Week of the International Student 2020!

This week is the Week of the International Student 2020. This year, it couldn't be more important because it's happening in a world where travel can no longer be taken for granted. Given the current pandemic, international movement is very much limited and in some cases, impossible. However, it's still important to recognise international perspectives and ensure that we still use those experiences as they are incredibly valuable. 

Some of you may remember that last year I was incredibly lucky to be one of a handful of students to be selected to attend the inaugural University of Nottingham Midwifery Study Tour to Norway. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about midwifery care in another country and understand the principles of Norwegian maternity care. Of course, the cultural aspect was also eye opening and wonderful to explore too.  

Being in my last year of undergraduate studies, I really wanted to showcase this week especially. I think it’s important to recognise and appreciate international models of care, to improve our own practice and allow others to build upon theirs. From my perspective, inter-professional and intercultural learning is vital to continue to improve services and experiences and so I seek out opportunities to learn and grow through these international experiences. 

This year, the theme of the week is "Changing Times - Connecting Worlds" and I can't think of a better one. Despite the pandemic and challenges, we are lucky it's occurred during a time where we have technology we can take advantage of to ensure we can still connect with others on a global scale. Using these to collaborate whilst remaining safe means that we can continue to grow internationally through virtual mobility. The Dutch organisation for internationalisation of education also discusses how globalisation can occur in the home environment on a more individualised basis: improving inclusion, being mindful of sustainable development goals and gaining internationalisation skills at home. 

Excitedly, this week I am involved in my own international project, I may talk more about this further down the line or just update this post, as I have only just started being involved in the project but it's a project called TOTEMM, which is a much shorter title for the full name: Transforming Transnational Intercultural Sensitivity for Midwifery Students through an Inclusive Mobility Model. It aims to promote equity, inclusion and participation of non-mobile midwifery students studying in 4 countries through implementing virtual and physical mobility activities, to help develop intercultural sensitivity. Usually,  a one week group activity would occur once a year and it would be hosted in a different country, with alternate hosts each year. This year of course, it's all happening online. In a way, like I've shared before about working at home and online, in my experience I actually really enjoy the opportunity to work from the comfort of my own surroundings!