Diverse and international
For one week, the EUF celebrated the topic of Europe: Lectures, discussions, exhibitions, installations and simulation games addressed perspectives, opportunities and challenges.
At the opening on Tuesday, international students and outgoings presented different countries under the slogan "A window to the world". The focus was on the cultures of the countries, their natural beauty as well as their economic and political situation or the particular country's cuisine.
At the same time as the opening, the Irish traveling exhibition "Ireland and the birth of europe" was opened. The exhibition consists of 16 panels, illustrated with historical manuscripts from collections throughout Europe, which tell the story of Ireland's early influence on knowledge and political thought in medieval Europe. The Irish Ambassador to Germany, Dr. Nicholas O'Brien, welcomed all present in a video message and emphasized the Embassy's close cooperation with the EUF. The opening of an Irish Centre at the EUF is planned for this year.
In the evening, two PhD students from Poland and Italy and two students from Turkey and Germany, moderated by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Glassmann, Vice President for Europe and International Affairs, discussed the political cleavages in their countries and its consequences for the young generation, especially in academia. "I myself was able to learn a lot from the panel discussion about how political polarization affects the lives of young people. For me, it was important that students had their say on the podium as part of Europe Week," Prof. Dr. Ulrich Glassmann emphasized afterwards.
Lectures on Europe and the presentation of various autonomous projects from the study program "European Cultures and Society" were on the agenda on Wednesday. In the evening, the International Center celebrated different cultures with an international dinner in the Rotunda.
The new bachelor's program "Transcultural European Studies: Languages, Cultures, Interactions (TES)", which will start in the fall semester of 2023, introduced itself on Thursday. This day was themed "Discover the world". Accordingly, many other information sessions about studying abroad were held.
The day ended with a panel discussion of the dialogue format "Success Team" on the topic: border region. "It was about the many advantages and opportunities that our border region offers - from an economic, sporting and scientific perspective. The 20-year-old professional handball player Oscar von Oettingen discussed with Sune Tornbo Bastrup, Chief Information Officer at Danfoss or Prof. Dr. Silke Tegtmeier from SDU, among others," explained Dr. Tanja Reimer from the Jackstädt Center, which is a partner of "Success Team".
On Friday, the week ended under the slogan "European Perspectives". Rasmus Andresen, MEP from Flensburg, who has been a member of the European Parliament for the Greens since 2019, outlined the threat currently posed by the strengthening right-wing movements and parties to European democracy at national and supranational level.
It was not until Sunday afternoon that the students and pupils from Schleswig-Holstein, who were active together in the university group Model United Nations in two political simulation games, had their evening off. This year, the simulation focused on the question of how the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be implemented. Among the topics discussed were equitable representation of the world's cultural heritage and how to reduce income inequality in the world.
"It was a very good week," summed up Lucila Morales de Mittag of the EUF International Center. "I especially liked the atmosphere of a 'European campus student community' that was created during these days. This atmosphere was a 'safe space' in which even students who had experiences with censorship from their countries of origin could freely express their opinions. It made it very clear to me once again how valuable and endangered the democratic right to freedom of expression is. It was also great that this 'safe space' enabled different nations to stand side by side peacefully and constructively, to discuss and exchange ideas.
The summary of the responsible vice president Prof. Dr. Ulrich Glassmann was positive:"The Europe week has shown again how much the EUF has to offer in the field of internationalization. It would certainly be desirable to develop this potential further by bringing the events even more broadly to the students of all study programs. In any case, the diverse program did both, celebrating European unification but also critically examining the very difficult and challenging political developments of recent years."