Erasmus+ Staff Mobility in Groningen: discover, teach and feel Dutch for a week
A few words about yourself ?
My name is Nadezhda Chalykh, I am a trainer and a consultant in the field of intercultural communication. I’ve been teaching Intercultural Management to 3rd year students of the International Global Communication programme since 2019.
How did you learn about Erasmus+ Staff Mobility programme and what made you decide to participate in it ?
I knew about Erasmus exchange programmes for students but I never heard about such an initiative for teachers. The possibility of participating in the programme came up in a conversation with Elena Mansurova, Director of International Relations at ISCOM. ISCOM partners with more than 70 universities across the globe. We shared my profile with them and I received an invitation from the University of Applied Sciences of Groningen, NL. I immediately accepted it. I knew it would be a fantastic experience. And I guessed it right!
What did the programme consist of ?
I came to Groningen for a week and I got fully immersed in Campus life. I had a chance to attend student lectures in 2nd and 4th year conducted by Hanze fellow colleagues. I also co-facilitated these sessions. I shared my experience as a teacher, a trainer and a consultant.
I contributed to a workshop dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion practices in teaching. A group of Hanze teachers is involved in a project which explores diversity and inclusion on multiple levels: helping students working in groups, addressing the needs of neurodivergent students, reintegrating students efficiently after an experience abroad, etc. I shared insights on some of the ISCOM D&I initiatives. Together we reflected on the subject of being an inclusive teacher. It was a fascinating exchange!
What made this experience special for you ?
Besides very practical things, like getting to know new tools and methods and understanding how teaching programmes were structured, I found it extremely interesting to “feel” the Campus life for a week. Imagine a city of 200 000 inhabitants, half of whom are younger than 35, and you can get an idea what Groningen Campus is! It is full of young, creative energy, and its big buildings full of light gave me a sensation of a great place to study and to teach.
Another special thing about the experience in Groningen was to dive in in a new culture. I visited the Netherlands before but on this trip I was able to truly experience it. Riding a bike to the Campus, having dinner at 6pm (typical Dutch hours), questioning myself about the absence of window curtains in certain homes… As a person who teaches intercultural communication, getting to know a new culture was a bliss to me. I was lucky to be accompanied in this cultural experience by a colleague, Teodora Voaides, who answered about a million of my questions and made these days at Hanze truly special.
A final word?
I want to thank ISCOM and Elena for this wonderful opportunity. If you are a teacher and you have a chance to participate in such a programme, don’t think twice - go for it!