Retrospective Academia 2024  -Euroguidance Netherlands

The Euroguidance Academia 2024 visits have started again. The kick-off took place in the Netherlands, where Euroguidance Netherlands organised an Academia Programme for the first time. Euroguidance Netherlands looks back on a very enriching week for both participants and organisers.

In the Netherlands, we welcomed an international group of 11 guidance professionals from the 11th till the 14thof March. The central theme of this week was: "inclusion and (mental) well-being", a topic of great interest to everyone involved in education and guidance.

During this week, we worked intensively together, exchanging experiences and learning from each other's approaches and challenges. Participants not only acquired new knowledge and tools, but also gained inspiration through working visits, trainings, presentations and dialogues, all with the aim of promoting wellbeing and inclusion in their own countries.
The positive feedback and stories of our participants attest to the impact of this programme. It has not only contributed to their professional development, but also lays the foundation for ongoing dialogue and cooperation between guidance professionals from across Europe.

Day 1: Introduction Academia 2024 in the Netherlands

On Monday the 11thof March, the Academia programme kicked off, we welcomed our guests to the Euroguidance office in 's-Hertogenbosch. Here, guests received a detailed explanation of Euroguidance Netherlands' activities, the Expertise Centre Inclusive Education and the Education system in the Netherlands. After a tour through rainy Den Bosch, the afternoon offered guidance professionals the opportunity to present a successful methodology or tool they use in their own daily work. Dinner in the evening provided the perfect opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level.

Day 2: Visit to Nuffic and peer review

On Tuesday 12 March, Academia participants were welcomed at Nuffic in The Hague. Nuffic is the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education. Presentations were on the organisation's vision and objectives, the Mobstacles network and the wellbeing of international students, among other things.
In the afternoon, we played the Go! For All game with the whole group. This game was developed by Nuffic in cooperation with ECIO. The aim of the game is for participants from Vocational Education and Training or Higher Education to learn more about making an experience abroad accessible to all students.
After a short walk through the city centre of The Hague, we ended the day with another intervision session on good practices from the participants.

Day 3: Spirit Power in the mbo, Career jumpstart and the apprenticeship centres

On day 3, participants could choose from two programmes:

Option 1 was "GeestKracht in het mbo" at MBO Utrecht. The GeestKracht programme works on the mental health of young people and young adults. Participants heard more about the programme and were given an extensive tour of the building and met an assistance dog and its handler. The assistance dog is often used with students with, for example, autism, panic attacks, adhd, add.

Option 2 was a visit to "Career jumpstartatFontys Hogeschool". With a combination of personal coaching and hands-on training, Career Jumpstart offers students a flying start in their careers. It is great to see how they build bridges between these talented graduates and their dream workplaces.

In the afternoon, we visited The Hard Learning School, a project shaped by a collaboration between the regional service centre of education and training (Leerwerkloketten). We were explained the programme, which stretches over 10 weeks with the aim of guiding people back to a learning environment or workplace. In addition, the international career professional also got the chance to actually participate in the sports activities. This experience immediately showed the importance of the exercises, especially in terms of cooperation and communication.

Day 4: Cultural sensitivity and positive psychology and resilience training

The training on Thursday 14 March 2024, offered by the Expertise Centre for Inclusive Education (ECIO), focused on inclusive education and student wellbeing. With sessions on wellbeing & guidance, cultural sensitivity, and positive psychology, led by experts Olivia Lebbe, Marit Schreurs, and Aniek Luyt, participants were invited to gain knowledge and skills on supporting students from diverse backgrounds and building resilience.

We concluded the week with a pleasant drink at the office and then said goodbye to the guests.

We are grateful for the commitment and passion of everyone who contributed to the success of this programme. It proves once again that working together, learning and sharing across borders makes us all stronger and wiser. Euroguidance Netherlands is already looking forward to the next Academia programme in the Netherlands!