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The Internationalist / Global Footprint initiative. How a cross country - interdisciplinary approach will pave the way to a multi-dimensional intercultural understanding

Breakout Session 8


Hogeschool PXL

2019 and ongoing

Over recent years North West University (South Africa) and PXL University College (Belgium) have seized the opportunity to collaborate on creating a sustainable and reciprocal partnership in order to build global awareness for students and faculty alike. From the start it has been the aim of both institutions to enhance multi perspective taking and co-creation.

South Africa and Belgium both are complex and superdiverse societies challenged in many different ways. Although societal issues may differ, we have found enough common ground to work together. We jointly believe that by increasing our (students and faculty) global awareness we will be able to address those issues much better. Consequently we are committed to work towards increasing intercultural and international competencies. Over the years we have learned that overseas learning (study and/or work placements) has its merits but its pitfalls as well. Intercultural learning does not come solely through immersion in a host culture. Therefore thorough preparation, cultural mentoring and debriefing has become paramount.

We would like to present "The Internationalist" as an example of a comprehensive global footprint initiative where we have been cooperating towards undergraduate curriculum exchange. We will guide you through our high impact learning model to enhance intercultural and international competencies, highlight the Global South Global North cooperation opportunities and extend a warm invitation for even more collaboration.

The Internationalist is our high impact learning model created to enhance international and intercultural competencies. It is an interdisciplinary, preparatory course for undergraduate students who will embark on an international field training. In this breakout session we would like to (1) give a short overview of The Internationalist as a whole, (2) share and discuss one of our tools "the IIC Toolkit" and finally (3) highlight the opportunities for international and intercultural collaboration and co-creation.


Elke Van de Moortel

Sociology lecturer, PXL Healthcare - Nursing, Occupational Therapy
Coordinator and lecturer intercultural skills: The Internationalist, PXL University op Applied Sciences and Arts, dept. Healthcare

Dr. Rheta Bloem

Research director Community Psychosocial Research
Faculty of Health Science - North West University, South Africa

Global south coordinator for "Global Footprint": Focus on the research possibilities