1 Escola Superior de Saúde do Alcoitão / Alcoitão School of Health Sciences (PORTUGAL)
2 Faculdade Piaget – Campus Suzano, Physiotherapy, São Paulo (BRAZIL)
3 Cooperativa de Ensino Superior - ESS Egas Moniz, Physiotherapy, Almada (PORTUGAL)
4 Escola Superior de Saúde Atlântica – ESSATLA, Physiotherapy, Barcarena (PORTUGAL)
5 Instituto Superior de Ciências de Saúde de Moçambique, Physiotherapy, Maputo (MOZAMBIQUE)
6 Instituto Superior de Ensino Celso Lisboa – UCL, Physiotherapy, Rio de Janeiro (BRAZIL)
7 Instituto Superior de Saúde – ISAVE, Physiotherapy, Amares (PORTUGAL)
8 Universidade Jean Piaget, Physiotherapy, Vila Nova de Gaia (PORTUGAL)
9 Universidade Jean Piaget, Physiotherapy, Luanda (ANGOLA)
10 Universidade Jean Piaget, Physiotherapy, Viseu (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 109-114
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.0067
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Introduction and Objectives:
The Academic Network of Health Sciences of Lusofonia (RACS - was created in 2016, with the mission of promoting training and scientific cooperation in health sciences, between higher education institutions and research centers in different countries and Portuguese speaking communities. Within the Physiotherapy Education Group of RACS we develop a project with a set of activities, developed along the academic path of the physiotherapy students, which allow them to be exposed progressively to the international context.

During the 2021/22 academic year, 10 institutions involving 103 Physiotherapy students from 6 different countries (Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Angola, and São Tomé e Principe) participate in this project. Students are asked, over a period of 2 months, to carry out at least 2 online meetings within an international group to discuss topics related to the reality of education and the practice of Physiotherapists. As a result, students submit an individual reflection on the most relevant points that were identified in this sharing process. In each of the participating institutions, there was a teacher responsible for preparing, supporting, and evaluating the students' reflections.

To assess the impact and satisfaction of the students with activity, an online questionnaire (10 questions) was used, with several dimensions (preparation, performance, and global opinion) where a response rate of 83% was obtained (n=86). Regarding the answers, 93% considered that the objectives of the activity were clear and attainable and that the support materials were adequate (83%). Regarding meetings with international peers, 70% said that communication was easy during the meetings and that the proposed objectives were achieved (91%). Concerning the impact of the activity, 94% considered that the activity contributes to a better understanding of the international context of teaching and practice of physiotherapists, stressing that it should continue to be carried out within the scope of the physiotherapy course (89%).

The overall reflexion from the students and teachers involved was very positive, reinforcing the importance of this activity and identifying areas of improvement related to student recruitment and support throughout this process. Based on the results, it seems important for us to carry out this project as it facilitates students’ early exposure to international contexts, which may facilitate the development of skills that allow them to play a more active and global professional role.
Educational networks, Internationalization, Physiotherapy Students.