"The conference prepared me for future international projects"
– The experiences I am taking with me from this course are invaluable. The best thing about participating was the incredible learning experience and personal growth it provided. Collaborating with teammates from different countries and disciplines expanded my horizons and taught me the importance of cultural diversity in problem-solving, says Kirsty Naysmith, one of the MDU students who participated in the Euroweek conference.
Once again, MDU students participated in the international Euroweek conference organised by PRIME Networking, a network of several higher education institutions in Europe, including MDU.
- The goals of PRIME Networking are to develop and offer advanced cross-cultural and interdisciplinary training, enable exchanges, motivate staff and students and enhance student mobility. The Euroweek conference is the perfect example of how we tick all the boxes mentioned above, says Charlotta Edlund, who is also the Managing Director of the Executive board of PRIME Networking.
This year's conference had representatives from 17 countries and was held in Brandenburg an der Havel with the theme "the future of technology and innovation".
Prior to the conference, students were divided into multicultural groups and tasked with developing projects that focused on issues related to the conference theme.
– Picture this: my group had to buckle down and write a serious paper about allergies and invent an innovative device, but little did I know that it would lead me on a wild journey to Germany. And here's the kicker - my team was an interesting mashup of Swedish business students, