Guidelines for visitors
GUIDELINES FOR A SUCCESSFUL PLACEMENT
The placing of an experienced person into a new situation for a specific period of planned work can be a powerful tool for learning - both by the visitor and the host organisation. But work placements should be carefully planned and cared for, as otherwise they can be a waste of time, money and personal commitment.
The Gulliver's Connect programme is a flexible work place learning framework aiming to facilitate
international co-operation assumes that both hosts and visitors are competent, experienced and responsible for their own actions. However, as a guideline, this checklist has been devised as a sort of aid for visitors and hosts. Use it if it suits you. It is based on the experience of previous Gulliver's Connect programmes of the past twelve years and includes elements of valuable practice.
Why do you want to do it ?
Be clear about your motivation. What is your driving force ?
Is it only for economical reasons or is it to get away from your own country for a while ?
Or are there other motivations: for improving your knowledge, experience, skills for example. Be clear to yourself and to others. Both hosts and visitors should be open towards this learning experience.
What do you want to do ?
The project can be simple and open-ended (learn new skills ? inject a breath of fresh air into the office ?) or be specific (learn new marketing techniques?). The aims should be practical and clear from the start or there is a risk of disappointment.
Which skills are necessary ? and which are not ?
Be clear about the languages you speak. Permanent communication is the main pont for a successful placement.
How will the new learning occur ?
There are ways to learn: by watching someone else, by doing formally taught, by doing the task itself. For each type, someone must check with the learner to verify what has been learned and what is still unclear. The learner should set targets to know when learning has occurred. This may be a long process which takes time to unfold.
When will the learning take place ?
The placement should have a clear beginning, middle and end. In the beginning the visitor needs time to learn about the organisation and vice-versa. Once this is done, the practical work can take root. Be specific about hours, days off and conditions of the work. At the end of the placement an evaluation of some sort should take place, by both the visitor and the host, leading to a feeling that something worthwhile has been completed. It might be good for the two sides to describe a follow-up plan.
Don't stop communicating !
The biggest problems arise from miscommunication and wrong assumptions.
Decide in advance what to do if ... ?
If things go wrong, if there is an emergency, if the visitor or the host decides to stop, etc.