Study and Work Away Service

Benefits of going abroad

Consider the potential benefits and outcomes of a staff mobility experience.

79% of staff believ that they have gained skills relevant to their current job and professional development

What are the benefits?

A staff mobility activity is a great way to pick up new ideas and practices, develop skills in your field, and build and develop international relationships.  

The knowledge and experience gained can help your own personal and professional development.  It may help you develop skills in your field, increase your intercultural understanding, and help to create international networks

The knowledge gained from your experience can be shared with colleagues and students, and can be key to motivating students to study or work abroad.  

You might find it helpful to consider the potential benefits to you individually as well as to your team and to the wider University:

Possible benefits for the participant

  • Networking opportunities, exchange of expertise and experience
  • Learn and share new ideas/practices/teaching methods 
  • Get feedback on my own ideas
  • Find answers to question and solutions to problems
  • Gain access to useful resources

Possible benefits for the wider team / University

  • Suggest new or improved processes and techniques that will increase team productivity/efficiency improvements/cost savings
  • Share helpful resources, knowledge and experience with team members
  • Introduce team members to useful contacts
  • Increased external awareness of the University of Edinburgh through communicating with outside parties
  • Opportunities to partner or collaborate with other institutions may be created
  • Improved understanding of the benefits of international activity which inspire students to undertake international experiences
  • Gain a greater understanding of the needs and concerns of international students and staff 

Know your aims and objectives

For your staff mobility activity to be valuable, you should carefully consider the purpose of your visit and what you intend to achieve. 

The following examples may be helpful to you when considering the potential outcomes of a teaching or training visit:

Possible objectives of teaching mobility

  • Learn more about the partners' pedagogic practices, teaching methodologies, curricula and student assessment criteria
  • Prepare a joint paper/article/chapter of publication
  • Prepare an international joint event (e.g. conference, congress, workshop)
  • Initiate a new curriculum development
  • Implement new/innovative teaching methods
  • Establish joint supervision of Masters/PhD students

Possible objectives of training mobility

  • Implement/share new or innovative working methods
  • Create new or improved procedures/guidelines
  • Produce a benchmarking report or set of recommendations on a given subject
  • Establish direct channels to address known administrative or technical issues between Edinburgh and a partner institution
  • Gather information about a partner institution and its facilities for students
  • Increase student mobility flows, investigate student mobility opportunities
97% of staff say they have reinforced or extended their professional network or have made new contacts

Consider your development needs

Before planning your visit, you must be clear about your personal and professional needs, how a staff mobility experience activity can contribute to them, and how you intend to use your learning. 

The University's Learning and Development team within HR has some useful tools on its website that can help you identify your development needs and plan your development.

Online development toolkit

Planning your development