12 February, 2011

dear international students: welcome to Rotterdam !

This week we could welcome the new group of international students at our Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. And what a large and diverse group it is with students from 10 different countries !
For the kick off we had chosen the 11th floor of the high rise as our venue, which meant that we had an excellent overview of Rotterdam lying at our feet.
Especially Monday and Tuesday we spent time in getting to know each other better by way of ice breakers, games, and all sorts of introductory activities, which was a good start. However, it was the international buddies that had been doing the most important tasks in getting the students landed in Rotterdam after arrival from their respective countries. Collecting them from Schiphol or otherwise, gathering keys, taking them to their accommodation etc.: a big thank you to them!
Later in the week the first lessons were given and the serious work started.
Here's a visual impression of the first Monday meetings:

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Revealing, simple and effective !

Representing large facts in relation to a person's own home is much more revealing than a simple list or presentation of facts. From this understanding, a new site was launched: www.ifitweremyhome.com. A resource worthwhile exploring within international education, and particularly a tip for our Global Citizenship learning track as it provides an easy gateway to understanding life outside your home.
The site immediately focusses your attention on the fascinating issue: "the lottery of birth is responsible for much of who we are."
You only need to use the country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another and you 'll get a short but comprehensive list of comparative data. It's really easy to get started by selecting a region to compare on the map to the right, and begin your exploration.
And here's the question that keeps me puzzling: If you were not born in the country you were, what would your life be like? Would you be the same person?
Feel free to respond.