TITLE OF THE INITIATIVE
"Cultura e Accoglienza" project
INSTITUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE
Università di Padova
- Help desk and supporting services for refugee students
- Language and other introductory courses for refugee students
- Non formal education activities for students
- Social Events
- Tutoring and peer support for refugee students
- Newly arrived refugees
- University staff (academic and administrative)
DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES
The project goal was to estabilsh a connection between refugees, university and territory. In order to get the refugees closer to the world of academic studies, the University adopted a peer-to-peer approach to help them in the language courses and exams. In this way, there was the possibility to spread different experiences and backgrounds between refugees and students.
In order to favour the communication and the sense of belonging to the society, the University offered each participant two linguistic courses of different levels tring to stimulate the participants to achieve a better level of italian. In addition to it, the project provided each participant a tutor in order to have a didactical support during the linguistic courses and, for the ones who chose to follow an academic course, also during the preparation of the exam. The didactical support of tutors was fundamental also for the museum visits that the coordination tutors organized during the accademic year and it built a basis for a strong and sincere relationship between tutors and refugees.
RESULTS AND IMPACT
One of the project main results has been the engagement of the inner community and the society of Padua’s territory. In addition to it, it has been developed a new approach to university by people who who had never thought about starting an academic career. As a matter of fact, the first graduated refugee student of our university, took part in this project and was able to enroll thank to the help he found during this project. One of the strenght points encountered was for sure the one-to-one relationship that each participant extablished with the tutor. Also the precious collaboration with the Language Center is to mention. The teachers became truly involved and were always ready to personalize their italian courses for their refugee students. The biggest challenge faced was the difficulty of communication with the participants, as the majority of them wasn’t able to read the mails the coordination tutor sent, due to the strong digital divide. In order to reach them, it was necessary to call them via phone or send them text messages. For this purpose a facebook group was created, which was really helpful.