IDEM’s 8th Transnational Project Meeting

by Baran (IDEM Student Worker)

Darmstadt, 3rd-5th June 2024

Our eighth and last Transnational Project Meeting was held at TU Darmstadt, where we primarily concentrated on preparations for the Final Conference and Toolkit. We reviewed the achievements and results from Bootcamp 2. As we gradually approach the final curve of the project, we are excited by the progress so far and the achievements that still lie ahead.

IDEM’s Final Conference

by Baran (IDEM Student Worker)

Brussels, 23rd January 2025

IDEM’s Final Conference is set to be held in Brussels on January 23, 2025. The conference will include the presentations of the IDEM Mobility Model and Toolkit, followed by a panel discussions with students as well as group activities. 

Registration will open in early autumn this year. We are looking forward to a diverse group of participants, including key partners and representatives, such as National Agencies and representatives from other Erasmus+ projects.

IDEM’s second Bootcamp

by Mélissa Loïacono (Bootcamp Participant)

When we were first approached about joining the IDEM project for the second Bootcamp in Lisbon, I had no idea what to expect. Initially, I hesitated some time before accepting the proposal, fearing that my English proficiency might not be sufficient for smooth communication. Additionally, the prospect of leaving my country for the first time for international mobility filled me with apprehension. However, upon reflection, I decided to accept, and I can say that I have no regrets. I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent organization of the event.

The second Bootcamp revolved around various workshops where I had the opportunity to share my experiences as a student and discuss the challenges I face daily. I met several students, each sharing their own experiences, difficulties, and disabilities. While I may not have had much to contribute in some workshops, being my first international mobility experience, I thoroughly appreciated learning about the international experiences of other students. One particular workshop that stood out to me was the first one, where we used post-it to express our feelings and experiences. This proved to be an extremely enriching experience, allowing me to improve my English skills and openly discuss my disabilities and difficulties with others. Through this journey, I learned to navigate life in another country.

What I cherished most about this experience was the diversity of foreign students in the workshops. I gained insights into the varied experiences from different countries. Additionally, I deeply appreciated the attentiveness of the staff towards our needs, making sure we felt supported throughout the program. 

In conclusion, if I were offered another experience like this one, I wouldn’t hesitate, because in the end, taking part in this project is a real opportunity.

Insights from IDEM Bootcamp 2

by Valérie (IDEM Team)

Lisbon, 30th January – 1st February 2024

As part of the European IDEM project (Inclusion Diversity and Equity Mobility), we met with our partner institutions, colleagues and students (target audiences) in Lisbon to discuss and exchange views on the obstacles faced by students with special needs during their international mobility and to recommend improvements to the care they receive. The focus was on psychological safety.

The various issues raised were: what kind of motivation and assistance should universities provide for students with special needs? What attitude would facilitate their mobility with confidence? What does the students need once they are in place to feel safe and dare to express their needs? The various phases of work to answer these questions about psychological safety and IDEM objectives took the form of workshops and role-plays during which the students shared their personal and university experiences and suggested solutions and ways of improving the situation and moving towards greater inclusion, which is at the essence of the IDEM project.

These phases took place at the pace of the students, considering their physical and/or psychological situation, with creative and collaborative sessions. The state of mental well-being and safe environment was also at the heart of this event, since for mobility to be successful, students will need to get outside their comfort zone.

It was an enriching event in human terms. The good humour and energy of all the participants and, above all, the self-mockery of the students and their ability to stand back from their situations made it possible to tackle a subject that is generally a source of stress and anxiety in a slightly lighter way.

IDEM’s second Bootcamp

by Baran (IDEM Student Worker)

Lisbon, 30th January – 1st February 2024

IDEM’s second Bootcamp is scheduled for January 30th to February 1st in Lisbon. Bootcamp 2 will focus on more inclusive environments and psychological safety in student exchanges, by utilizing joint creation and mutual learning approaches. We look forward to meeting our partners and participants.

IDEM’s 6th Transnational Project Meeting

by Baran (IDEM Student Worker)

Espoo, 21th – 24th November 2023

The 6th of our Transnational Meetings took place at Aalto University. We focused mainly on the upcoming Bootcamp 2 and discussed the progress so far. The work we have done at Bootcamp 1 and the presentation works for the events we will be participating in future are covered during our meeting. We’re delighted to have gathered in the lovely city of Helsinki. Thanks to our idea exchanges, very important steps are taken and we are looking forward to bringing these to life.

