Development and Piloting of UBC Student ExchangeNet

TitleDevelopment and Piloting of UBC Student ExchangeNet
Faculty/College/UnitVP Students
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

UBC Student ExchangeNet will provide:

  1. Peer information and support for UBC exchange students.
  2. Greater access for UBC Faculties to the exchange experience of UBC students at partner institutions.
  3. Maximization of exchange learning outcomes (intercultural, global citizenship, leadership and employability skills) through online participation by returned UBC students and further internationalization of UBC.

Rationale: TREK targets a 15% increase in UBC students leaving on exchange each year for the next five years. We need to find new efficient ways to support the success of these experiences. We know that information and support increase the likelihood of a successful transition to the partner culture and school which is key to exchange success. Students tell us that peer information is readily received and acted upon. Peer support has assisted former students working through challenging exchange experiences. ExchangeNet will significantly increase UBC exchange students' access to each other for information and support as they study across six continents.

Many of the global citizenship skills developed on exchange mature and grow in the year that students return home. Reflection, distance from the actual experience and a return to "normal" conditions contribute to this increased learning output. The discussion forums within ExchangeNet will be lead by returned exchange students with the leadership of student moderators. These roles will enable returned students to hone their ability to help others interpret cultural differences and function effectively in international or multicultural situations. This "soft" skill is increasingly sought by employers (Arthur Anderson 2000, Kealey 1997, Wilson 1998). ExchangeNet will add significant citizenship, leadership and workplace value to UBC students' exchange experience.

"ExchangeNet" will also allow SEP to maximize staff resource in providing and updating information on partner schools, systems and returned student reports. One electronic site (instead of paper resources), easily accessed by students both at UBC and on exchange, will minimize repetition and error. In addition, the use of the web will increase access by UBC Faculties to the exchange experience of UBC students at partner institutions.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2001/2002
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorKatherine Beaumont
Year 1: Funded Amount45,000
Year 1: Team Members

Katherine Beaumont, International Student Services, Student Services
Jennifer Delucry, Returned Exchange Student, Science
Michael Ross, Returned Exchange Student, Arts
Rob Dies, Returned Exchange Student, Applied Science
Mackie Chase, Director, Centre for Intercultural Communication