Last Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Learners International: International Learning Opportunities

Tags: Languages

What is this?

​This is a guide to the opportunities available and the benefits that international engagement can bring in delivering equity and excellence across the curriculum.

Who is this for?

​This resource will support practitioners working across lifelong learning who are interested in embedding international experience in their practice. It demonstrates how an international dimension supports the delivery of equity and excellence across the curriculum and motivates staff and learners.

How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice?

The case studies and videos will show you how other centres have embedded a range of international experiences. The links will lead you to support from the British Council and other agencies, to allow you to set up international links for your centre or simply for your class. More information on a wide range of funded partnership opportunities and classroom resources to support international engagement can be found on the British Council: Schools Online site and in the downloads section below. The links and support are designed to be used by schools, colleges and those engaged in supporting learning in the community. For schools, international engagement is an entitlement and part of broad general education.

Reflective Questions

  • Do you know how to contact international teachers and learners to support your own practice and open up new learning opportunities?
  • Are you aware of the research that shows how international engagement can support excellence and equity ?
  • Do you know about the support available for building international links to support your learners and your own professional development?
  • Would you be confident in encouraging learners to work together online and share their resources with international partners working on similar learning tasks and activities?
  • Have you thought about embedding an international education activity across the curriculum for all of your centre's learners?


PDF file: Simple ways that you can embed international activity (189 KB)

Word file: An example checklist to support planning and evaluation (1.4 MB)

PDF File: A summary of the Scottish Government Strategy for International Engagement (211 KB)

Useful links to support you in developing your international activity

Disclaimer These links and suggestions are not a comprehensive overview of all the activities and resources that are available to you nor of the published research around the benefits of international activity. Nor are they a recommendation to adopt a particular approach.

PDF file: Key links supporting international activity

Word file: Links around Global Citizenship, Human Rights, Sustainability and general teacher support for International Engagement

Word file: Links for language teaching, online communities and sources of useful research for International Engagement

Case studies

Cowcaddens Primary - Using eTwinning

Battlefield Primary - Using eTwinning

St Charles Primary School - Using eTwinning

Bannerman High School - Global Citizenship

St Rochs Secondary School - Using eTwinning

Explore this resource

The issues we face in Scotland are not unique and many of the challenges we face are similar to those faced by learners and educators all around the world.

International engagement involves learning about other countries:

  • their cultures
  • education systems
  • languages
  • the global themes of interest to us all
  • through forming a partnership with educational establishments abroad and/or being involved in global learning programmes.

The aim of the partnerships are:

  • to improve knowledge and skills across curriculum areas
  • to challenge stereotypes and prejudices
  • to make learners aware of the possibilities that exist for learning and work outside Scotland.

International activity allows learners to understand Scotland and its place in the world. Partnerships allow those involved the opportunity to share ideas in pedagogy and the space to reflect on their own practice; and in so doing, improve the quality of learning and teaching. Partnerships can be developed digitally or can also involve face to face meetings between staff and/or learners.

There is a wealth of research that shows international experience develops learners, teachers and schools . In terms of Excellence and Equity and Transforming Learning.

Benefits for learners

  • Contributes towards improved reading, writing, communication and language skills
  • Improves the performance and engagement of under-achieving learners
  • Enhances skills that are relevant in a global economy
  • Helps improve motivation
  • Develops core ICT skills
  • Raises awareness and understanding of different cultures and religions.

Benefits for teachers

  • An important method of professional development
  • Improves confidence in the classroom and develops leadership skills
  • Can help improve behaviour of learners in class
  • Improves stimulation through refreshed content and resources
  • Promotes knowledge of other countries and cultures
  • Improves knowledge of global development.

Benefits for schools

  • Helps reduce the performance gap amongst pupils
  • Builds professional capacity in schools
  • Makes the curriculum more stimulating and improves ethos around the school
  • Improves engagement with the local community and partnership working
  • Helps centres meet the objectives of inspection.



Other videos on Education Scotland YouTube channel

Example of Partnership Working
Bigger Primary School - A whole school strategy.

Learner Exchange
Balfron High School - Using Erasmus+

Learner Voice
Biggar High School - Embedding International Experience Across the Curriculum

Global Citizenship
Biggar Primary School - Embedding International Activity Across the School

Music from around the world
Learners pick up Chinese instruments and culture

Integration with curriculum and motivating pupils
Easterfield Primary A whole School Strategy.

Tackling Global Issues
Using Eco Schools