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Erasmus+ short-term programme "Total Immersion Week - Advanced Regional and Transversal Skills" celebrates its fifth anniversary in Spain

Pan-European Blended Intensive Program (BIP) initiated by TH AB in 2022 successfully hosted in Andalusia with the participation of eight TH AB students

From 19 to 23 February, the "Blended Total Immersion Week – Advanced Regional and Transversal Skills" compulsory elective module (FWPM) took place for the fifth time as part of the new Erasmus+ initiative "Blended Intensive Programme (BIP)". This time it was held at the Facultad de Ciencas Económicas y Empresariales of the TH-AB partner university Universidad de Málaga (UMA) in Spain. Málaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol, the second largest city in Andalusia and is well on the way to becoming the European Silicon Valley.

Almost 30 students from Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences and its partner universities in Spain (Universidad de Málaga), France (University of South Brittany), Finland (Turku UAS) and Sweden (Mid Sweden University) took part in the programme. It was designed by Mariano Soler-Porta from the UMA and co-organized by Prof. Dr. Renate Link from the TH AB as the initiator of this FWPM-BIP. Professor Link is delighted that the eight selected participants with the best letters of motivation from the TH Aschaffenburg are enrolled in four different degree programs in the Faculty of Business and Law.

  • Cyber Security Center

  • BeSoccer

  • Andalucía Open Future Hub

  • Cloud Coachers

  • Vodafone

Expert analysis of five technological challenges faced by Andalusian technology companies and exclusive insights

The motto of the project week was "Tech Challenge". During this BIP, students from business administration courses of study learned more about advanced technologies that are currently available to companies on the market. They experienced the innovative spirit of Málaga at first hand. The students did not need any previous knowledge of technology or engineering before taking part. In fact, the programme was specifically designed for business students who are interested in and willing to take on technological challenges. This allowed participants to broaden their transversal knowledge, which is a key function of Erasmus+ BIPs.

First, the students were asked to develop a business plan for a fictitious company. Over the course of the week, they received background knowledge on working on the Tech Challenges in speeches by lecturers from all five consortium universities. The presentations were precisely adapted to the five Tech Challenges set by Andalusian technology companies. Each of these five challenges included a company visit or guest lecture on the campus of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics at UMA, where company representatives introduced their business models and current challenges. The Andalusian business players involved were the Vodafone Innovation Hub, the Centro de Ciberseguridad de Andalucía, La Farola (Andalucía Open Future Hub), Cloud Coachers (Marketing Cloud/Salesforce) and BeSoccer.

Working in multicultural teams, the students faced one of the five technological challenges almost every day and had to write down their ideas on the same day. At the end of the week, they were invited by lottery to present their solutions in a pitch.

Holistic promotion of technical, intercultural and language skills

Professor Link's BIP concept of "total immersion" included pre- and post-study online phases, lectures, excursions to companies and international project work, as well as activities that supported cultural and linguistic exchange. With this in mind, the programme was supplemented by a taster course in Spanish and various cultural excursions. From a flamenco crash course and a visit to a Spanish wine cellar to a tour of the Picasso Museum and an excursion to the Moorish fortress and palace complex Alcazaba, there were numerous opportunities for the students to experience Andalusian culture and apply what they had learned in the Spanish taster course.

  • Plaza de la Constitución in Málaga

  • Flamenco Workshop

Another blended intensive programme of this type in December 2024: application possible from autumn 2024

The next BIP is already just around the corner and, after stops in Sweden, Finland, France and Spain, will return to the TH Aschaffenburg from December 2 to 6, 2024, where it celebrated its purely virtual premiere in March 2022 due to the pandemic. From 2025, the BIP will revisit one of the four other consortium universities in Finland, France, Sweden and Spain. Talks are also currently underway to include a fourth foreign consortium partner in Eastern Europe.

Students at TH AB can have their participation in the Total Immersion BIPs recognised as a compulsory elective module (p. 157ff.) and credited towards the additional qualification BW/BWR with an international profile“

Further information on the current Total Immersion BIP and a story with testimonials from participants can be found at our website.