Introduction to the International Classroom

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This module introduces key concepts that are fundamental to international programmes in higher education and are relevant to teaching and learning in a multilingual and multicultural learning space, that is, a diverse educational setting where students and their lecturers have different first languages and cultural backgrounds.

The module first introduces and discusses the conceptual underpinnings for the whole EQUiiP programme. Based on these underpinnings, participants are asked to identify and discuss the current state of affairs regarding the internationalisation of programmes in their own higher education institution.

In the second part of the workshop, and based on participants’ existing experience, they then describe opportunities and challenges when offering and teaching international programmes. They then move on to discuss possible solutions to the tensions they have identified.

In this way, the module moves from the internationalisation of higher education in general (the ‘big’ picture) to the concrete situation in participants’ own local contexts.

This Introduction to the International Classroom provides the foundation for the following four modules in the full EQUiiP programme. It aims to create a shared understanding of the interrelatedness of the conceptual underpinnings as well as their application in internationalised programmes and in the concrete context of teaching and learning in international classrooms.

The module is intended as the first of altogether five such units in the EQUiiP Certification Programme for educational developers, but may also be organised as a stand-alone one-day workshop for a wider audience.

In the full EQUiiP programme, participants will have the opportunity to apply the content of this workshop to the issues described in their own cases. Part of this application takes place in the workshops on Feedback & Reflective Processes.

If this module is a stand-alone one-day workshop, there are further resources that facilitate participants’ application of the content to their own local contexts.

Target group

The target groups for this module are educational developers (EDs) as well as senior staff such as directors of study, course coordinators, and other leadership team members responsible for international programmes in their higher education institutions.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this module, participants should have raised their awareness of the factors characterising the international classroom and should be able to:

  • Describe the key concepts introduced;
  • Identify different forms of and conditions for internationalisation within their own higher education institutions;
  • Describe opportunities and challenges in the international classroom and begin to take them into account in their own local contexts;
  • Explain the meaning and interrelatedness of the key educational, cultural, and linguistic factors characterising the international classroom.


If this module is organised as the first of five in the full EQUiiP Certification Programme, it may be completed as a workshop within 4.5 hours (3 x 1.5 hours + preparation).

It may also be organised as a stand-alone workshop with (preferably) 2 x 3 hours. This timeframe will allow the facilitator to include some of the further resources in the workshop and wrap it up in an appropriate fashion.


In the right-hand menu you will find a thematic introduction to this module, suggested preparation, and workshop activities, including videos to be used for introduction and wrap up. At the bottom of the menu, you will also find further resources and suggested further reading.

Watch the introductory video Designing and Teaching Inclusive International Programme