Highlights of An Erasmus Staff Mobility Exchange

Highlights of An Erasmus Staff Mobility Exchange: The Host institution: NHL University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden/ Holland
Meltem Bizim & Sila Yosulcay  

I. The Application and Confirmation Process
II. Experience during the stay
III. Evaluation of the experience


Meltem and I first checked the universities that are a part of Erasmus agreement program and have language departments. We then found the relevant people in charge of the international relations office and the heads of departments. Afterwards, we sent a very detailed email to those institutions about the project we wanted to initiate and share. Since the institutions didn't get back to us promptly, we had to call them several times to check whether they received our emails. That is why teachers applying to Erasmus mobility staff exchange program should make sure that their proposals are received and read. 

The host institution expected us to teach and attend different meetings everyday to exchange information related to both our subject matter and our country. To fulfill that desire, at the end of each lesson we informed our audience details of the current situation in our country. 

Each day, we had a different set of students and teachers. Their responses to what we taught and shared was very positive. They also asked us to share more information related to our country. 

In one of the meetings we attended, we learned that the host institution also created software called "myschoolsnetwork" which is an online educational platform for pupils, students and teachers all around the world. It aims to improve students' English communication skills and develop them as global citizens by connecting people all around the world. When they have learned more about how we integrate technology and web 2.0 tools into our classes, they asked us to keep in touch and keep exchanging information.

Interestingly, we were surprised to see to see that most of the students did not know much about Turkey, even its being a secular country. However, most of them were aware of the current events and the reason of the protests as Turkey has been on the headlines of most of the newspapers in Holland. They were therefore, very interested in what we have presented to them and wanted to learn more. Surprisingly, even though students are expected to use technology to be able to complete most of their assignments, neither the students nor the teachers seemed to be very competent at using computers and aware of available applications. In this respect, it was pleasing for us to see that what we have presented catered for their needs. 

The only thing we were uncomfortable with was planning. We were initially told that we would be giving our presentations to the same group of teachers. However, when we went there, we learned that our audience had completely changed from teachers to students. This was not the same group of students and they also had different majors. Because of this last minute change, we had to make some alterations to our presentations. Therefore, teachers might need to adapt to some last minute changes when they are there. 

Overall, it was a very satisfying experience and we believe that more and more teachers should attend Erasmus projects and represent both our country and school. In this way, we believe we can be a model for Turkey and make both our country and school better known in different parts of the world.