The project aims at putting forward an Intercultural path composed by a set of teaching modules to be provided to Erasmus students before, during and after their experience abroad in order to encourage learning mobility and to support students in benefiting as much as possible from their international experience in terms of personal growth.
A crucial aim of the project is also fostering the institutionalization of such intercultural paths within HEIs, in order to make the practice of providing Erasmus students with intercultural services the rule. This aim, as better explained later, will be pursued through exploring various solutions for realizing intercultural modules inspired on the IEREST intercultural path in as many European HEIs as possible.
The projects intends to foster and improve the intercultural education services offered to Erasmus students also at a less institutionalised level, through a the IEREST Humbox page, which collects the IEREST teaching activities for the use of individual teachers and students.
The stated aims imply a number of additional goals for the project, namely:
- Clarifying what "intercultural education" means and what its aims are in higher education, in particular for past, present, future and potential Erasmus students;
- Supporting the achievement of a European Higher Education Area proposing comparable, compatible and coherent intercultural services to Erasmus students;
- Fostering higher education student mobility as a transformative experience with an impact on students' lives;
- Rendering mobility experiences opportunities for mutual understanding, social justice, critical thinking, and anti-discrimination.
To reach the stated goals, concrete objectives of IEREST are:
- Providing an overview of how intercultural education/communication is addressed in HEIs, especially in relation to Erasmus mobility;
- Planning, implementing, and informally assessing intercultural paths specifically aimed at Erasmus students;
- Enhancing uniformity, coherence and transparency in how intercultural education (for Erasmus students) is addressed within European HEIs;
- Building up a productive collaboration among students, researchers, practitioners (teachers and trainers), European HEIs, and international/national/local stake-holders in the field of higher education.
IEREST allows to competently tackle the above-mentioned goals and objectives thanks to the collaboration among recognised experts who address Erasmus mobility from complementary points of view: foreign language teaching, intercultural education/communication, educational technologies, and internationalisation. Moreover, the project target groups (HEIs, teachers, and students) are actively involved thanks to the participation of the three associated partners, with a notable added value in terms of variety of perspectives, needs addressed, participatory decision processes, and dissemination/exploitation potential.