Before you get started

  • Check whether you are already working on internationalisation at home (IaH) with the help of the ATIAH project.
  • Find out which IaH activities are already being organised at your educational institution. Talk to your colleagues. They will no doubt have examples of IaH that you could use too.
  • Keep up to date with internationalisation at home in higher education and exchange experiences with colleagues by participating in our IaH Community.

Which learning outcomes are important to you?

Suppose you have a great idea for an online international collaboration project or an assignment for your students in which they have to use their own international classroom. Before you get started, it is important to determine the learning outcomes.

What will your students ultimately need to be able to cope with international society and the international labour market? Once you have established this, determine which form of IaH is the most suitable. Remember that different competences are important for each course or study programme, which means that the learning outcomes may differ.

There are many ways to determine and achieve learning outcomes. Below is a brief explanation of common learning outcomes that can also be achieved with other forms of internationalisation, such as physical student mobility. We use the international competency model (61.11 kB) for the explanation. According to the international competency model, international competences consist of 3 parts:

  1. Intercultural competences. Your students have developed an open attitude and respect for other cultures. They are able to work together in teams, including international ones.
  2. International orientation. Your students are familiar with international themes and are able to apply different perspectives to issues and their field of study.
  3. Personal development. Your students have developed more self-confidence, flexibility and adaptability, for example.

This model is in line with the ICOM framework, which identifies 5 domains of internationalisation competences: personal growth, intercultural competence, language skills, international engagement and international professional knowledge. You can also use the ICOM framework to describe and cluster your learning outcomes.

Read more about international learning outcomes

Which type of Internationalisation at home should you choose?

Internationalisation at home can be applied in various manners, from simple assignments in class to international online collaboration projects. You can also combine the different types. Internationalisation at home can be addressed both offline and online.

Since there is a range of different learning outcomes and types of Internationalisation at home to choose from, we would like to offer you some help. Below, we give an idea of some of the learning outcomes and possible related forms of Internationalisation at home.

International classroom 

Would you like your students to develop an open attitude towards others and be able to work together? In that case, you can use your own international classroom. By specifically using the various cultural backgrounds of your students, they can learn from each other and learn to work together with people from different backgrounds.

Example: Cross-border Journalism

University of Applied Sciences Utrecht uses the international classroom in its ‘Cross-border Journalism’ specialisation semester. The students from four different enrolment profiles together form an intercultural and interdisciplinary editorial board. This means that these future journalists not only learn how to deal with diversity in the workplace, but also how to shed light on news items from different international and cultural perspectives.

International lecturers, themes and case studies

Inviting a guest lecturer will give your students the opportunity to work on their international orientation and intercultural competences. This will bring them into contact with international issues and teach them to develop other perspectives.

You can also make global social issues part of your course or programme. This will allow you to address Sustainable Development Goals in your lessons, and your students to work on developing their international orientation.

Example: social themes

The Community Engaged Learning (CEL) set up by Utrecht University's Centre for Global Challenges is a type of internationalisation at home where students work on their international orientation by dealing with social issues, viewed from an international perspective.

Would you like your students to have the courage to communicate with other cultures (and in another language) or to gain more knowledge and understanding of other approaches to a subject? In that case, you can use case studies from abroad or from international companies in your lessons or study programme. This will also allow your students to develop their international orientation.

Example: business cases for local start-ups

Students enrolled in Saxion's International Business degree programme work on international business cases for both local start-ups and international companies. For example, students have already collaborated with a South Korean cosmetics company, but have also worked with a local start-up to set up a supply chain for cradle-to-cradle socks. This gives students a different perspective, while also teaching them to deal with other cultures and work cultures, and letting them discover how to strike the right balance between People, Planet and Profit.

Virtual exchange

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is an example of virtual exchange that can be used as part of internationalisation at home.

Working online with students and lecturers in another country will make it easier for your students to work on their intercultural competences, international orientation and personal development.

Read more about virtual mobility and virtual exchange

How do you make Internationalisation at Home part of the curriculum?

Suppose you have already set up and completed a challenging IaH activity. Your students are enthusiastic! So how can you make sure you will be able to do so again next semester? By embedding internationalisation at home in the curriculum, you will not only guarantee continuity and quality, but also acknowledge the importance of this form of internationalisation. This is important, because only by embedding internationalisation at home will it be possible to offer an international experience to all your students.

Are you planning to start recording your IaH activities and their learning outcomes? In that case, try to involve as many different colleagues as possible. By taking an inclusive approach and involving various stakeholders, internationalisation at home will truly become part of your educational institution. Besides lecturers, international officers, educationalists and managers should also be involved, as they can prove valuable and necessary. And don't forget your students: they can tell you what they need and expect from IaH.

Read more about internationalisation at home and the curriculum

How do you ensure the quality of internationalisation at home?

It makes no difference whether you have just started with internationalisation at home or it is already a regular part of the study programme: quality is paramount. It is important to monitor IaH, but always remember that your own professional development also has a role to play in this regard. Working on your own international skills and intercultural competences will mean that you will also be better able to pass these on to your students.

Few tools are currently available that focus specifically on quality assurance and IaH monitoring. A lot of the information and tools is currently focused on quality assurance of internationalisation in general.

Read more about quality assurance

  • You can measure your own international competences using the international competence matrix, developed by Els van der Werf from Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.
  • The article entitled The missing link in internationalisation, by Jos Beelen, provides background information on the role and importance of the professional development of lecturers in internationalisation at home.
  • Find out about the options at your educational institution to further develop your international skills and intercultural competences. You can also see whether the Nuffic Academy has a suitable training.
  • For good practices, see the internationalisation platform of the European Consortium for Accreditation of higher education (ECA).
  • The publication entitled European Approach For Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes has a lot of interesting information on quality assurance, which can also be used within IaH.