PILOT PROJECT ON PRE-DEPARTURE TRAINING FOR LLP AND ERASMUS + TRAINEESHIPS
Mobility programmes have become one of the most important achievements of the European Union’s EACEA. Frameworks like the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), currently replaced by Erasmus +, allowed learners to study, train or teach in a foreign country between 2007 and 2013, figures noticeably influenced by the well-known and celebrated Erasmus sub-programme to study abroad. However, sub-programmes devoted to international internships for students and placements for newly graduates have also become very popular in this period, for offering added value to the participants’ curriculum and as a mean to come into the labour market. Pre-departure training became a priority for our institution, but also a challenge: how could we offer an accessible, multidisciplinary, pragmatic and comprehensive course for all participants? In order to adapt to each participant’s availability, we decided to offer a distance learning modality for this training for comprising many advantages. Distance education has brought many benefits to learners, since it makes possible “training when it is needed, training at any time, training at any place, learner-centered content, avoidance of re-entry to work placements, training for tax-payers, and those fully occupied during university lectures and sessions at training centers, and the industrialization of teaching and learning” (Keegan 2005: 5).
This paper will have a two-fold aim: on the one hand, we will define the different contents included in the pre-departure training, and our reason for choosing EDU 2.0 platform to host the courses. We will describe the structure and topics of the modules devoted to cross-cultural and professional competences, general knowledge on the mobility framework and the European Union, together with linguistic training and specific knowledge on the cultural aspects of the host country. On the other hand, we will assess the impact of pre-departure training on LLP participants’ successive international work experience in order to evaluate the level of applicability and usefulness.