All staff at the University, both academic and professional, can undertake a mobility visit with one of our partner universities in Europe under the EU Erasmus+ Programme.
I'm a Student Administrator for English Language Teaching courses at University of Hertfordshire and in April 2015 I participated in a week long exchange with Université Jean Monnet in Saint Étienne, France.
This was undertaken as part of the ERASMUS+ Staff mobility scheme and was an opportunity for the School of Humanities to build on its existing links with the institution that have been developed by academic staff members over the past few years.
The exchange was undertaken entirely in French and within a professional setting which was daunting at first but has helped improve my confidence in speaking as well as my overall language skills.
Working in the CILEC department (Centre International de Langue et Civilisation) alongside both academic and professional staff members, I gained an insight into the everyday 'gestion' [running/management] of a French language teaching department.
I had the opportunity to meet and work alongside various members of staff, sharing experiences, best practice and discussing where overlaps and differences exist. I also spent a full working day job-shadowing my 'equivalent' in the department and gained both a student and staff perspective by participating in a French lecture and jointly taking a class in English to French students.
Although the exchange was only a week, I found the overall experience both insightful and useful and it has changed the way in which I carry out my day to day work here at the University, in particular the way in which we communicate with our international students.
We look forward to receiving a reciprocal member of staff from CILEC, or Université Jean Monnet in the future to complete the exchange. If anyone is thinking about taking part in the scheme I would recommend going for it, it's always very insightful seeing how another institution operates.