Internationalization as a tool for intercultural learning

Alma Eduwigis Rangel García

The teacher Alma Eduwigis Rangel García is the coordinator of Internationalization of CULagos. One of her main functions lies in managing international agreements with different higher education institutions. In this matter, she is currently working on details with the University of South Brittany, with which she seeks to renew the collaboration program; with the University of Crete, in Greece, she is working with a view to participating jointly in the Erasmus Plus program; and with Akita College in Japan, who wish to offer academic stays for postgraduate degrees (it is worth mentioning that the contact with Akita College was made possible thanks to Dr. Eduardo Carabes, who graduated from CULagos with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering, and now works professionally in this institution); all this, promoted from our university center to consolidate the collaboration of the University of Guadalajara at an international level.

About his work, which he carries out with remarkable passion and deep commitment, he tells us: “The internationalization of higher education arose as a need for complement, because as individuals from the same environment we tend to see what is ours, and it is not just of it, but of seeing beyond, and understanding everything that we can learn and transmit culturally, is what motivates me”.

Another of the tasks of this coordination is to help students, academics and administrative workers expand their intercultural skills. For this, the teacher Alma Rangel disseminates the calls that grant the possibility of carrying out academic mobility to other countries. In addition to promoting internationalization at home, she carries out activities in which students and teachers who return from their mobility transfer their knowledge and cultural learning to the university community, since internationalization goes beyond mobility.

One of the tools used for this purpose is the CULagos sin Fronteras radio section, broadcast on Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. on Radio Universidad de Guadalajara in Lagos de Moreno, in which everyone is invited to find out what they can do in an internationalization program, and explained that her work is mainly focused on the faculty, however, students have also approached her to request guidance in the paperwork process. Another of her tasks consists of collaborating with the Coordination of Academic Services and Tutoring to receive students from other countries and accompany them in the process of incorporation into academic activities.

The promotion strategies used by the teacher Alma Rangel seek to reach the community more effectively: “At the beginning of the semester we talk to the students about internationalization and why it is important, how the University of Guadalajara incorporates internationalization strategies to face the changes that globalization brings; For the UIV we are preparing the Internationalization Seminar, an event in which we intend that academics, administrators and students know what we can do through an academic stay, how to incorporate strategies into our study plans, internationalize our curriculum, etc”.

The teacher is currently working on the PROFIC (Professional Development in Intercultural Competence in Higher Education Institutions) project, which arose from the idea of ​​what happens to the competencies that are acquired from having carried out academic mobility, which is why it is focused on the development of intercultural competences: “it is about detecting the needs and making an analysis within our university center; now we are in the development phase of ten Latin American and European institutions to provide intercultural skills to both teachers and students”, she explains.

The teacher Alma Rangel studied the degree in International Commerce, at the University of Guanajuato; and the master’s degree in Education, at the University of La Salle Bajío. She has completed diplomas in the teaching of English, as well as in international cooperation; She also works as an English language and literature teacher.