|Cultural orientation courses for international PhD students/academics/spouses||Social Integration & Daily Life Family Matters||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Soft skills trainings for support staff||Institutional Processes Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Specialised blogs and podcasts||Social Integration & Daily Life Networking Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Collaboration with external partners and customised assistance in offering accommodation||Social Integration & Daily Life Family Matters Accommodation||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|Welcome package for international PhDs/scholars||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Profesional & Academic Development Networking||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Volunteering programme for spouses/international partners||Social Integration & Daily Life Family Matters||Internationals spouses/family members|
|Soft skills trainings for PhDs/academics||Social Integration & Daily Life Profesional & Academic Development Networking||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Promotion via social media in English||Networking Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Administrative staff|
|International scholar safety guide||Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Networking institutional events for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|Networking events for family members||Social Integration & Daily Life Family Matters Networking Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers|
|Networking event for PhDs/academics||Social Integration & Daily Life Networking||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Mobility data collection & management||Administrative & Legal Support Institutional Processes Institutional strategy||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Academic mentoring programme for international PhD students||Profesional & Academic Development||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers|
|Mentoring scheme for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|Local language courses for international PhDs/academics||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Profesional & Academic Development Networking||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||Administrative & Legal Support||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers|
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Administrative & Legal Support Accommodation Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing Social security, Health Insurance, Taxation Visa, Residence & Work Permit||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||Institutional Processes Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Cultural orientation courses for international PhD students/academics/spouses||
Short course/series of courses on local cultural specifics. These include both specifics of everyday life and of organisational culture. The trainees will be able to deal better in everyday communication and to act more efficiently as a member of your ourganisation. Their spouses will find it easier to adapt to local cultural specifics..
Intercultural differences, sometime invisible, may destroy any team. The best way to:
Is to integrate them as much as possible into the local and organisational culture.
The easiest and most effective way is to offer a series of short (preferrably 1-hour-long) courses on different themes from your local and your organisational culture. It is even more efficient if each of them is combined with a relevant informal event involving local researchers or visiting an external event, museum or exhibition. This way the international PhD students/academics and their spouses will be able to combine theory and practice, which in turn will facilitate their integration in the local/organisational culture providing them with opportunities to further socialise and with (hopefully) nice memories.
|Soft skills trainings for support staff||
The main benefit of this practice is that this kind of training improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the support staff work. It also increases the satisfaction levels of international PhD students and academic staff. As a result, the atmosphere in both administrative and academic teams becomes much better since a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings would be avoided and communication will run more smoothly.
The most important thing for this practice is that to achieve sustainable results such courses need to be offered on a regular basis.
|Specialised blogs and podcasts||
Both the specialised blogs and podcasts are a very effective and efficient way how to better connect with the current and potential target audience of international PhD students, academics, and researchers providing an insight into host HEI's institutional life and culture and welcoming environment. Those media allow you not only to keep the members/followers up-to-date with the latest events, but also promote vital topics and new initiatives, inspiring stories, and express opinions. Both activities should bring less formal but still valuable and entertaining content which should be complementary to the content published on the host HEI institutional website and social media. Both activities help encourage their followers/readers/listeners to become host HEI's ambassadors and raise its visibility and global presence.
The great benefit of podcast listening opportunities is their mobile nature. Podcast audio content gives listeners the ability to dive into topics without having to set aside time to read or watch a video (e.g.during commuting, jogging, cycling, cooking, etc.).
|Collaboration with external partners and customised assistance in offering accommodation||
Accommodation is the second most important aspect of the successful impelemtation of international academic mobility, right after getting a job/fellowships/scholarship. The requirements for accommodation may vary according to cultural customs, financial possibilities of academic, family conditions (single or with a partner, or children), relationship to ecology (type of transport), health status (need for lift, etc.) In any case, the apartment should have basic equipment: furniture, basic electrical appliances. In the case of international academic and international PhD. student, it is usually a lease for a certain period of time. It is necessary to take into consideration the possibility that some young academics or students may be interested in living together (larger flats), some prefer single living (smaller flats). It is welcome if the institution can offer accommodation in its own accommodation facility, which usually represents a separate room with basic facilities and accessories and a shared kitchen / study room.
