Third space: evaluating a pilot

Third space: evaluating a pilot

Team members: Lorena Georgiadou, Alette Willis, John Harries, Johanna Holtan


Recognising the value of intercultural experiences for student overall learning, the University of Edinburgh is developing new opportunities for travelling, working and studying abroad. Committed to transforming student feedback into practice, the Edinburgh University Student Association, in collaboration with the Institute for Academic Development, has invited students and academic and support services staff from various disciplines to provide input into a project helping students make the most of those opportunities.

As a result, the Third Space Pilot has been developed: a set of workshops and activities supporting students before, during and upon return from living abroad. At a weekend retreat prior to departure, a group of 40 undergraduate students will be introduced to ideas of intercultural engagement and self-reflexivity. These students will be provided with a physical and online 'toolbox' of activities to take with them; upon return, this group will participate in a Welcome Home Conference', where they will exchange experiences and knowledge with peers and staff.

This pioneering endeavour runs for the first time in 2014-2015 and the team wishes to evaluate its impact and identify ways in which the Third Space can be developed into an ongoing, student-led project.

By inviting students in a researcher-participant role, we aim to capture their experiences prior to departure and upon their return; this will feed directly into enhancing the design of Third Space and its resources. We also aim to actively engage students in the project's development and management to ensure its sustainability and promote student initiative and learning.

Final Project Report

You can download the final project report below:

Third Space: Evaluating a Pilot (PDF)