EMJMD in Food Innovation and Product Design - FIPDes is the 1st course created to tackle the global challenges of food innovation along with product design and packaging. The Consortium is composed by Université Paris Saclay and AgroParisTech - France, Technological University Dublin - Ireland, University of Naples Federico II - Italy, Lund University - Sweden
Author: Isabelle Laissy, AgroParisTech International Officer and EMJM FIPDes Project Manager. See contributors page
In the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, the EMJM FIPDes decided to postpone the academic year 2020-2021 of one year. In order to keep contact with the selected students and to keep them motivated, as they had to wait one year before starting the programme, the Consortium has developed online activities.
Two main online activities were created and kept for the following intakes as they were identified as good practice both by students and teachers:
- Intercultural workshops
- French lessons
Both activities are also planned on the students’ schedule in face-to-face classes during the first semester.
In the online intercultural workshops, the teachers use ice-breaking activities that allows the students to get acquainted and build relationships even before they meet in real at the beginning of the programme. The workshops are also the opportunity to discover the cultures of the different home countries of the students and to discover more about Europe and France especially as it is the first country of their mobility programme. It helps them also to soften the cultural shock the might get when they arrive in France. They also have a privileged contact with the teachers who can help them before arrival and during the semester. As they already have had a virtual contact with them, it is then easier to talk to them once they are face-to-face. The main difficulty for organizing this activity are the time zones. The students are coming from all over the world and some of them are working, so it is tough to find a schedule that suits to everyone. However, usually students are trying their best to attend this workshops even if they are at work or if it is the middle of the night for them.
For the French lessons, students are divided in two groups, according to their knowledge of the language – beginners and non-beginners. It is really helpful for them to learn some French or to refresh their knowledge before arrival. The students are less stressed and feel more comfortable. Having French classes before the start of the programme also allows to alleviate the schedule of the first semester which is also very tight.
We encourage joint programmes to organize this kind of activities, especially if you have students coming from all over the world, but not only. You will save time at the beginning of the semester and it will help you to run the programme smoothly.