http://static.guim.co.uk/static/0edf8f19288c546ae7e06be1c4fc2b26ac1ac9f8/common/images/logos/the-guardian/professional.gifJames Derounian has been on two foreign exchanges this year, and his travels have prompted him to question; what makes an academic trip worthwhile?
This year I've been lucky enough to visit foreign parts, not once but twice. The first exchange was funded by the EU's Transversal programme which funds opportunities for UK education and training professionals to exchange expertise across Europe. In my case I was selected to join a pan-European team to learn and advise on "rural activity leaders: ensuring territorial cohesion in rural communities". In particular the project hosted by AIRELLE - Dordogne (south west France) - investigated education for active citizenship and sustainable development. As explained in the project brief: "Dordogne is a huge and isolated department focused on seasonal tourism but deprived in terms of employment and inhabitants' mobility. This creates a lack of social ties and attractiveness. Revitalising deprived rural areas is a major challenge."