In case the own HEI lodging facilities are limited, it is desirable to reach out to external partners for ensuring extra rooms, flats. The practice idenifies practical activities, where a HEI can be a mediator between the external contractor and the incoming international.
|Welcome package for international PhDs/scholars||
Well-designed, clearly structured and regularly updated bilingual PDF document that serves for orientation and support of international PhD students and staff.
It is also useful to have the Welcome Pack downloadable from the website which international PhDs/visiting scholars use to get informed about their stay and activities at your university.
The package should contain:
By providing such a pack the institution ensures that the incoming researcher/PhD student will be able to:
|Volunteering programme for spouses/international partners||
Volunteering is a great way to meet people, become familiar with the community and develop skills to include on a resume.
Volunteer opportunities offered to international partners help spouses connect and feel welcome as international students and scholars embark on a new life in another country. Such opportunities foster the level of satisfaction, social integration and wellbeing of international students and staff and their family members.
|Soft skills trainings for PhDs/academics||
The main benefit of this practice is that such training improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the international PhD students and academic staff and increases their satisfaction and social integration. Soft skills are at the core of making any mobility programme successful. Soft skills related to intercultural communication can facilitate researchers' and PhDs' adaptation and social integration. Researchers and PhDs need to receive regular training in the full range of soft skills to perform best in their jobs/academic and research tasks. As a result of that training, it is expected that the atmosphere in the academic teams will improve substantially since a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings will be avoided and communication will run more smoothly. The most important thing for this practice is that to have sustainable results such courses need to be offered on a regular basis.
|Promotion via social media in English||
In the era of technology, it is a great idea to use social media for promotional purposes. Welcoming institutions should set up a page where they can promote the incoming academics and staff members, and do so in English so that other institutions could have access to it. It might significantly contribute to greater visibility and new possibilities for cooperation.
|International scholar safety guide||
The higher education institution is responsible for ensuring personal safety and security of its employees and students including international ones.
International academics might not be familiar with the surroundings and lack awareness of local risks (e.g. related to accomodation, streets at night, use of transport, health safety risks).
The objective of the international scholar safety support/guide is to provide concise English-language information about off-campus and on-campus risks and guidelines on how to act in specific situations and where to seek help.
|Networking institutional events for support staff||
The main aim of institutional events for support staff is to strengthen the professional knowledge of support staff through different types of meetings/events but also optimize information flows and procedures. Via these events, they can share experience and ideas, develop and share contacts within and outside of the organisation and improve internal processes. External experts/partners can be invited to such events or they can be organised jointly with them to expand and deepen collaborations for the sake of a smoother incoming researcher and academic staff mobility. The practice could eventually prepare the ground or even lead towards a broader scope of further professional development activities for support staff, including various focused trainings.
|Networking events for family members||
The networking events for family members can contribute to both the researchers' and their families' better integration in the host country. Regular meet-ups can improve opportunities for networking, making in-person contacts, sharing knowledge, asking questions, and for receiving advice about the local environment.
In addition, regular meetings can strengthen the local community, also involving local players - HEI management, research, administrative staff, and local stakeholders among others.
|Networking event for PhDs/academics||
Networking events, be it live or virtual, could help connect PhDs and academics with similar interests, and they could also help them discover different ways of approaching certain aspects of academia life. They could be organized in the form of conferences, seminars, lab meetings, various social events as well as online social networks, where social media profiles of academics can be used for a rather useful purpose. Such events bring people from different fields of academia together, creating opportunities for them to hear about other people's research, and also allowing them to discover different institutions they could visit in order to gain new knowledge.
|Mobility data collection & management||
Collecting and managing data about mobility could significantly affect the quality of the institutional process related to assisting mobile researchers and internationalization in general. It produces a body of evidence for strategic decision-making, facilitates smooth and effective communication with mobile researchers, provides a framework for a flow of activities related to assistance, and improves the efficiency and productivity of the service center.
|Academic mentoring programme for international PhD students||
Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be (Eric Pasloe).
