What is job shadowing?
It is the opportunity for university staff (teacher or otherwise) to visit a partner university and shadow another staff member that has similar missions. This allows for the sharing of best practices and opens up the possibility of collaboration between the two institutions. This is also a great way to ensure staff at ATHENA have the opportunity to internationalize their careers.
From the Pohorje mountain to the Loire Valley
Sebastjan Frumen, a teacher in the Slovene language and Head of the Department of Education and Studies at the University of Maribor (Slovenia) recently spent 5 days at the University of Orléans (France). During the week, he had a full schedule and met the Head of the Research and Doctoral Studies, the person in Charge of the Welcome Center for international students, the person in charge of the Helping centre for students, the Education Research Team at the ERCAE laboratory and the Pedagogical Coordinator for International Relations at the Faculty of Education. He also had a day-long exchange with the Development and Partnerships Manager to discuss joint study programmes, procedures of accreditation and future cooperation.
This visit was also the opportunity to visit the Learning Lab (a service dedicated to helping teachers in their education projects), the campus and its Cultural centre and to attend Virtual and Augmented Reality Event.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a teacher of Slovene language and literature by profession, and currently the Head of the Department of Education and Studies at the University of Maribor, where an ongoing renewal of study programmes according to the ESG standards is taking place. As a doctoral student in the field of higher education didactics, my research is focused on the implementation of flexible learning paths and future learning environments in higher education.
How did you discover this opportunity of job shadowing through ATHENA?
I am actively involved in the activities of ATHENA, so I decided to explore common points and possibilities for cooperation with the University of Orléans. I met many interesting experts in the field of education and studies, from whom I can learn a lot and bring examples of good practice to my home university.
What were the main goals of your visit to the Receiving University?
The overall goals of the mobility were widening and strengthening cooperation with the University of Orléans in terms of examining the possibilities in the field of education and studies, exchanging know-how and examples of good practices regarding students’ affairs, accreditation and quality assurance, students’ support system, activities for green and digital transition at the university, under- and postgraduate studies, doctoral studies and organization of doctoral schools, especially co-tutelle and double degrees etc.
What has your experience been like?
The week I spent at the university exceeded all expectations, I got a lot of new information that will help me plan my work in the future. Many colleagues with whom I share a passion for changes in the field of education and studies took time for me this week. I find that we all face the same problems, regardless of where we are in Europe, and the examples of good practices that we have shared show how important it is to cooperate and not compete with each other. I hope that we will be able to connect the activities within ATHENA even better and provide both students and staff with more opportunities for the diverse experiences we offer.
What are some best practices that you will be taking back to the University of Maribor?
The University of Orléans has many advantages. In particular, I would like to highlight services for students, especially those who are underprivileged, with a strong emphasis on foreign students coming from socially weaker countries. I saw many examples of good practices in the field of doctoral studies, teaching and learning in the English language, and innovations in the field of pedagogy and didactics. The university has many advantages in the field of international cooperation, which is why a large number of international students are enrolled at the university. The event dedicated to virtual reality was also particularly interesting, and the knowledge gained will help me in implementing projects in the field of digital transition at my home university.
What were the most exciting moments of your visit?
The experience at the University of Orléans has been extremely positive overall, so I could not single out any particular event. I will definitely suggest to my team colleagues to visit the university and gain their own experience. I would especially like to highlight the proactivity of the colleagues in the Department of international cooperation at the university who coordinated the mobility. In addition to all the information and examples of good practices, I would also like to highlight the social part of mobility and networking with colleagues. Of course, the beautiful city of Orléans and the Loire River with its magnificent castles must also be highlighted.
To learn more about staff opportunities, click here.