In March 2022 Mantoura Nakad, Office Manager for the office of the Vice President for Internationalization and Engagement of the University of Balamand (UOB), spended five days in Poitiers, thanks to the Erasmus + International Credit Mobility Program. A very rewarding week of exchanges experiences around internationalization.
What’s your academic background & professional experience ?
I occupy two positions: the position of Office Manager for the office of the Vice President (VP) for Internationalization and Engagement, as well as Assistant Dean for Administration at the Faculty of Engineering (FOE). Regarding my educational background, I am a UOB graduate with both Bachelor and Master’s degrees of Arts in Languages-Translation. My end of study research work focused on traductology and terminology and was concluded with a thesis entitled ‘La Terminologie de la Traductologie et de la traduction‘. To further enrich my academic and professional knowledge, I am working toward pursuing a doctoral degree, PhD in Educational Management with a focus on sustainable development and sustainability awareness for engineering students.
How did you hear about Erasmus + International Credit Mobility Program ?
In September 2021, I was promoted to Office Manager for the Vice President for Internationalization and Engagement office. In this new role, I am assigned to assist the VP and manage external and international affairs, amongst them the ERASMUS+ international mobility programs and UOB bilateral agreements, including Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs).
How was your integration into the university/city ?
My mobility in Poitiers began on the 21th of March 2022 and lasted until the 25th of the same month, a total of 5 very fruitful days. Since my arrival and until the end of the training I was greeted by the friendliest, kindest, welcoming and most helpful faculty, staff, residents and colleagues. Although a busy schedule, yet rich and informative, there was always room for socializing, communicating, networking and building new connections and strengthening old ones. In conclusion, I was made very welcome, which has made integration to be easy and straightforward given the warm hospitality of the Poitiers team as well as the friendliness of the locals and the proximity of all amenities, from dining to transportation keeping every corner of the city within reach.
What did you like in Poitiers ?
Poitiers is a historically rich city. Its streets and touristic sites reflect the ancient Romanesque periods architecture as well as the memories of unforgettable historical events. The feeling of tranquility, hospitality and the communication with sincere, kind, helpful and welcoming people infer a sense of belonging. It is a well-balanced and sustained city that can be surely and instantly called home by all visitors and foreigners.
What were your expectations and what did you gained through this experience?
The aim of this mobility was to establish, maintain and manage UOB relations with international academic and non-academic partners and to encourage future collaboration and projects. In this mobility, I am happy to say that, and supported and entrusted by the Vice President of Internationalization and Engagement, I have managed to:
Re-instate the UOB – University of Poitiers MOU and strengthen the ties between the two parties as well as the ERASMUS+ commitment as a partner
Introduce UOB faculty/staff by highlighting their expertise, thus paving the way for future collaboration, projects and mobility/exchange programs
Establish new connections with Bosnian colleagues for additional exposure through constructive knowledge exchange and agreements for new MOUs
What about future perspectives with UP?
The mobility was a fruitful, enriching and one of a kind experience. I was very thrilled to learn of the University of Poitiers internationalization teams’ interest in visiting Lebanon and specifically the University of Balamand. Thus, further strengthening the ties between our both institutions and their ongoing support for UOB.
I would like to thank the ERASMUS+ team, the mobility program organizers, and most heartily the internationalization team at the University of Poitiers, for this wonderful opportunity to perform my Internationalization training mobility by their side and to be guided by a team of skilled professionals. Last but not least, thanks to the VP and VP Office for entrusting me with this golden opportunity to represent UOB.