Alenka Breznik, Study Affairs Coordinator, and Karen Gladović, Academic Affairs Coordinator, of the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI), have completed a dynamic Erasmus+ staff training mobility week in Baabda, Lebanon.

Alenka and Karen were warmly received by Antonine University (UA) from 25 – 30 June, 2023.

During their mobility, the two Education Dept. team members engaged in a variety of professional and cultural activities, firstly meeting with the international office of UA to discuss further cooperation in Erasmus+ mobility projects and exploring potential areas of collaboration and shared ideas for future initiatives aimed at enhancing student mobility and international partnerships.

There were also productive meetings with study programme coordinators, which provided a platform for exchanging knowledge and best practices related to the everyday work tasks of Karen and Alenka. Together they discussed various aspects of their shared roles and responsibilities, exchanging insights and strategies to improve the quality of education and student support.

Karen and Alenka also met with students to present the Erasmus+ mobility programme, as well as the educational activities and study programmes offered by EMUNI, providing them with detailed information about the benefits and opportunities available through the mobility programme, and encouraging them to consider participating in international exchanges.

Overall, the mobility experience encompassed a range of activities that blended professional engagement with cultural exploration. These activities allowed the EMUNI Education Dept. to foster collaborations, exchange knowledge, promote international opportunities, and gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of Lebanon.

Karen and Alenka both feel the mobility increased their motivation and satisfaction with their work, which can only have a positive ripple effect, benefiting not only themselves, but also EMUNI students, colleagues at EMUNI, and external partners. Their expanded expertise and inspired work has the potential to contribute to the overall growth and success of EMUNI as an institution.

On an international level, the mobility benefits EMUNI in several ways:

  • Identifying areas of future collaboration: during the mobility, both parties involved in the exchange identified potential areas of future collaboration. This involved discussions and brainstorming sessions, where EMUNI and UA explored opportunities for joint projects, research initiatives, and student and staff exchanges. By identifying these areas, they laid the foundation for future cooperation and mutual activities between the institutions.
  • Involvement of other staff in mutual activities: as a result of the mobility experience, both institutions involved other staff members from their respective institutions in mutual activities. This broader engagement allowed for the sharing of expertise, perspectives, and best practices. The participation of multiple staff members fostered a collaborative environment and facilitated the exchange of knowledge and experiences.
  • Successful project application and exchanges: the ultimate goal of the mobility experience was to result in successful project applications and facilitate exchanges of teaching staff and students. By leveraging the knowledge gained during the mobility, both institutions are better equipped to develop compelling project proposals.
  • Regaining the atmosphere of international exchanges: the mobility experience had a direct impact on students and staff at UA. It provided an opportunity for in-person international exchanges, allowing to rekindle the vibrant atmosphere that comes with such interactions. This direct engagement fosters cultural exchange, broadens perspectives, and promotes a global mindset within the university community.
  • Enhanced international recognition: both institutions stand to benefit from improved international recognition as a result of the mobility experience. By actively promoting the mobility programme and showcasing the successful outcomes and collaborations, the institutions can raise their profile and reputation further on the global stage. This increased recognition would attract more opportunities for international partnerships and collaborations.
  • Expansion of network and future collaboration: through involvement in local society, Karen and Alenka had the opportunity to meet new stakeholders and expand their circle of contacts. These connections can serve as valuable resources for future collaboration.

EMUNI´s representatives also had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony of Antonine University, which they name as one of the highlights of their stay. Karen: ´´It was a joyous occasion where I witnessed the accomplishments of the students and celebrated their academic achievements. The ceremony also provided a chance to connect with faculty members, staff, and the graduating students, fostering a sense of community and appreciation for their hard work.´´

Karen and Alenka also had time to explore the Antonine University campuses and the surrounding local area, allowing them to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Lebanon. Both immersed themselves in the local history, architecture, and traditions, gaining a deeper appreciation for the country’s vibrant culture. Alenka: ´´It was an enriching experience that broadened our perspectives and allowed us to connect with the local community on a deeper level.´´