BIP_2023 – Educating Children to the Love of Nature
Apor organised its International BIP (Blended Intensive Programme) Week between 14 and 21 April. Its central topic, Educating Children to the Love of Nature, attracted partakers from many countries: 26 international students and lecturers arrived from different HEIs in Poland, Romania and Slovakia; Erasmus students from Estonia and Spain studying at our college as well as our Hungarian students also took part in the week. Together with the lecturers of workshops, a total of 40 people participated. The objective of the week was to share insights, suggestions and experiences on how to relate to the created world; in what ways we can educate pre- and primary schoolers about the love and responsible stewardship of nature. The week-long programme started with an online day where participants dealt with the different aspects of nature, focusing on its beautiful diversity and also today’s threatening factors in the framework of simultaneous cooperative group work using Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and a variety of online resources and applications. The five-day in-person part contained lectures on the merits of outdoor education, interactive music and storytelling workshops and group activities aimed at developing creative and cooperative skills. Highlighted events were the themed tour to Vácrátót Botanical Garden and the school visits to different Budapest educational institutions. According to the feedback from the participants, the week significantly contributed to the students’ professional development, and successfully facilitated the building of friendships.
QuILL Project – Quality in Language Learning
Cooperation with Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary
The QuILL project objectives are to provide higher education language lecturers with skills to identify, assess, use, create digital and ICT based language teaching sources, and to provide decision makers and policy makers with the information and skills to enhance the implementation of digital and ICT based language teaching sources and method in the higher education systems. The Hungarian contractual partner of the Project is Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church. As an associated partner, Apor Vilmos Catholic College participates in promoting exchange of experience and expertise during and after the project, contributes to the exploitation and sustainability of the project results.
A Christmas Party was organised by the Department of Foreign Languages and the International Office on 6 December 2022. The gospel-based Christmas Story accompanied with a slide-show of contemporary Hungarian paintings was told by catechist-pastoral assistant students; kindergarten education students sang German winter songs and performed a shadow play-sound story adaptation of Sterntaler (The Star Money); students of the English language exam preparatory course rendered the dramatized story of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Carol-singing, the traditional apple cider and an agape meal helped all to experience the fellowship of students and staff. And we were happy that Santa Claus brought us gifts and winter cheer!
Photo: Nagy Sándor
An International Café was organised by the International Office and the Department of Foreign Languages on 16 November 2022. Students and staff heard the colourful accounts of students, teachers and co-workers’ mobilities in the year 2021-2022 and the sharing of good practice experienced in various host institutions. Enthusiastic students related the events of the first BIP (Blended Intensive Programme) Week, and teachers reviewed the spring Erasmus Semester of 2022. Beside the various mobility programmes, the College offers courses which aims at developing intercultural competences – just like the intercultural game at the end to the Café.
Photo: Nagy Sándor
BIP_2022 – Intercultural Dialogue through Stories
1 April (online day), 4-8 April (in-person programme in Vác)
AVCC organised a short-term blended intensive programme (BIP), which consisted of a five-day workshop with physical presence in Vác (4-8 April) preceded by a day of virtual learning (1 April). The colourful and interactive programme focused on the theme of Intercultural Dialogue through Stories.
The aim of the programme was to enhance students’ awareness of the values represented by their own institutions, local regions, traditions and cultures, to better understand and appreciate the cultural identity of others by way of differentiated workshop tasks, cultural visits and activities centred around a wealth of stories.
The week hopefully contributed to the personal and professional development of the students through creative and collaborative exercises and learning activities outside the classroom.
Photo: Egyedné Simon Valéria
International Week at Apor Vilmos Catholic College 12-16 April 2021
AVCC organised its traditional spring International Week focusing on Creativity, Critical Thinking, Cooperation and Communication. Due to the pandemic the programme was held online attracting students from Belgium, the UK, Germany and Poland.
Monday was, as usual, a welcome day when participants got acquainted, heard about the BA and MA programmes from the host students and about life at our college. They got a foretaste of the Wednesday workshops, and were given special assignments to deal with on the next day. On Tuesday the students gathered in international groups and worked on their projects. Our Belgian and Polish Erasmus students also took their share in managing the programme of the Week as mentor students.
