In the summer semester 2021-2022, Latvian students from Latvijas Universitate took part in an online course at the University of Opole, Poland, which was organized as an outcome of the tandem cooperation between the two universities within FORTHEM ALLIANCE – University Life Long Learning group. The course in Mindfulness and creative performance, led by dr Małgorzata Adams-Tukiendorf, became one of the first organized in a virtual mobility setting and turned out to be quite a success. The students enrolled in 32 hours of training in mindfulness and creative thinking, achieving 3 ects points value and specific learning effects. They learnt terminology related to the theories of creative thinking and mindfulness, the essence of and the key strategies regarding mindfulness and creative performance. They practiced thinking in a creative way and being innovative in solving cognitive problems and staying in the present moment. They communicated their thoughts and emotions as well as expressed observations and opinions using English and learnt to sets priorities when carrying out various tasks related to study and work, understanding the need to learn always. The students’ feedback was very positive. The participants pointed to the uniqueness of the course content and appreciated practical creative activities in pairwork as well as individual guided meditations. One of the students wrote “The course was a fresh breeze of air. I really value the ratio between theory that we had and the fact that we learned through practical exercises.” “It was definitely the most interesting course for me this year. And one of the most interesting courses I ever had. I loved the interaction.” The teacher underlined the value of interaction in the group and the students’ openness to trying out new ways of learning. In a fun and engaging manner, she managed to involve the students in self-awareness and self-reflection and helped them to realise they are all creative.

The tandem cooperation between the two universities will be strengthened next academic year via virtual mobility courses. Students of both academic institutions may expect a broader offer to consider.

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