Global Mobility Engagement Online
January - March 2021
Thank you all that participated - stay tuned for future online projects.
The Global Mobility Peer Support project provided a platform for students to address barriers to participating in outbound mobility experiences. Jointly delivered by the College of New Caledonia, North Island College, and Aurora College, The focus was to engage in intercultural learning while travel is not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Online engagement sessions were organized for participants to engage with study abroad alumni students, destination partner representatives and past exchange students. Participants reported increased interest and confidence to participate in an outbound mobility experience in the future, increased knowledge of other cultures, and increased confidence to engage in cross-cultural dialogue.
To better understand student and opinion and experience as they related to outbound mobility, responses were elicited from students across each institution who did not take part in project activities. Some key findings:
- 45% of students reported being interested in undertaking an outbound mobility experience, but only 31% reported feeling well-informed about doing so.
- Those self-identifying as aboriginal, low-income, having a disability, or being a single parent all reported feeling less confident about undertaking a study abroad experience than the average respondent.
- Communicating once at the destination was rated the most intimidating factor associated with learning abroad, and less than half of respondents (49%) reported having had previous opportunities to develop their intercultural communication skills.
Online activities that took place as part of the project demonstrated the potential to address some of these problems. According to survey responses from students who took part in peer-to-peer project activities:
- 100% reported feeling more informed about undertaking an outbound mobility experience.
- 94% reported feeling more confident about undertaking an outbound mobility experience.
- 80% reported they would feel more confident engaging in intercultural dialogue in the future.
While it is hoped that outbound mobility programming will return once covid regulations are lifted, online engagement activities present one way that students might engage in intercultural learning in future years. By bringing together study abroad mentors, former exchange students, and destination representatives virtually, a new environment was created which allowed for interactions which could not have feasibly taken place in the physical world.
The project was funded by the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program, designed and administered by Colleges and Institutes Canada.