As a lecturer in a relatively new university, Elena Luptak was interested in going abroad in order to see how other institutions organised their courses. ‘I found it helpful to think about new ways of doing things and I gained a better overview of systems and approaches that were used abroad. I was also able to bring back new ideas that we could use at the university.’
For her, travel had always been seen as an important part of student life. However this is not always how students see their degree studies. ‘To make it a normal part of students’ experience, it has to be supported and refreshed regularly.’ To help dance students get the most from their experience abroad, two students ‘one with stronger technical expertise and one with more artistic expertise’ are selected to travel each year. Exchanges also benefit those who do not go abroad, as returning students bring a different perspective to their studies, which enhances everyone’s learning.
As well as organising student exchanges, she has developed extensive contacts in other universities. ‘This is an important part of my university life. It is interesting to meet new colleagues and students and I look forward to the time when this is seen as normal.’
Konservatorium Wien University, Austria (Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität, Österreich)
Dance teacher and Erasmus Department Coordinator