Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC)

The context of the pandemic has led to the generation of a series of new opportunities for interaction with international partners at the university level. One of these initiatives is Talk2me , the second version of which began on September 27. It is a collaborative program in which students from the Catholic University interact and practice both the English and Spanish languages, through the formation of pairs, with students from the following universities in the United States: The George Washington University , Syracuse University , TUFTS University , University of California , Washington University in St. Louis , Harvard ,IES Abroad and University of Notre Dame . The topics of conversation are related to topics close to the realities of young people.

“In the area of ​​Internationalization at Home, we believe it is important that our students can participate in activities that expand their knowledge and culture. Talk2Me contributes significantly to our students having, from an online interaction, an approach with other universities through their own peers, which generates a positive link to the openness of knowledge and also to an interaction that contributes to learning and development of empathy and global competences ”, mentions Florencia Roncone, Internationalization coordinator at Casa de la Deputy Vice President for International Affairs (VRAI) .

“Talk2Me contributes significantly to our students having, from an online interaction, a rapprochement with other universities through their same peers” – Florencia Roncone, Coordinator of Internationalization at Home

The total number of students who participate in this activity is 140. The initiative considers that the conformed couples have eight one-hour weekly meetings to talk based on the suggested topics for each session.

“For us it is a significant initiative because it offers our students the opportunity to practice their Spanish and to get closer to Chilean culture and society in a more authentic way through interaction with their Chilean peers. It is a type of experience that has been suspended for more than a year when the restrictions created by the pandemic began. For this reason, we are motivated to disseminate and promote participation among our students, who responded with high interest to enroll in the program “, says César Noriega, Resident Director of the University of California. Noriega adds that” the virtual format makes it possible for students from both universities can overcome the limitations created by the pandemic.

The Internationalization at Home program is currently working on generating various initiatives to internationalize campuses, both in person and online. Upcoming activities are: Global Conversations, organized in collaboration with Tsinghua University, and the Cultural Weeks, which will focus on promoting cultural diversity on the various UC campuses.

“The success of this second version already makes us think about a third, diversifying the geographic focus in order to increase the possibility that our students can interact with international students and share university experiences at a global level,” adds Florencia Roncone.