With more universities becoming more open to international programs these days along with private organizations willing to provide funds for students, student exchanges and overseas internships have become more popular. Back then, only those who are on top of the class have the chance to be exposed abroad as students to partner with a certain university or work for a certain company. However, these days, students who are hard working or are determined enough to work abroad already have options. They could either look for private organizations that provide scholarships to fund their trip and other expenses or communicate with their university’s international relation officers.
Though this sounds like a good idea, the only problem here is that there are certain students who have passed the initial standards set, but are not good enough to go abroad. They might not necessarily be academically competent or they might have issues in the use of an international language. However, if they have already been sent and the partner institutions have already accepted them, the best thing to do is to make the most out of the situation.
Communicating with the Students
In order to ensure that communication is not an issue, the first thing to do is to look for a student buddy that can speak the native language of the exchange student. This student buddy might help during the first few days. It is also important to teach the exchange student with basics such as cultural practices, how to order food, dos and don’ts and the nature of the project to be done. If the university offers language classes, then the student must also be enrolled for at least an hour or two a day.
Dealing with the actual project or classes
For the actual classes or project, academic or language issues can really be a huge problem. However, since the situation is already there, the student must just be given a different set of exercises that he or she can easily follow. There must also be constant communication with the home university in regards to the status of the student. It must also be clear to them whether or not the student may actually get credits for the subjects taken or not. If not, it has to be made clear right from the start.
Making the most out of the opportunity
Overseas student activities might be for academic exchanges, but there can be more out of it. Therefore, if you think the goal has failed simply because the student cannot learn the lessons well, then think again. You can still maximize the time for a cultural tour. You can also make the students socialize with the locals or learn how local people live. By then, the student will still get something out of the experience.
The nature of student exchanges and dealing with all the details might really be difficult. However, in worse case scenarios, there are still things that can be done to prevent problems from escalating.