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New survey on ‘Global Mindedness’: the before and after of studying abroad

The Finnish Centre for International Mobility (CIMO) is about to launch a new survey to measure the attitudes of tertiary education students during a study abroad period, and the way these attitudes change. In short: how students think about ‘difference‘ and how they engage with it. The survey has been developed together with Professor Vanessa Andreotti de Oliveira from the University of Oulu and her research team.

The aim of the survey is to gain more profound knowledge on the effects of an international experience at individual level and will provide us with information on the impacts of international education. The Global Mindedness (GM) instrument is based on a distinction between three different ways in which individuals can think about and engage with ‘difference’. These are referred to as ‘dispositions’, in particular dispositions of Tourism, Empathy and Visiting. Unlike ‘competencies’, dispositions do not guarantee behavioural patterns. The distinction between the three dispositions was originally developed by Professor Gert Biesta and based on ideas from the philosopher Hannah Arendt. The GM instrument suggests that we carry all three dispositions with us at all times and when faced with ‘difference’, a combination of dispositions manifests itself. The GM instrument makes it possible to assess which combination of dispositions is available to individuals. It also makes it possible to map changes in available dispositions over time.

At this first pilot stage, the survey is targeted to outgoing students in Finnish Higher Education Institutions. Students will take two surveys: one before and one after their international experience. In the first survey they will answer 21 questions assessing their global mindedness and a set of socio-demographic questions. In the second survey they will answer the same 21 questions again and a selection of questions that evaluate the impact of their international experience.

The first pilot phase of the survey opened this month. First results should be available early 2014, after the respondents have returned home.

For more information about the survey please contact Ms Irma Garam at CIMO