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The journey continues

With the end of 2014 we are changing the status of this dear blog from active to archive. Please stay with us, browse here for many enlightening posts of over five years and visit our new blog right here! Thanks for being a loyal friend, we hope to do you justice!

 

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Global connectedness. Facts and figures.

Global Connectedness 2014
Click on the graphics above for the newly released DHL Global Connectedness Index 2014. Various forms of downloads are available, the data are detailed, thoroughly researched and truly eye-opening.

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Student Exchange moves thousands as a business. Let it move millions as a movement.

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“It’s always been a question of money. Always. My parents went to school with the children of Italian and Irish immigrants back in the fifties and thought it was wonderful that their food and their music was so different. They thought it would be awesome to send their own kids abroad to get the feel of Europe and the taste of the Mediterranean, to see Rome and the works of Michelangelo. But there were five of us and there was never enough money, not for an exchange program nor for a holiday.”
Elsa is Canadian and the topic of going abroad to learn has been with her almost all her life. When she wanted to send her son to France many years later her plans again came to a halt when she realized what the price tag was.

Elsa’s story is the story of millions.

This summer we asked all members of our community how they feel about this.
And the answers we got made us file a petition on Change.org.

92% of our members joined us because they wanted to make student exchange affordable (and to have more options and a distinct choice etc.) for their children. And because they so much wanted to go abroad when they were teens and it just wasn’t possible. Or – just as hard and painful – their parents made it possible and they ended up homesick and unhappy but felt they had to pull it through because of the many sacrifices their families had gone through.

What global natives are

Many student exchange agencies do a great job and have done so for decades. Some have room for improvement. In any case: we feel they should not have the de facto monopoly which have in quite a few countries.
There must be room for the individual to take the initiative.

Rules and regulations differ greatly from nation to nation and the freedom granted to schools to take autonomous decisions can be anything from no-room-to-move all the way to we-do-as-we-think-fit. So we make an appeal to all education authorities world wide. And we appeal to everyone who believes that student exchange should not first and foremost be a business but a movement, not exlusive to the affluent but open to the curious and global minded kids who after all are our GLOBAL NATIVES.

No generation before has been so touched and influenced by globalisation. No generation before has had such wonderful means of connecting globally online. They should be able to make something of it and become true global citizens. We need to ensure they have the opportunities.

Please sign and spread the word. Thank you !!!

Change.Org for Global Natives

 

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How Diversity Makes Us Smarter

Here’s an article by Katherine W. Phillips we take joy in sharing with you.

It was published recently in the Scientific American’s
“State of the World’s Science 2014”.

The state of the worlds science 2014

Being around people who are different from us makes us
more creative, more diligent and harder-working

The first thing to acknowledge about diversity is that it can be difficult. In the U.S., where the dialogue of inclusion is relatively advanced, even the mention of the word “diversity” can lead to anxiety and conflict. Supreme Court justices disagree on the virtues of diversity and the means for achieving it. Corporations spend billions of dollars to attract and manage diversity both internally and externally, yet they still face discrimination lawsuits, and the leadership ranks of the business world remain predominantly white and male.

It is reasonable to ask what good diversity does us. Diversity of expertise confers benefits that are obvious—you would not think of building a new car without engineers, designers and quality-control experts—but what about social diversity? What good comes from diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation? Research has shown that social diversity in a group can cause discomfort, rougher interactions, a lack of trust, greater perceived interpersonal conflict, lower communication, less cohesion, more concern about disrespect, and other problems. So what is the upside?

The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving. Diversity can improve the bottom line of companies and lead to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations. Even simply being exposed to diversity can change the way you think. This is not just wishful thinking: it is the conclusion I draw from decades of research from organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers.

Information and Innovation
The key to understanding the positive influence of diversity is the concept of informational diversity. When people are brought together to solve problems in groups, they bring different information, opinions and perspectives. This makes obvious sense when we talk about diversity of disciplinary backgrounds—think again of the interdisciplinary team building a car. The same logic applies to social diversity. People who are different from one another in race, gender and other dimensions bring unique information and experiences to bear on the task at hand. A male and a female engineer might have perspectives as different from one another as an engineer and a physicist—and that is a good thing.