A dedicated mentoring programme for PhD students allows institutions to encourage students to progress with their thesis, connect PhD candidates with alumni and local peers, support academics in their professional development, and build a vibrant academic community at the institution.
International PhD students can particularly benefit from their engagement in an institutional mentoring programme by expanding their professional network in the host country, gaining knowledge about local academic culture and traditions, gain tangible academic/professional experience (e.g. workplace visits, shadowing, interview experience, placements, a graduate job), develop written and verbal communication in the local language. Academic mentoring programmes therefore greatly contribute to the professional and social integration of early-stage international scholars.
|Mentoring scheme for support staff||
The aim of this activity is to pair employees involved in providing services to international academics in a mentoring relationship to foster professional development and career growth while building an inclusive culture and diverse networks.
|Local language courses for international PhDs/academics||
This is a key service for effective social integration of international PhD students, academics, and researchers, especially in everyday life outside the academic context. It is an advantage if the hosting HEI can provide the service within its own resources (by Language Department/ Language Centre) with experts trained in teaching the national language as a foreign language. Moreover, the language department could also offer other foreign language courses.
If the hosting HEI does not have sufficient capacity, partnerships with other HEIs in the city could be formed or HEI should create a database of language schools in the city/region. The starting point could be the existing practice of providing language courses for incoming Erasmus+ students. A complementary option is to explore whether there are any already existing e-learning national language courses and offer them to internationals as an opportunity to get acquainted with the basics of the language even before their arrival in the host country.
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||
This could be a combination of a dictionary and glossary of the most common phrases and their definitions in English used in the academic and institutional life of the host institution/country. Special attention should be paid to country/region specific terms that have no actual parallel outside the host country/region, for instance, academic ranks and their hierarchy in the region of Central and South-Eastern Europe. It could be also extended by terms related to the administrative duties that need to be done shortly before or fight after arrival to or upon departure from the host country/institution. Such a tool would be of immense help to both international as well as local PhDs and academics struggling with proper vocabulary when talking to their colleagues.
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||
International students and researchers often face a broad variety of legal issues during their stay in a host country. Professional legal advice can be rather costly and therefore not accessible to all scholars, particularly for early stage ones. Free legal advice offered to international scholars can help resolve and prevent difficult situations that could require more time and resources, compormise their security or cause reputational damage to the institution.
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||
The FAQ section/page with well-structured quality content organized by relevant topics/categories and easy to navigate is a useful way to organize valuable information that incoming academics often ask. The FAQ page offers a lot of benefits, including:
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||
The FAQs platform is a practical tool for storage of practical information and good practices for processing the agenda of incoming PhD students and academics. It´s a database of standardized responses/solutions to recurring questions helping thus the support staff members efficiently navigate through administrative processes/issues they typically encounter. It is particularly useful for newcomer support staff as well as for situations occurring just sporadically. It could be part of an internal knowledge-sharing platform or any other type of intranet.
|Title||Importance||Scale of change||Setup cost||Setup time||Setup personnel||Delivery cost||Delivery time||Delivery personnel|
|Cultural orientation courses for international PhD students/academics/spouses||Important to have|
|Soft skills trainings for support staff||Important to have|
|Specialised blogs and podcasts||Nice to have|
|Collaboration with external partners and customised assistance in offering accommodation||Important to have|
|Welcome package for international PhDs/scholars||Essential to have|
|Volunteering programme for spouses/international partners||Nice to have|
|Soft skills trainings for PhDs/academics||Important to have|
|Promotion via social media in English||Important to have|
|International scholar safety guide||Important to have|
|Networking institutional events for support staff||Important to have|
|Networking events for family members||Nice to have|
|Networking event for PhDs/academics||Important to have|
|Mobility data collection & management||Important to have|
|Academic mentoring programme for international PhD students||Important to have|
|Mentoring scheme for support staff||Important to have|
|Local language courses for international PhDs/academics||Essential to have|
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||Nice to have|
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||Nice to have|
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||Essential to have|
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||Important to have|