IDEM at DAAD’s Erasmus + Conference

by Aaron (IDEM Team)

Berlin, 8th – 10th November 2023

We are very grateful to have spent three exciting and fruitful days at the Erasmus+ conference “Moving closer to inclusive internationalization in Higher Education” in Berlin! The event featured both thought-provoking lectures as well as engaging workshops on the following topics:

  1. Erasmus+ as a tool for a strategic approach to Inclusion and diversity
  2. Closing the communication gap between internal services at Higher Education Institutions working towards an inclusive internationalization
  3. Addressing target groups
  4. Creating synergies in inclusion from Erasmus + Policy Support to Cooperation Projects to Mobility
  5. Data collection to work on inclusion and informing students about inclusion actions

We’d like to thank DAAD for the excellent organization and abundant hospitality and wonderful colleagues and experts from all over the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) for the rich and meaningful discussions, sharing, and synergy!

IDEM Presented to the Incoming and Outgoing Unite! Students at Aalto University

by Hanna Liisa (IDEM Team)

Espoo, 11th October 2023

On October 11, 2023, Aalto University hosted a gathering that brought together incoming and outgoing Unite! students to inform them about the Unite! Alliance. The event was skillfully hosted by Alarik Rantala, the Aalto Unite! Student Liaison Officer, and co-hosted by Minna-Kaarina Forssén, the Aalto Unite! Key Liaison Officer. The meeting commenced with a warm welcome by KLO Forssén and proceeded with SLO Rantala presenting valuable insights about Unite! Alliance, particularly emphasizing the Unite! seed funding that supports innovative student projects.

The Unite! Alliance is presented in a class to a group of students at Aalto University
Hanna Liisa Hakala presents the IDEM Project to students in a class at Aalto University

Subsequently, Yoonjoo Cho, a University Teacher at Aalto University Language Center, introduced some of the Aalto Language Center course offering including Finnish language and Intercultural Communication, emphasizing their dual benefits: improving language skills and promoting cross-cultural understanding and effective communication. Hanna Liisa Hakala, Lecturer of English and IDEM Project Manager at Aalto University, then presented the IDEM project, aiming to make international education more accessible and inclusive for students from diverse backgrounds. The interactive session showcased Unite! students’ dedication to making a positive impact. The event concluded with students brainstorming ideas for the Unite! seed funding, leaving attendees inspired and motivated to turn their visions into reality.

IDEM at the Welcoming Events of TU Darmstadt

by Baran (IDEM Student Worker)

Darmstadt, 4th and 5th September, 4th and 5th October 2023

The International Student Services of TU Darmstadt recently organized two insightful events, one in September and another in October, with the primary aim of connecting with and providing valuable information to both exchange and degree-seeking students. In September, the focus was on welcoming and engaging with incoming exchange students. The event served as an excellent platform for the International Student Services team to introduce themselves and showcase the IDEM Project. Students had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the project’s identity, its goals, and the impactful work it undertakes. What truly made this event special was the open dialogue it fostered; the team not only shared their mission but also actively listened to the students, gathering valuable feedback for future.

IDEM Team members Aaron Szczerba, Benedetta Gennaro and IDEM student worker Baran Yesilyurt are smiling while holding IDEM signs and flaglets in front of an orange background in Technical University Darmstadt

IDEM Flaglet and cards on a desk in the Welcoming events of Technical University Darmstadt

In October, the International Student Services team repeated the endeavor, this time extending their warm welcome and informative sessions to degree-seeking students. The event mirrored the one held in September, with a similar focus on introducing the IDEM Project and its core objectives. This iterative approach emphasized the team’s commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that all students, whether exchange or degree-seeking, are well-informed and engaged. It’s worth noting that these events build upon a previous gathering held in March, underscoring the consistent dedication of TU Darmstadt’s International Student Services to provide ongoing support and facilitate a sense of community among the diverse student body.

IDEM at the Unite! Student Festival

The logo of Unite! University Alliance, circles in green and blue tones on top of each other and Unite! text

by Aaron (IDEM Team)

Lisbon, 29th June – 01st July 2023

The first Unite! Student Festival was hosted by University of Lisbon (ULisboa) from 29 June to 1 July 2023, and gathered students from all nine partner universities. Through fun, exchange and co-creation activities the Festival boosted the engagement of the Unite! Students community.

IDEM Team Members are smiling at the camera in front of an IDEM Flag at the Unite! Student Festival in University of Lisbon

During the Unite! Carousel Brainstorming about 200 students debated on themes like “Online Teaching”, “Sustainability and Energy Crisis”, “University of the Future” as well as “Inclusion, Diversity and Well-being in the daily life of students”. 

The IDEM Team took the opportunity to meet with representatives from SURE! (Students in Unite for Representation and Empowerment!) to discuss ways to increase engagement for and with underrepresented and underserved student groups.