… read the complete article here:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter

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Student Exchange is good for job prospects and for love life

Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme
boosts employability and job mobility

Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower. The study, compiled by independent experts, is the largest of its kind and received feedback from nearly 80 000 respondents including students and businesses.

EU Komm. Press Release

The findings of the Erasmus Impact study are extremely significant, given the context of unacceptably high levels of youth unemployment in the EU. The message is clear: if you study or train abroad, you are more likely to increase your job prospects. The new Erasmus+ programme will offer EU grants to four million people between 2014 and 2020, allowing them to experience life in another country through studies, training, teaching or volunteering,” said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

EU Komm. Press Release 2

The new study shows that 92% of employers are looking for personality traits boosted by the programme such as tolerance, confidence, problem-solving skills, curiosity, knowing one’s strengths/weaknesses, and decisiveness when making a recruitment decision. Tests before and after exchange periods abroad reveal that Erasmus students show higher values for these personality traits, even before their exchange starts; by the time they come back, the difference in these values increases by 42% on average, compared with other students.

EU Komm. Press Release 3

 

Students benefitting from Erasmus funding can choose to study or take up a traineeship abroad. The report reveals that more than one in three Erasmus trainees is offered a position at the enterprise where they do their traineeship. Erasmus trainees are also more entrepreneurial than their stay-at-home counterparts: 1 in 10 has started their own company and more than 3 out of 4 plan to, or can imagine doing so. They can also expect faster career advancement; staff with international experience are given greater professional responsibility according to 64% of employers.

Erasmus not only improves career prospects, it also offers students broader horizons and social links. 40% have changed their country of residence or work at least once since graduation, almost double the number of those who were not mobile during studies. While 93% of students with international experience can imagine living abroad in the future, this is the case for only 73% of those who stay in the same country during their studies.

Former Erasmus students are also more likely to have transnational relationships: 33% of former Erasmus students have a partner of a different nationality, compared with 13% of those who stay home during their studies; 27% of Erasmus students meet their long-term partner while on Erasmus. On this basis, the Commission estimates that around one million babies are likely to have been born to Erasmus couples since 1987.

The new Erasmus+ programme will provide opportunities to go abroad for 4 million people, including 2 million higher education students and 300 000 higher education staff in the next seven years (2014-2020). In addition, the programme will fund 135 000 student and staff exchanges involving non-European partner countries. Erasmus+ will be even more accessible thanks to increased linguistic support, more flexible rules and additional support for people with special needs, from disadvantaged backgrounds or from remote areas.

Background
In its strategy on the modernisation of higher education, the Commission highlighted the need to provide more opportunities for students to gain skills through study or training abroad. The EU target for overall student mobility is at least 20% by the end of the decade. Currently, around 10% of EU students study or train abroad with the support of public and private means. Around 5% receive an Erasmus grant. (This figure is based on latest available data from Eurostat for 2011-12, which shows the number of graduates was over 5.35 million in the Erasmus participating countries and the number of Erasmus students was nearly 253 000).

The study combines both quantitative and qualitative research. …

Please find the complete presse release and all relevant links to more detailed information here.

 

 

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Every Day is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Every day is brings your kids day
Fast Company’s Gwen Moran has a case study on a family-friendly enterprise!

“At Eugene, Oregon-based Palo Alto Software, a company that develops business planning and other business-focused software, every day is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. CEO Sabrina Parsons, who has led the company since 2007, is a staunch advocate of family-friendly policies and is trying to help her employees and others in the tech sector deal with the fact that people have babies. Taking care of them shouldn’t derail your career.  …”

Please read the article here!

 

 

 

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The many magic ways of bringing the right folks together

A delightful example of the benefits of bringing the right folks together:

 

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