The mobility that the Erasmus Mundus (EM) programme provides is one of its most important characteristics. Having to both study and live in several diverse contexts can present intercultural challenges. In order to successfully work and collaborate with their colleagues from across the world, study in culturally different educational institutions and live in different countries, students require a set of abilities for dealing with cultural diversity. These abilities, collectively termed intercultural competence, enable effective studying, living and working across different cultural boundaries.
The Erasmus Mundus Intercultural Competence (EMIC) project aims to develop an integrated learning programme that will help EM students deal with issues of cultural diversity and use intercultural contexts to their advantage.
In contrast to other programmes that develop intercultural competence, the EMIC Learning programme is based on a unique approach to learning development that is:
- interdisciplinary, integrating current knowledge on formal learning in higher education, non-formal learning in the non-profit sector, workplace learning and technology-enhanced learning;
- based on scientific research, from previous studies on intercultural learning and from data gathered throughout the project;
- customised, that is, based on specific training needs of EM students involved in the project;
- contextualised in participants ‟experiences, using the experiences as the content‟ of learning;
- flexible, that is, learning activities are designed as bundles modifiable and applicable across a range of different contexts and cultural situations; and
- open-source, allowing other EM programs to implement and/or modify the EMIC learning programme in their courses.