An international campus is one which welcomes and supports international students and researchers, and one which provides an international experience for the institution’s Israeli students as part of their studies (Internationalization at Home). The overall goal is to create a campus which is open, diverse and pluralistic.
An international campus will make the institution more appealing for international students and researchers, and will also enhance the learning experience of local students, who will get the opportunities to gain important skills both inside and outside the classroom.
Internationalization at Home
International at Home (IaH) has been defined as “the purposeful integration of international and intercultural dimensions into the formal and informal curriculum for all students within domestic learning environments”. (Bellen & Jones, 2015)
The focus of IaH is on integrating global perspectives and experiences into study programs for all students, whether or not they spend time studying abroad. IaH is particularly important in light of the fact that the majority of students do not study abroad during their degree (according to statistics from the Council for Higher Education of Israel, only 8% of students in Israel spend time abroad during their degree).
IaH includes a relatively broad range of activities, including integrating relevant subjects and skills into the curriculum, creating interactions between local and international students both in and outside the classroom, and utilizing digital tools to enhance international learning experiences. Given its broad nature, it is recommended that each institution should focus on those aspects of IaH which best fit their intuitional internationalization strategy.
In Israel, the WILLIAM project, a collaborative initiative between 12 Israeli and European institutions, works to advance IaH within Israeli higher education.
The following section provides information about the different aspects of IaH and links to sources for practical tips and information.
IaH – General overview
Internationalization of the Curricula
Internationalization of the Curricula (IoC) is a term which is often discussed in conjunction with IaH and relates to the integration of international or intercultural learning outcomes into curricula. An international curriculum has been defined as one that will “engage students with internationally informed research and cultural and linguistic diversity and purposefully develop their international and intercultural perspectives as global professionals and citizens” (Leask, 2009). The focus is not only on the content of academic programs, but also the teaching, learning and assessment. The acquirement of English or other language competencies can be part of IoC but is not the central goal (for more information on English Medium Instruction, please see here).
IoC requires academic staff to rethink what they teach and the way they teach, and it will be interpreted differently across disciplines. In order for IoC to be implemented effectively, there is a need to provide support for academic staff throughout the process, and this is best done with the facilitation of an expert in this area.
Social Integration Strategies
Virtual mobility is defined as a “set of activities supported by information and communication technologies (ICT) that realize or facilitate international, collaborative experiences in a context of teaching, training or learning” (Erasmus+ 2019 Call). Virtual mobility seeks to provide students with similar benefits as one would have with physical mobility but without the need to travel. It encompasses a wide range of activities, including online collaboration or exchanges between students in different institutions, joint online courses, and blended mobility combining physical and virtual mobility. The focus of virtual mobility is on the use of digital tools to support collaboration and learning activities between local and international students.
A Welcoming Campus for International Students
In order to prepare your institution for accepting international students, whether for full academic degrees or short-term programs, there is a need to put in place administrative structures and protocols and to support academic staff in integrating international students into their courses. Here is a short list of the things you might like to consider: