Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) is one of the largest Further and Higher Education colleges in the UK and the largest in Northern Ireland with the Belfast Business School based in the college's Titanic Quarter campus. Koning Willem I College is a medium sized regional centre for vocational training and education based in Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. Belfast Met has had a relationship with Koning Willem College since 1995 and our experience in the delivery of education and training in similar vocational areas has led to this current collaboration.
This mobility opportunity gave students, most who have never been abroad before, the opportunity to experience work and study in a different culture. The Project was called ERASMUS ICE with GRIT, enabling learners to acquire Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) skills acquired through engagement with Social Enterprise and Small Business. The project also promoted the personal lifeskills of Growth, Resilience, Independence and Tolerance (GRIT). The Project, over two years, would facilitate exchange for 80 students & eight accompanying staff for a two-week period.
This year 39 students, aged 16-21 years, from HND and BTEC level 3 Business programmes took part for a period of 2 weeks from 10th – 24th March 2019. Students took part in 5 monthly Information Sessions leading up to the departure date so that they were fully prepared for their experience.
Twelve days were based in Eindhoven and three days in Brussels. As well as college based training activities, students had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam, the House of European History and the European Parliament.
Students reflected daily on their experience in their Student Handbook and undertook elements of assessment for their college course. Students also completed 30 hours of volunteering within the social enterprise and charity sector.