O testemunho de um docente em Programa de Mobilidade
A experiência do professor João Costa na University of Limerick.
I went in an Erasmus+ Higher Education Teacher Mobility period during two weeks from Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias (ULHT) (Portugal)to the Physical Education and Sport Sciences department of the University of Limerick (UL) (Ireland) hosted by Professor Ann MacPhail. Those two weeks just went flying but I will never forget all the kindness, warmth, hospitality, support, availability and professionalism of the people I meet with at UL, starting with the ULHT International Affairs Office whose professionals provided an excellent support to all the process, especially considering that there wasn't a mobility agreement in place at the beginning. These two weeks have really made an impact on me and the way all of them work individually and collectively is really something to cherish and that I believe all professionals want to find. I may have just met the definition of "good practice in higher education" through this period.
The contact with many of the department teachers, by observing and interacting during their lessons and with students, even for social events, and also being able to participate in a school placement meeting for University staff has really helped me to see and experience some activities that are really important for teacher education programmes, as well as for higher education regardless the subject area.
Being in the postgraduates' office was also some experience. Wish I could have had more time and opportunities to engage with that hilarious and joyful but really hard-working group. Despite the short opportunities to engage with them, it was a great learning experience to see and live how the post-graduate research can in fact be a collective and social process to support the challenges of delivering and individual research project for such a long time.
As for UL students, they have made quite an impression on me by the level of their thoughts, interest and discussion. I share my congratulations for all the work that UL has been putting for the sake of better professionals for Physical Education.
Fortunately, I also had the opportunity to meet and engage with other international colleagues, working as post-graduates or visiting scholars, namely from UK, Norway, China, and USA. Regarding to network opportunities, the experience provided much more opportunities than I could anticipate.
The learning for me was immense and the possibility to talk with a range of staff members, researchers and students during the presentation at the Physical Education, Physical Activity and Youth Sport Ireland research centre (PE-PAYS Ireland) was a moment that really contributed to my understanding of the similarities and differences between the different national realities attending the session. I can only hope I have the capacity to translate all this learning into something good and productive in the contexts I work, and that there is an opportunity for our universities to engage in longer periods of contact through teaching and/or research projects.
I am hoping that some of of those colleagues come to Portugal in a near future to try to pay forward their warm welcoming with some good Portuguese hospitality... and food! :)
I truly wish all the best to each and all of the colleagues from both Universities with deepest thanks for two unforgettable weeks!