‘When life throws lemon at you, make a lemonade” is a popular motivational saying that inspires one to make the best out of an unpleasant situation. The Bachelor of Psychology programme at Taylor’s University did as the quote. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and borders where closed, student exchange opportunities came to a halt. To continue the internationalization deed, the Global Classroom Project was initiated. This program was aimed to provide students with intercultural engagement. During the August 2021 semester, three Universities across the globe, namely Leeds Trinity University in the United Kingdom, University of Opole in Poland along with Taylor’s University undertook the Global Classroom project where students from the three universities, taking the module Cross-cultural Psychology, attended classes together and worked on projects together.
It was indeed an enriching experience for both the lecturers and students as the lecturers had experience teaching in an international classroom and students experienced learning in different types of classrooms, without actually going anywhere. All classes were conducted via Microsoft Teams and all communications were done via the online platform. The lecturers Dr. Lim Hooi Shan from Taylor’s University, Dr. Laura De Pretto from Leeds Trinity University and Dr. Dariuz Krok from University of Opole along with the key people from the university’s International Placement Offices, Mr. Tung Seng Foo, Center for Academic Programme Management, Taylor’s University; Ms. Maia Sule, International Placement and Study Abroad Officer, Leeds Trinity University; and Mrs. Halina, Department for Scientific Research and International Relations made this Global Classroom initiative possible and a success.
On the whole, this Global Classroom project enabled peer-to-peer global learning and intercultural engagement for students without having to travel and it improved student’s understanding on how same discipline and concepts are approached in different cultural context and legislative framework. This experience also fostered staffs and students to develop personal relationships among each other, broadening their network. In addition to these students also had the opportunity to develop their communicative abilities. The Bachelor of Psychology programme aspires to continue this initiative through various other collaboration with various other prominent universities to enrich student learning and experience.
As the saying goes ‘The true strength in our classroom lies in the collaboration of learners, not in the knowledge of one expert’ - anonymous.