Another meeting took place with the Student Liaison officers of all partner Universities. Aside from presenting the IDEM project, we elaborated together on how to reach out to students and make Unite! an experience for everyone.

IDEM Team members and students are smiling at the camera in University of Lisbon in a bright hall

Lastly, we were very happy to see many students who have participated in the IDEM Bootcamp on “Self-Exclusion” in Barcelona at the Student Festival bringing forward the topic of Inclusion, DIversity & Equity in Mobility while making new friends across Europe.

IDEM at TU Darmstadt’s Orientation Day

by Aaron (IDEM Team)

Darmstadt, 6th March 2023

IDEM Team member Aaron Szczerba and Gabriella D'Introno from International Student Services of Technical University Darmstadt are presenting IDEM Project to newcomer Students at the Welcoming events

The International Student Services welcomed the exchange students of TU Darmstadt for the summer semester 2023 with a three-day event. On the first day, the “Orientation Day”, the new students learned about the many offers and services available to them, as well as the opportunities to meet new friends and engage in meaningful topics.

In a lecture hall at the Technical University Darmstadt, newly arrived students are following the IDEM presentation with interest

After introducing IDEM, we had the opportunity to talk to some interested students. We were happy to receive great feedback and were able to give the students advice and support for their time in Darmstadt. The direct interaction with our target group is of great value for the whole project and we look forward to their further contributions.

IDEM’s first Bootcamp

by Fatema (IDEM Student Worker)

Barcelona, 8th – 10th November 2022

IDEMS’s first Bootcamp was a total success! We are happy to have UPC Barcelona host this event for our students and staff of all partner institutions. Around 40 people were able to join us in action in Barcelona and actively participate to help staff and students better understand the challenges underrepresented students’ experience.

We appreciated the opportunity to speak with Wim Gabriels, Director of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Martin Bogdan, a Policy and Project Officer at the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), Lucia Gennaro representing the Arqus Alliance, Josip Lusa Head of the SALTO Resource Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, and learn from them and their experience and get some advice on how to support our students and help staff create a more inclusive mobility

We also had the chance to hear directly from some students about their difficulties and we are very thankful for their participation.

The IDEM Team has gained a deeper insight of the challenges that the students face while thinking about going on mobility and was happy to co-create with them suitable solutions for those challenges.

Three student participants are standing and IDEM Team members are listening while one of the students are talking in a hall at UPC Barcelona.

IDEM at the SIEM’S Inclusion & Engagement Conference

by Benedetta (IDEM Team)

Brussels, 3rd and 4th October 2022

IDEM Team member Benedetta Gennaro is smiling at the camera at SIEM's Inclusion and Engagement Conference in front of the Stage in Brussels.

The Inclusion & Engagement Conference held in Brussels in October 2022 concluded the ESN lead Erasmus+ Project “Social Inclusion and Engagement in Mobility (SIEM)” and we participated and presented IDEM as an ideal successor of SIEM. It was very interesting to meet professionals, policy makers, and ESN representatives from around Europe who share the same interest in inclusion and diversity. 

IDEM at the Unite! Dialogue

by Aaron (IDEM Team)

Torino 20th – 22nd September 2022

At the end of its pilot phase, our University Alliance Unite! came together from 20 to 22 September for the 6th Unite! Dialogue at the host university Politecnico di Torino (PoliTO). Discussions circulated around the ongoing activities of the Erasmus+ and H2020 projects as well as the future development of Unite!, which was made possible by an additional four year funding by the European Commission. 

Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing will be transversal topics for the next round of Unite!, and IDEM will play a major role in making the Unite! experience accessible for all students of our 9 partner universities. 

The IDEM team was happy and proud to present the project to the interested Unite! Community during a poster session.

IDEM Poster for the Unite! Dialogue in Politecnico di Torino, presenting a temporal scheme and containing university logos at the bottom.
IDEM Team members are standing and smiling together while posing at the camera at Unite! Dialogue in Politecnico di Torino
Some IDEM Team members and students are standing and talking to each other at the Unite! Dialogue in Torino

IDEM’s Inclusion Training

by Benedetta (IDEM Team)

Grenoble 29th and 30th June 2022

The IDEM Team is coming together in Grenoble for its planned Inclusion Training, where students, administrative staff and faculty members will learn about and exchange practices on how to support respectful and safe behavior, create knowledge and raise awareness to build an inclusive environment.

IDEM Team members presenting and sharing their ideas at IDEM's Inclusion Training in Grenoble.
IDEM Team members presenting are sharing their ideas and create new ones together at IDEM's Inclusion Training in Grenoble
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