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Drive Internationalization in Education: Mobility programs for student teachers

A Proof of Concept @FHNW PH

The inspiration for Backpack2school was sparked during a university course at the FHNW in February 2018. At that time, we were intrigued by the idea of creating a school project in environmental education that would connect our two home countries, Algeria and Switzerland.

We immediately set out to meet different people in the field of education. We learned about their struggles and got feedback on our idea. After innumerable conversations, we found ourselves well into the journey of Backpack2school.

The Backpack2school model has been developed with student teachers and schools of education in mind.

By the end of 2018, we had begun collaborating with educational experts. The goal was to develop a student mobility program that was tailored to the needs of prospective teachers, focused on education for sustainable development, and drove the internationalization of schools of education. While this was an ambitious amount to do in a short time, our excitement drove us. We developed a four-phased model and conducted a successful proof of concept in January 2020!

Before implementing an idea in education, you must first test it and prove it viable. We came in with the goal of changing the curriculum and offering prospective teachers more exchange opportunities that would help them sharpen their intercultural competences. This is not something you just do as if it’s a startup and you pivot along the journey! Hence, we conducted a proof of concept in the fall semester. The first student participants went on an internship abroad that incorporated the key aspects of the new mobility program. We were thrilled to discover in the evaluation not only an increased quality of the mobility offering, but a higher level of satisfaction among students as well.

Proof of concept project @ FHNW PH

Based on our findings and recommendations, the institution refined their current student mobility offer and aligned the content with education for sustainable development.

For our next step, in collaboration with the FHNW PH, we’ve set up the student mobility program “Intermobil”. Upon a successful funding round and subject to Covid-19, we will launch the two-year-project. The first batch of students will embark on a teaching assignment that follows our four-phased model. We are confident and excited that this will sharpen their intercultural competences, as well as contribute to our vision of creating inclusive classrooms where every single child is able to thrive.

For more information on how we can help you drive your internationalization efforts feel free to reach out to us!

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Backpack2school supports sustainable development goals: