What is internationalization at home?
This is an important question and happens to be the title of chapter 1.1.1 in a research article by Leasa Weimer, David Hoffman and Anni Silvonen published in 2019. Their publication, Internationalisation at Home in Finnish Higher Education Institutions and Research Institutes, addresses a need to understand how international contacts, communication and collaboration can be made an integral part of a higher education institution.
According to the aforementioned publication, the term internationalization at home (IAH) is relatively new and used in 1998 to refer to “intentional intercultural learning between domestic and international students”. Researchers have then pursued to develop the definition of IAH to differentiate it from traditional internationalization, e,g. in the form of exchange programmes like Erasmus in the EU, as well as include formal and informal aspects. Weimer et al. (2019, 19) give their reader a checklist of key elements of IAH:
– Offers all students global perspectives in their program of study;
− IAH elements are systematically integrated into compulsory curriculum;
− International and/or intercultural perspectives are included in learning outcomes;
− Classroom diversity is integrated into learning;
− Opportunities for informal co-curricular activities to engage with international perspectives (both on campus and in the local community);
− Opportunities for international virtual mobility;
− Purposeful engagement of and with international students; and
− All staff (including international officers, teachers, administrative
staff, and university leadership) support IAH practices (Jones & Reiffenrath 2018).