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Tools for international school projects
Position:   Preparation > Dos and don'ts
Project participants doing a statue and holding a poster saying Acknowledge freedom

Dos and don'ts

To design an international school project successfully, you should consider the following tips:

Do:

  • Select (a) suitable partner(s) (school type, age of pupils,...).
  • Be open to other opinions, new perspectives and insights that may result from an intercultural cooperation.
  • Determine together the nature and frequency of communication.
  • Involve various people in the planning and implementation of the partnership (students, teachers, parents, experts, ..).
  • Make use of professional advice (experts, aces team,...).
  • Collect information about the partner country, the on-site conditions, possible cultural hurdles.
  • Use interdisciplinary teaching and educational diversity.
  • Use various means of communication for making contact and project work (new ICT).
  • Prepare students for the international and intercultural collaboration.
  • Come to a joint decision on implementation steps, taking into account school holidays, festivals etc.
  • Plan precisely for the school project - individual steps and procedures (work plan) and clearly lay down who does what in the partnership.
  • Develop creative forms of collaboration. The form of the project partnership depends on the concepts and ideas of the partners
  • Clarify the financial conditions.
  • Look for additional financial support (only if necessary).
  • Build a personal relationship with the partners.
  • Work as a team - form a working group consisting of, for example, students, teachers, parents, management.
  • Use internal and external communications - involve and inform the whole school and the environment.
  • Employ Public Relations: Inform the others in the school and the local environment outside the school about the school project, activities, learning experiences.
  • Organize mutual school visits.
  • Documentpresent and evaluate the project.
  • See problems as challenges that facilitate the learning processes.
  • Assume the role of mediator in conflicts.
  • See the way of the project partnership as a goal.

Don't:

  • start a school partnership or cooperation project without personal preparation (teachers and students).
  • assume that the project partners understand "school partnership” to mean the same as you do.
  • begin a project without planning and direct consultation with project partners.
  • compromise the theme of the project by concentrating mainly on the exchange of traditions, folklore etc.
  • organise a face-to-face meeting as a tourist event.
  • assume that school life, hierarchies, creative opportunities, etc. in the partner country are "somehow similar" to your own.
  • make rash judgements about the project partners - risk of prejudice and stereotypes.
  • rely on the strong personal commitment of individual teachers, which can lead to congestion and an excessive demand on individual people . A school project should always be the responsibility of several people and supported (by a working group, teaching staff, management ,...).
  • center on your own wishes in the planning and organisation of the project. The principle of partnership and cooperation should always be the focus.

See also: Potential Challenges and how to avoid them

aces is an initiative of ERSTE Foundation coordinated by Interkulturelles Zentrum in cooperation with VČELÍ DOM.