Promoting the Global Exchange of Ideas on Sustainable Goals, Practices and Cultural Diversity (ProGlobe) is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural student project between Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University (H-BRS) in Germany, the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (IPV) in Portugal, Conestoga College – Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (CC) in Canada and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in the USA.
This virtual exchange provides students the opportunity to gain 21st-century skills by collaborating virtually with other university students in Europe and North America to raise awareness on the impact of environmental and social issues in the world. Its aim is to understand global issues from different cultural perspectives while working against misconceptions and generalizations.
Students explore their own sustainable footprints and reflect on the use of resources in a global context. Each student conducts interviews with students from each partner country to discuss environmental issues in four categories “food”, “water”, “transportation” and “energy”. At the end of the virtual project, students attend and present their findings at a virtual conference.
In 2020, the project will begin one month later starting in November 2020 due to the pandemic. This year the project will also focus on COVID-19.
Virtual Mobility: A new perspective for higher education
We pride ourselves in having connected more than 400 European and North American students since 2016. These students used digital communication tools without having to travel long distances.
ProGlobe brings a very important discourse on environmental and social issues into the classroom and shows the advantages of offering virtual opportunities so that students can learn from each other to better understand the world we live in without leaving their institution and gaining international exposure at home (internationalization@home). Some alumni of ProGlobe continued by visiting or studying in the respective countries (blended mobility). We encourage students to take advantage of other funding opportunities at their institutions to go abroad, but this is not the purpose of ProGlobe.
How it began
Regina Brautlacht (Germany) and Professor Kristi Julian (USA) started their virtual exchange project in 2016 after meeting at an international conference. Both educators wanted to include authentic global learning into their curriculum. This was the start of an interdisciplinary project with students studying interior design in the USA and Management Sciences in Germany. The link between the disciplines is learning about environmental aspects in a global context which is relevant in both undergraduate degree programs.