The world is becoming more global. The collaboration and interaction with the world outside our school, in an international context, is becoming ever more important, not only in the border region but also throughout Europe and all over the world. Since 2008, and with ever more success, the Graafschap College has been increasingly working on internationalising the education it offers, by making international internships, activities and exchanges possible for students and staff alike.
Broadening your horizons
The Graafschap College believes it is important for students to be given the opportunity to gain experience abroad, as this broadens their horizons, means they are introduced to new cultures, have to learn how to cope in a new environment, and become more independent. Staff too are given the opportunity to augment their expertise with a work placement abroad. This enables them to take a look behind the scenes at a similar school abroad, to visit companies (including those hosting internships) or to take a language course.
In our policy memorandum ‘Onderwijs in een internationale context’ (‘Education in an international context’), the Graafschap College formulated three goals:
- By 2020, as part of their course, 10% of students will spend at least two weeks on an international exchange or internship abroad.
- By 2020, 30% of staff will have participated in an international exchange programme.
- International activities are an integral and integrated part of the curriculum, with a further option being that of ‘internationalisation at home’, this referring to all the international activities that a student can undertake at school.
The VET Mobility Charter
In 2015, it was for the first time possible for senior secondary vocational education (‘mbo’) schools to apply for a VET Mobility Charter (the Vocational Education and Training Mobility Charter). This Charter is a mark of quality for those schools who make internationalisation – in the broad sense of the term – part of the education they offer. We are proud to say that the Graafschap College has been awarded this Charter! This is because this demonstrates that internationalisation for both students and staff is no longer the exception but the rule here, and that it is part of our (teaching and other) programmes and is embedded in the different sectors of our school.
Proud of our College
In our folder ‘A brief summary of the Graafschap College’, we tell you more about the Graafschap College, not only about our students and staff but also about the way in which we have organised the education we provide. Furthermore, it reveals how we as an organisation are working on internationalisation, on coaching our students and on the (further) professionalisation of our staff.