion for creativity and sought out his university contacts in Lódz and Jelenia Gora .
First Han visited the Academy of Humanities and Economics in Łódź to teach and meet up with the inspiring Prof. Makary Krzysztof Stasiak in order to continue talks on the theme of creativity. Interestingly, this is a university with a separate society for Creative Initiative . So obviously, Han's lectures on creative thinking fell on fertile ground.
After a week of teaching students, meeting other lecturers in Łódź and presenting his own research on Idea Management, Han continued his trip to Jelenia Gora, a town situated in south western Poland, bordering on Germany and the Czech Republic.
Recently cooperation with Kolegium Karkonoskie was established and to put the Erasmus (LLP) bilateral agreement quickly into effect our colleague also travelled to this interesting Euro region. Apart from teaching, there were also talks on teacher and student exchange. Moreover, Rotterdam, the School of Social Work (ISO) and the Rotterdam Model of Education was discussed and illustrated.
For a visual report of this fascinating visit, see the picture gallery below.