A Pear Learning Activity (PLA) was organised by the Tempus Public Foundation in the framework of the Campus Mundi project on the 6 December 2016 to examine structural and interpersonal approaches of a foreign student mentoring programmes.

The 25 participants of the event represented various institutions and come from different positions such as institutional mentoring programme coordinators, young professionals, representatives of the Hungarian Rectors' Conference and that of student unions. The PLA used the "World Cafe" method along with "Open Space" workshop techniques.

The same participants took part in both sessions. The intercultural mentoring programme was investigated systematically during the morning session, while in the afternoon session, participants worked on the preparation of a guide for student mentors.

In the first part of the programme, the participants worked on exploring problems connected to an intercultural mentoring programme. After summarising individually the eventual problems, these ideas were discussed in groups of five. Each group chose a different issue to present, such as motivation (facilitation) or sustainability (financing).

 

In the second round, the participants worked on the preparation of a student mentor guide. They discussed the responsibilities, skills, duties and opportunities related to mentoring an international student in groups and placed them on a timeline wall. Afterwards, they collected the most important experiences related to cultural differences, competencies, intercultural differences and general, but necessary information to a foreign student.

 

The PLA were useful for the involved experts and organizers as well. The host team could gather many real-life examples about the unsolved problems of mentoring programme and about the difficulties of foreign students coming to Hungary. The methodology of the workshop was a guarantee for useful discussions among the participants. According to the feedback, the deliberative technique helped to get to know the systems of other higher educational institutions and share their best practices.