Internationalization

If they are planning to become teachers of English, students starting their studies in or after the Winter Semester 2011/2012 are required by the Ministry of Education (NRW) to spend at least three months abroad in an English-speaking environment during the BA phase of their studies (Auslandsaufenthalte nach § 11 Abs. 7 LABG 2009). It is strongly recommended that students organize longer stays though, and, where possible, take the opportunity to gain credit points at post-secondary institutions during their stays abroad.

The English Section at Bielefeld University requires that this stay abroad take place in a country where English has the status of a first (L1) or second, i.e. official, language (L2). Countries where English is the L1 are, for example: The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Countries where English has the status of an L2 include, for instance, Ghana, India, the Philippines, Cameroon, Malta, etc. The Internationalization requirements can also be met by breaking up the three months into separate, shorter stays, although these should normally be at least four weeks long. If several short stays of this nature are planned, this must be approved in advance by the supervisor of the internationalization report (see below).

Students who have had sufficiently long stays abroad before beginning their courses of study may request that the stay be approved for the module. As a general rule, stays abroad should not have taken place more than 5 years prior to this request.
A REQUEST FORM must be completed by the student and submitted to the module coordinator for authorization. Please hand in completed request forms to Frau Peschke in C4-225.
Each request will be considered individually by a committee of department members once per semester. Due dates for submission are the 1st April and 1st October each year. After the approval of the stay abroad, the student is still required to fulfill the other requirements of the module (i.e. the report; see the guidelines for this below).

At Bielefeld University confirmation of a stay abroad is the first step to fulfilling the requirement of the Internationalisierung module, which is worth 10 CP (credit points). To complete the module, students must write a 3,600 word report, reflecting on the experience as well as showing the greater depth of cultural awareness they have obtained; see the guidelines below. This paper is to be handed in and judged acceptable by a member of staff in the English Section. An agreement must be reached before the stay abroad between the supervisor of the internationalization report and the student as regards due date, length of time needed for reading and any other issues or formalities the supervisor deems necessary. The following form for the Internationalisierung module must be completed and handed in together with the report. For more detailed information about the module as well as its requirements and expectations click on the following link: Internationalisierung - Studieninformation. Module coordinator: Dr. Vivian Gramley v.gramley@uni-bielefeld.de.

A guide to scholarships for studying abroad and other helpful information can be found on the GAES (DAAD) website if you click on this link: .


Guidelines for the Internationalization Report

The following suggestions are provided to guide students in writing their reports for the Internationalization module. They are not given in order of importance, nor are they to be regarded as tests of knowledge to be answered correctly or incorrectly, but are intended to assist students in reflecting on their experiences during their internships or stays abroad. It is crucial that this report is not written as a journal or diary documenting daily experiences. Instead, it should be a means for students to reflect on their experiences from a critical and informed perspective, demonstrating that they have fulfilled the module's requirements. For more detail on these expectations and requirements, again see Internationalisierung - Studieninformation.

  • Give a brief overview of your experience abroad (max. ½ page)
  • Reflect on your English language progress from the beginning of your stay to the end of it. Give concrete examples of how you felt your language developed.
  • Reflect on the theories of language learning you have learned about and how your own language acquisition process may have confirmed or contradicted the ideas or hypotheses of these theories.
  • Discuss your expectations about the people and culture you were involved with. Reflect on how these expectations may have been confirmed or contradicted by your experience.
    • What stands out in your mind as the most salient example of how you gained awareness of self and other through your experience?
    • What would you describe as a moment that made you more culturally aware, either about your own culture, or the one that you spent time in?
  • Reflect on how the experiences you had may have an influence your future career.
    • For example, discuss how your understandings of the foreign language culture may influence the way you teach pupils about the country you visited.
  • Reflect on your relationships and/or cooperation with friends/colleagues/classmates/host family and how these influenced you.
  • Describe an eye-opening moment that left an impression on you. This may include an epiphany about the foreign language, your own language, the foreign culture, your own culture, your own personality, etc.

The language of this report must be coherent, effective and accurate. Any report that shows major weaknesses in the language should not be accepted by the supervisor. All reports in these modules are evaluated with either bestanden or nicht bestanden. A report judged to have been nicht bestanden must be rewritten by the student and resubmitted to the supervisor. Only upon successful completion and acceptance of the report will the allocated 10 CP be granted.