Edinburgh Research Explorer

Opening up a third space: A pilot project to support and engage undergraduate exchange students

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education
PublisherQuality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Abstract

In this paper we present the Third Space, a pilot project aiming to enhance students’ intercultural engagement when moving abroad to study, volunteer or work and to facilitate their transition when returning ‘home’. In 2013, a team of academic and student support staff at the University of Edinburgh developed a set of workshops and activities to support students before, during and upon return of living abroad: At a Weekend Retreat prior to departure, forty undergraduate students were introduced to ideas of intercultural engagement and reflexivity. This group was provided with a physical and online Toolbox of activities to employ while being abroad. Upon return (October 2015), these students will participate in a Welcome Home conference where they will share experiences and knowledge with peers and staff. In this paper we disseminate details of the Weekend Retreat, present our ‘Toolbox’ illustrated by examples of how the students have been using it so far and share our plans for developing the Third Space into a student-led, sustainable project. This discussion will be pertinent to students and staff interested in the Internationalisation of Higher Education, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Engagement.

    Research areas

  • living abroad, intercultural engagement, reflexivity

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