EAIE from a newcomer’s perspective – University of Copenhagen

06 December 2015

EAIE from a newcomer’s perspective

This year’s EAIE conference took place in Glasgow. International Education at UCPH sent one of our new colleagues to the conference for a newcomer’s perspective.

The art of networking

Every year, 5000 higher education professionals from all over the world descend upon a city in Europe for the EAIE conference. For five days, they absorb new knowledge, share best practices and discuss strategies to reach their common aim of internationalising higher education.

Participants engaged in discussion at the 'Navigating Careers' session for aspiring women leaders.

For a newcomer, the conference is like a field study in the art of networking. The formal programme serves as a backdrop for informal inquiries, and provides an opportunity to develop and nurture a network of international contacts.

Overall, it feels a bit like attending a combination of a high school reunion and a speed dating event. Everywhere you see old friends catching up with excited chatter while new connections are being made, offering polite introductions.

Meeting mania

As a newcomer at the conference venue you might wonder why so many people look like they are going on blind dates! You see people everywhere scanning the face of every passer-by, glancing anxiously at the clock, clearly wondering if they have been stood up.

The reason, as every experienced participant knows, is the multitude of partner meetings taking place during the conference. Studying in- and outgoing mobility numbers will not prepare you for these meetings. They require, first and foremost, acceptance of the many different approaches to internationalisation in the world of higher education.

We’re in it together

I returned to Copenhagen with a feeling of being part of something bigger – a feeling of connectedness. 

More than anything, attending EAIE opened my eyes to the passion and creativeness that permeates the international higher education sector. I went home invigorated by the simple realisation that thousands of people all over the world care as deeply about internationalisation as we do at UCPH.

In other words, we’re in it together!