The World is our Oyster: The Benefits of International Experiences in Higher Education

Kearney, Daithí and Commins, Adèle (2021) The World is our Oyster: The Benefits of International Experiences in Higher Education. AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, 13 (1).


COVID-19 imposed limitations on international travel for all of society. In academia, this has impacted on the ability of staff and students to participate in international conferences, Erasmus exchange and mobility programmes and other international activities that had been part of their Higher Education experience. In this paper, we critically reflect on two international activities that we were involved in with students and highlight how a number of benefits and experiences cannot be replicated in virtual contexts. To this end we draw from previous reflections by staff and students that formed part of a number of small research projects and presentations that resulted from international travel. This has informed the planning for and design of extra-curricular activities, as well as programme development in our institution. For music graduates seeking to develop a career in performance or engage in interdisciplinary teams, international experiences and cultural competencies prepare them for a career in the global industries. Despite the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on international travel this paper highlights the ongoing potential of international projects to impact positively on staff and students’ experience in Higher Education.

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