Academia in Estonia exceeded expectations

In beginning of May, career guidance practitioners from eight European countries visited Estonia to gain professional knowledge. Two of the guests also shared their experience during the week at the Erasmus+ podcast, which you can listen to here.

Euroguidance Estonia, together with its partners, hosted 12 guidance professionals. The Academia mobility brought together professionals interested in learning more about the topic "Multiculturalism, international learning, and work mobility in the context of career development,", including an overview of the Estonian career guidance system.

The guests visited the Parliament of Estonia, where MEP Kadri Tali shared important issues in Estonian education policy and international cooperation.

The participants also visited the innovative Tallinn Career Centre of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (PES) and had a job shadowing day either in Tallinn, Tartu or Pärnu with practitioners from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Integration Foundation, the University of Tartu Counselling Centre, Tartu Vocational College and Pärnu Vocational Education Centre.

On the last day, the participants shared methods and experiences from their own work.

The exchange of practices included learning how to:

- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to promote critical thinking, consideration of different perspectives and the use of peaceful conflict resolution strategies.

- The mapping method helping students to become aware of their own interests, skills and values.

- Photographs can help in exploring the work environment.

- Reflection on soft skills and key competences before and after the mobility period.

- Supporting international newcomers.

- A selection strategy for language classes to promote mobility and intercultural understanding.

- The pro or con method helping in reflecting on the opportunities for mobility.

- Metaphor cards helping finding solutions.

- Competency cards helping to identify opportunities for mobility.

Exceeded expectations

Aurore, from France, said that the visit exceeded her expectations and that the experience was as much about highlighting differences as similarities, and that participants learned also a lot about other countries. Katrin from Austria came to similar conclusions. "It was a very well organised and meaningful visit, I learned and experienced much more than I dared to hope. Both professionally and personally," she said.

Estonia has been part of the Academia network since 2000 and nearly 250 professionals have visited Estonia since, and another 250 Estonian professionals have visited Europe through the network.