University Halls of Residence: Welcoming, Interculturality and Belonging


In this paper, we argue for the strategic role of university halls of residence in welcoming students. We emphasize the added importance of a comprehensive welcome for international students, given their need to build a support network in the destination country to prosper in their studies and adapt to the new reality. Furthermore, we found that the interaction between local and international students is beneficial for both groups. We consider the university halls of residence as an extension of the university environment, which, as such, should reflect the concern for the student's well-being and exceed the institution's welcoming and integration practices. At the same time, the residences should exude a homeliness rather than an institutional atmosphere. Based on the benchmarking of five different student housing facilities within the European context, in Dublin, Toulouse, Paris, Macerata, and Bologna, we list the best practices for student welcoming in university residences. Research findings point to the need for convivial environments in the residences; promotion of integration initiatives among students; staff who speak an alternative language to the local one, usually English; attentive management; positive information and communication strategies, extensive online service and information, student inclusion and participation in residence life.

Author Information
Marcela Rosa, University of Porto–ID+, Portugal
Susana Barreto, University of Porto–ID+, Portugal
Teresa Franqueira, University of Aveiro–ID+, Portugal

Paper Information
Conference: BCE2023
Stream: Educational policy

This paper is part of the BCE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Rosa M., Barreto S., & Franqueira T. (2023) University Halls of Residence: Welcoming, Interculturality and Belonging ISSN: 2435-9467 – The Barcelona Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon