INTELLECTUAL OUTPUT 7

During a practical learning experience abroad the development of key competences of students is a main objective. While subject related professional competences can be developed (maybe even better) at home the stay abroad is the best environment to develop intercultural and entrepreneurial and European civic competences (see Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council on Key Competences (KC) for Lifelong Learning (2006/962/EC)). The support of this competence development is consequently an important quality dimension. While foreign language skill training is already a central component of the Erasmus+ programme the support of the other key competences depends on the initiative of sending and intermediary as well as host organisations. For the host organisation trainees, who are able to reflect about their different „ambassador roles“ as an international intern and who have a certain intercultural awareness, are of more added value. Hence it is in the interest of all stakeholders that trainees develop those competences. Hereby output 7 is linked to Output 4 and Output 6.

An Erasmus trainee represents automatically the home university (especially the home department/study subject area), the home region and country, the Erasmus programme and the European Union and further roles depending on the background of the trainee, when the trainee goes abroad (home ambassador roles). When returning home the roles change to “host ambassador roles” as the trainee represents to a certain extent the host environment. This can be a burden as it could be a source of intercultural pitfalls but it can also be a door opener for great learning experiences. The LLP key competence “learning to learn” or better
”learning to be a reflective learner” comes into play in addition to the intercultural, entrepreneurial and civic competences, which are all related to those “ambassador roles”.

The output “competence development portfolio” is an electronic portfolio in which a trainee can document and reflect about his/her roles and competence development related to the international practical learning experience. The portfolio will consist of:
– self assessment tests
– exercises, which faciliate the process of setting and reaching learning goals related to the mentioned key competences
– learning material and links to existing on-line training offers
– an European civic competence on-line training module, tutored by ESN volunteer trainers

The research in preparation of this proposal revealed that employability and entrepreneurship related as well as intercultural competences are well covered by existing training offers – some of them are available as open educational content. However, the European civic competence dimension is much less represented, although the Erasmus impact study by the European Commission demonstrated that Erasmus shapes the attitude of Europeans towards the European Union. Erasmus trainees are in the best position to be ambassadors of European values and citizen rights as they benefit largely from it – often without being aware of it. In cooperation with the Jean Monnet Chair of the University Fulda and building on the social Erasmus project of ESN a specific on-line module will contribute to the European civic competence development of Erasmus trainees. Thus, the project specifically contributes to the objectives of the Paris 2015 declaration of EU education ministers. The civic training provides basic background information on European institutions, policies and citizens’ rights and will motivate students to get involved to represent their interests (or interests of a specific group) on a European level – connected to their stay and traineeship abroad (e.g. exploring if their host organisation receives European subsidies/ grants or to what extent it is affected by EU legislation or how their interests as European trainees can be represented in perspective to current and future EU mobility programmes).