"What - you mean we are really going to meet
the Spanish, the Hungarians, the Swedish, and the English in real life
in February? " My German students did not believe me at first because
they had enrolled for an "International Business Simulation Class"
and had assumed that everything was just simulated.
But no, after working together with the students from the other stations
through the Internet for four months during the winter semester 2006
these students were actually going to meet each other during an excursion
in February 2007, an "Intensive Programme" sponsored by the
European Commission under the Socrates ERASMUS program.
During the virtual phase the students worked in their home universities
in Umea (Sweden), Leon (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Brighton (England),
and Koblenz (Germany) on a project which was called "Borrowed Identities".
They met the other groups on the Internet and questioned them about
their national customs and what it means to be a student in that country.
They exchanged photo stories which depict life in the different participating
countries. All this happened on a digital learning platform called "moodle".
For the second part of this experience everybody went "from virtual
to real" and met in Ireland. Students and coordinators all travelled
from their different countries on the same day to meet face to face
in Ireland and experience two weeks filled with intensive workshops
and academic lectures in the area of intercultural communication and
The main action happened on Achill Island, a beautiful island on the
west coast of Ireland.
For your information and enjoyment the students have documented their
various experiences on Achill Island and in Dublin