Scalable and Low-resource Preparation and Debriefing Module for Students’ Intercultural Competence Development Abroad

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PADMICA – The project in a nutshell

The PADMICA project aims to foster intercultural competences among outgoing students to improve the quality of their mobility experience. To this end, the consortium develops intercultural preparation and debriefing modules as well as a train-the-trainer course.

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Mobility is not a value in itself. Simply having first-hand experience of “otherness” or living in a foreign country does not automatically lead to intercultural learning. Meaningful immersion in a different culture can only lead to intercultural competence development when it is accompanied by sufficient reflection and analysis.

Learning mobility offers students effective opportunities to increase their academic knowledge, enhance their employability skills and foreign language proficiency, as well as to foster their personal growth and intercultural development. Research, however, indicates that credit mobility does not automatically guarantee the development of intercultural competences or a dissipation of prejudice. Mobile students often have certain biases and prejudices, are not always able to effectively interact with locals or properly respond to challenging situations occurring at the intersection of cultures. After their mobility period, reflecting on individual development can be challenging and in its absence, the benefits of intercultural experiences may not be clear enough.

Higher education institutions can address these barriers by equipping students with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to better deal with and learn from intercultural encounters. To this end, preparation can be valuable for students to make more of their international mobility from an intercultural point of view, and increase the overall quality of the experience. Additionally, debriefings offer safe and well-framed reflection and analysis opportunities to returnees, to help them process what they experienced abroad, which is a condition for actual intercultural competence development.

In many cases institutions still limit their services to the immediately salient logistical, health and safety, and academic aspects of a students’ study abroad. Opportunities for reflection upon return also often remain untapped. This project aims to address those needs.

PADMICA develops ready-made blended intercultural preparation and debriefing modules, that are rooted in intercultural education theory and hold up in different institutional settings and cultural contexts, targeting outgoing students.

The project will also enable International Relations Officers/Higher Education Institution staff to deliver those modules by implementing a train-the-trainer module, contributing to the development of their skills and strengthening their role as multipliers.

Intercultural preparation module

Minimal knowledge, skills and attitudes before departure
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Intercultural debriefing module

Reflect on and analyse key intercultural encounters abroad

Train-the-trainer module

Prepare higher education institution staff

News

Literature review on intercultural competence

Literature review on intercultural competence

In the review we aim to introduce relevant literature on the adaptation of international students and intercultural competence. The document concludes with recommendations for planning and implementing intercultural interventions.

The very first poster of PADMICA

The very first poster of PADMICA

We talked about the PADMICA project live to a larger audience for the first time! The project was showcased in the poster corner at the EUF Open Space event in Murcia, in the last week of May 2024.

PADMICA has started

PADMICA has started

The project kick-off meeting took place on 27-28 November 2023, hosted by Ghent University.

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March
2024

Literature report
& Report
on good practices

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October
2024

Online and physical branches
of the intercultural preparation module

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November
2024

Online and physical branches
of the intercultural debriefing module

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March
2025

Intercultural preparation
module – final version

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December
2025

Intercultural debriefing
module – final version

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July
2026

Development
of the train-the-trainer
module

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September
2026

Policy recommendations

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September
2026

Final conference

Outputs

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Intercultural preparation

Resources available for download below

Literature review

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Intercultural debriefing

Available soon

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Train-the-Trainer

Available in 2025-2026

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Policy recommendations and other documents

Available in 2026

Partners

Ghent University

Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

Eötvös Loránd University

Philipps-Universität Marburg

European University Foundation

University of Porto

Contact Us

padmica(at)ugent.be

 

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