Student global mobility is something we strongly believe in here at Think Pacific. We think international travel and overseas experiences help create a wealth of benefits for students as well as local communities around the world.
Something we’re passionate and driven to achieve is to further support universities and organisations in offering student global mobility opportunities. It is something all our volunteers have benefited from and we want to ensure all students understand just how valuable international experiences can be. We’re committed to help enhance student’s understanding and involvement of global challenges and contribute to help make an impact in the world.
But before we delve into the details and how students and organisations can get involved, what exactly is global mobility and why is it important?
What is Global Student Mobility?
Global student mobility, or outward global mobility, is a term used to describe the participation of students in overseas placement, studies and volunteering. It is something that is strongly associated with positive benefits for students in relation to personal development and career opportunities.
Lots of universities and non-profit organisations are committing to help increase student global mobility and help provide opportunities for students to benefit from international travel.
Increasing Student Participation in Global Mobility
The UK has a commitment to the European target that by 2020, 20% of those graduating in the European Higher Education Area should have had a period studying or training abroad. The benefits of including a period of studying or training abroad are abundant and this target reflects the need for the UK to encourage and support more international opportunities. This goes beyond the UK and is something students all over the world can benefit from. Students in US, Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe, can all get involved in international opportunities – it’s just about making it as easy as possible for this to happen.
We want to help raise awareness of ways students can and have benefited from international experiences and ensure it becomes common knowledge just what students can achieve during their studies.
UK government recognises and supports the need for international and overseas placements and experiences. Policy and strategy statements in the UK reflect how global mobility help increase student’s employability and strengthen UK ties overseas.
Why is Outward Student Global Mobility Important?
Outward global mobility presents lots of benefits for students participating. Some of the benefits lots of our previous volunteers mention, include:
Becoming aware of global challenges/cultures is a huge benefit, not just for an individual but for the globe as a whole. Understanding challenges on the other side of the world, and how their cultures tackle challenges can be incredibly enriching for students.
This often helps students understand the real-world implications of things that may have come up in their studies.
These experiences create lasting impacts on students and are a great way for students in the UK to become more globally aware.
Living in a remote village in Fiji, for example, is always going to present new experiences for students. These new experiences help present new challenges and interpretations for students, helping them become more rounded.
International mobility isn’t only about academia and studies, the other experiences and skills that accompany outward mobility often have the biggest impact on student development.
It can often be very refreshing for students to get out of the classroom or office and gain some hands-on experience. Even getting stuck into activities that don’t relate explicitly to a student’s studies, hands-on learning in any discipline can create a multitude of benefits.
For example, regardless of the subject studied at university, teaching English overseas and helping support teachers in the classroom will provide experiences and skills that students can leverage and utilise for the rest of their lives.
Leadership and Teamwork
Outward student mobility is bound to require some form of teamwork and leadership skills. Our programmes here at Think Pacific embed teamwork into the heart of the expeditions and ensure students develop key teamwork skills.
Leadership becomes a very sought-after attribute for career progression so students getting more experiences to lead and manage certain parts of a programme become fantastic ways for them to develop such vital skills.
Being put in situations and environments that require students to think fast and be adaptable is great for personal development. Living in a Fijian village is bound to throw up some unusual experiences and challenges, helping students feel more comfortable out of their comfort zone.
Outward global mobility is great for developing and enhancing language and communication skills. Communication skills are often one of the top attributes employers look for in candidates, so students who have proven experience and real-world examples of communicating within teams are bound to appear more credible.
Understanding the Global Market
Outward global mobility is also a great way for students to gain experience of dealing with an international market. Most large businesses will operate across national boundaries so having experience of how other countries approach work/social life is a great way to become more aware of global markets and business.
Regardless of the specific details of a global mobility programme, any international travel is going to promote personal development in some capacity. The day-to-day structure of living, working, or travelling in new countries and areas is always going to throw up an array of challenges and opportunities that help provide meaningful personal development.
How Think Pacific Helps and Supports Outward Global Mobility
As identified by the British Council, the top drivers of global mobility for UK students are ” a desire for travel, culture and adventure, the development of foreign language skills, to benefit from an institutional partnership and to build personal confidence.”
We believe Think Pacific is perfectly positioned to help support some of these key drivers that make students want to participate in global mobility. Our cultural immersions in Fiji offer unique travel and adventure combined with gaining tangible skills for students. We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure any student joining us in Fiji will have experiences that’ll help with personal development, employability and general career opportunities.
One of the biggest barriers to global mobility is related to the impact on friendships and relationships. Our projects in Fiji are achieved as a team, and students join a team of fellow students to participate in this outward student mobility. This helps create an environment that ticks the boxes for reflects what drives students and overcomes barriers students have for participation.
There is often variations between the level of outward global mobility between subjects and universities. We want to make sure all students gain an opportunity for international experiences, regardless of the subject they study or the university they attend. We know everyone can benefit from it and therefore everyone should be given the chance to benefit from it.
To learn more about what we do, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or discover what our previous students have gained from our projects. We’re a small, dedicated team that has seen the impact that global mobility can have and want to make sure we do all we can to support universities and organisations that believe in it as well.
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