Fit for a global world

Global mobility is an important part of today’s business world and Europe is full of possibilities and chances. But how can we grasp them?

Who: St. Columb's College Derry, Northern Ireland, and IGS Langenhagen, Hannover

Participants: 24 British and German pupils travelling

A kick-start for an international career

Pupils at St. Columb’s college in Northern Ireland and IGS Langenhangen in Germany kick-started a their partnership by taking part in a joint project, inspired by the idea of connecting young people through languages and careers. The project involved a work-experience exchange under the slogan ‘Going global – what it takes to live and work in a foreign country’. 

Tailored training for the right vocation: a teacher’s résumé

The aim of the project was not only to set up a new exchange link between St. Columb’s College and a school in Germany but also to add a new dimension to the traditional exchange, through integrating a work placement. The students spent three days on a variety of placements, getting to know different career paths, practising their language skills in real-life situations and finally reflecting on their experience. The work placement allowed the students to gain authentic experience in the world of work in a foreign country and to identify and develop the skills needed to succeed in a global market.

We wanted to raise awareness of the importance of languages for the global economy and we wanted to make our young people aware of the opportunities that are open to them in another country – in particular opportunities in Germany (UK teacher)

Valuable experiences for life and work

Alongside taking part in the usual exchange programme, which involves meeting new people, practicing each other’s languages and immersing oneself in a different culture, the students were able to engage in project work together. At the end of the week, the group had worked together on diaries, presentations, interviews, displays, role plays and more. Throughout all these activities, students shared their knowledge and experience, supported each other and developed a deeper understanding of themselves and of each other.

It’s shown me how interesting it can be to experience a completely different culture, and live with people that I have never met before. (UK pupil)

Going global – grasping opportunities

The project increased the pupils’ self-confidence and made them fit for the global market:

I think that this project has had a profound effect on my ability to communicate and my confidence when communicating. It has also motivated me to continue to learn my languages and to seek employment opportunities overseas in the future.” (UK pupil)

After the project, the students at both schools presented the outcomes at careers fairs, on open days and at parent information evenings. This invaluable experience inspired both schools to continue this link in the future as they started off as strangers and ended up as friends.