On the online workshop day of Wednesday the floor was open for interactive talks on a variety of topics, such as the role of family narratives shaping identity; imitation, invention and innovation in contemporary Hungarian literature; social integration of Dutch and Polish immigrants in Hungary; the origin, meaning and use of English and Hungarian proverbs. We could also get a glimpse of the English language education in Transcarpathian Beregszász. Thursday morning was allocated for more group work, and in the afternoon, the students presented their online products based on the workshop topics. The creative approaches of the students, the use of drama, rhythm, animation and the resourceful implementation of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences made the final session of the week a fun and colourful event.
The virtual Week was also a technical challenge. Google Classroom was the common platform of the Week, which provided opportunities both for plenary and parallel sessions. Students could work in virtual discussion groups, had access to materials under the headings of the workshops. Other online tools like Padlet, QUIZIZZ etc. and a wealth of materials shared all helped to bridge the difficulties of virtual communication.
An International Week is always a meeting point. A hilarious Welcome Evening, a Hungarian scones-baking Cook with Katie, the Budapest cultural programmes on Tuesday night as well as the group work offered opportunities for international students to enjoy themselves, mix with others and lay the foundations of future professional relationships.
Erasmus+ Semester February-April 2021
In the spring semester of the academic year of 2020/21 AVCC had international students from Belgium and Poland. A peculiarity of the term was that it was carried out during the lockdown; the whole semester was held online. Though both teachers and students missed the face-to-face contact, teachers appreciated that the students were always attentively present despite their personal problems (e.g. quarantine). The openness of the students, their readiness for discussions helped to overcome the challenges and difficulties posed by online education. Teachers could even take advantage of online education when applying team teaching. As, despite the lockdown, our Belgian and Polish students chose to stay in Budapest, they had the opportunity to meet other Erasmus students, and they were resourceful in planning different outdoor programmes. In the International Week the Erasmus students took part as mentors to the other participants. The Erasmus courses were also offered for the Hungarian students as optional courses, and according to their feedback, it was really beneficial for them as well.
Learning, Invention and Creativity: Rethinking Local and Global Education
Online International Conference organised by Apor Vilmos Catholic College and the University of Winchester
On 11 March 2021 Apor Vilmos Catholic College together with the University of Winchester organised an online international conference entitled Learning, Invention and Creativity: Rethinking Local and Global Education on Teams. The objective of the conference was to provide a platform for European educational institutions to discuss topical issues, to share good practice and innovative methodological approach and to strengthen international relationships. A good number of the lectures in the field of local and global education focused on the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic – among others, the expansion of hybrid and online education, the difficulties in students’ practical training and the rise of virtual forms among international projects.
Lecturers and students of teacher training schools, heads of foundation educational institutions gave compelling presentations from different European countries. Hungarian (from Hungary and Transcarpathia), British, Belgian, Danish delegates shared their research results and experiences relevant to the topic encouraging the international audience to collective reflection. Based on the feedbacks, the conference has proved successful offering a varied and meaningful programme.
Every year since 2015 a project week is organised in Winchester as a part of the Winchester Tale Project based on two optional courses (Storytelling Course, Art and Craft Drama Course).
This year with the support of two teachers – Ágnes Bethlenfalvyné dr. Sreitmann in the preparation phase and Andrea Székely both before and during the project week – a group of five students – Eszter Boros, Krisztina Juhász, Eszter Kovács, Ágota Marczin and Katalin Ritz – travelled to the UK.
We should inform you that due to the present situation caused by the spread of the Coronavirus, Apor Vilmos Catholic College has decided to cancel the International Week planned to be held in April (20th-24th). Actually, we cancel it only for the spring term, and we would like to hold it in the autumn term of the next academic year. We hope that until then everything goes back to normal again, and we can meet in Vác.
Agnes Streitmann PhD
Head of the International Office
Apor Vilmos Catholic College
Rector’s official letter
March 11, 2020
Information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
In light of the fact, that on 4th March, 2020 the new CoVid-19 has verifiably reached Hungary as well, the following provisions and recommendations were issued:
Józsefné Libor, PhD
This academic year the autumn meeting of the Comenius Association (CA) was organized by the University College of Teacher Education Styria in Graz. AVCC was represented by Agnes Streitmann, vice rector for intercultural affairs, and Bill McBrayer, lecturer at the Department of Foreign Languages.
On 30 September Jacob Clausen, a lecturer from University College Copenhagen gave a talk on Social Education and the role of pedagogues in Denmark.