The course in which our society is currently developing and the social connections we share, change by means of the different events which occur in the entire world. We think about societal and sociocultural transitions, economical and labour market transitions with an international oriented economy, political transitions where political decisions are guided in an international direction as well.
Internationalisation is therefore an inherent part of our educational task. Atlas College wants to offer these opportunities. Those who are able to explore, acquire maturity and perhaps they will make more considered and motivated choices in life.
Internationalisation comes about in various domains. Therefore, we need language skills in different modern foreign languages as a starting point. Digital skills will ensure that the school becomes an international meeting place without leaving the classroom. Learning experiences in an international context range from virtual classes to subject-based or non-subject-based travel and physical exchanges for both pupil and teacher.
2.1 Language learning
Internationalisation confronts people with language problems in every way.
Atlas Colleges pursues an integrated language policy. First of all, we teach our pupils the teaching language (Standard Dutch). This is after all the language of instruction for every subject and learning area. In addition, we opt for a minimum knowledge of two foreign languages at the end of secondary school.
Through CLIL and other initiatives regarding internationalisation (eTwinning, exchanges, sports competitions, field trips and internships abroad) we want to create opportunities for pupils to get in touch with foreign languages in a realistic way, both in class and outside the classroom.
2.2 Developing intercultural skills
Diversity is to be found in relationships between young people, teachers/lecturers, parents and in our school environment. It is important to learn to deal with this social and cultural diversity in a society which, as we said, has become more multi-ethnic.
We can hardly imagine internationalisation without the internet. It offers opportunities for international and intercultural exchange in the comfort of the pupil’s own environment: the classroom.
2.4 International field trips, participation in sports competitions, international mobility and partnerships.
Field trips, mobility and partnerships are often linked to learning progress in a specific subject or direction chosen by the student. In addition, pupils implicitly learn about the culture, language, customs and values in the host country.
This progress applies to participation in international sporting competitions as well. Atlas College offers extensive sport facilities and an intensive collaboration with KRC Genk and other sports clubs which make our institution appealing to many sports talents. These pupils have access to different opportunities to further develop their talents by means of adapted timetables and training facilities. This gives the pupils the space they need to participate in international competitions and to advance to top class teams. In-depth support and study coaching makes this approach achievable.
2.5 Mobility for pupils
Mobility should contribute to the pupil’s personal development and increase their professional competence. European initiatives such as the European mobility programs for apprentices in vocational oriented training are an incentive.
An authentic Erasmus traineeship takes young people out of their daily environment, out of their town or village and out of their social class. There is nothing more efficient in fostering togetherness, empathy and camaraderie than sharing an Erasmus adventure.