Intercultural And Professional Skills in Student Mobility to Boost Employability

Maria Luisa Sierra-Huedo, Jennifer Foucart

Abstract

The internationalisation of higher education institutions is mainly focused on mobility programs.  Increasingly programs try to improve the intercultural learning of their students through internationalising their curriculum and assessing their intercultural experiences. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the acquisition of intercultural competence and professional skills of higher education students during a specific short Erasmus+ mobility program. Thirty-two students came from four different countries and fields of study: Spain, Belgium, France, and China. A specific teaching methodology was used to promote the development of intercultural and professional competencies. A mixed methods approach was developed to collect data. The results showed that the students acquired intercultural competence and important professional skills. They improved their awareness of the importance of working in multicultural teams and settings; for 100% of them, this was just the first step in a developmental process. The participants reflected on their intercultural learning experiences and learned how to reflect and learn about intercultural and professional misunderstandings using coping mechanisms to face these issues.

Keywords:
    Intercultural competence, soft competencies, higher education, short mobility programs, assessment, internationalisation, COVID19

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Authors

Maria Luisa Sierra-Huedo
mlsierra@usj.es (Primary Contact)
Jennifer Foucart
Author Biographies

Maria Luisa Sierra-Huedo, Faculty of Communication and Social Sciences, San Jorge University, Spain

Maria Luisa Sierra-Huedo: Doctor in Education from the University of Minnesota, USA. Master of Arts in Comparative International Development Education from the University of Minnesota, USA. Teaching certificate and BA in English Linguistics from Zaragoza University. Professor of courses in Education and Intercultural Communication in Communication Studies and the Degree in Translation & Intercultural Communication. Professor. Coordinator of different International Projects focusing on interculturalism and education. Research interest and focus on internationalization at home, intercultural education, and adaptation processes. Author of different academic publications that can be accessed in Google Scholar.

Jennifer Foucart, Faculty of Motor-Science, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 808 Route de Lennik, 1070 Bruxelles, Belgium

Jennifer Foucart: Doctor in Psychology. Head of the research department, in Laboratory of psychophysiology of motricity, in Faculty of Motor -Science, Université Libre de Brussels (U.L.B.), Belgium. Professor at the Faculty of Psychology of Psychology at ULB, Brussels, Belgium. Research Interests: Medical Psychology, more specifically Caregiver-Care Relationship; Communication; interprofessional collaboration and communication. Author of different academic publications that can be accessed in Google Scholar.

Sierra-Huedo, M. L., & Foucart, J. (2022). Intercultural And Professional Skills in Student Mobility to Boost Employability. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 22(3), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v22i3.68

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