A meeting to talk about their arrival in Pisa, about university life far away from their home countries, and to generate suggestions and proposals for how to improve their mobility experience in Italy was held at the central administration building, Palazzo Vitelli. The meeting was organized for the students who arrived in Pisa in the month of September, in the framework of the KA 107 Project, the Erasmus+ program that extends the Erasmus experience ‘beyond Europe’, to the wider world. Prof. Katherine Isaacs, National EHEA expert, who has promoted Erasmus projects for many years, took part in the meeting, as did the personnel of the ‘International Programs’ Office who work closely with the KA107 students and their home universities in order to organize the mobility and make it fruitful.
This year 29 students came to Pisa, mostly from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Lao, Cambodia, Morocco, Egypt, Serbia and Israel, some to attend second cycle (MA) courses taught in English (particularly in Economics) and others, PhD students, in order to develop their research projects with the help of a tutor in various departments.
The Erasmus+ KA 107 mobility, which the University of Pisa has promoted actively since 2015 (the year this kind of mobility became possible), is organized annually in two-year projects, which in part overlap. The first project (2015-17) closed last summer; at present the International Programs Office (Unità Programmi Internazionali di Cooperazione, Formazione e Mobilità) is busy implementing the following two projects (2016-18 and 2017-19). The latter has been approved by the National Erasmus+ Agency with several new ‘partner countries’ and many opportunities for mobility: 100 in all, including both incoming (students of all three cycles and staff) and outgoing.
In addition to our consolidated partners in East and Central Asia (such as Lao, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Mongolia), and our closer neighbors in Egypt, Morocco and Serbia, the 2017-19 project, which begins now, includes countries such as Georgia, Thailand, Ethiopia and Tunisia, providing not only new opportunities for students and staff from these countries, but also novel possibilities for University of Pisa staff to teach there.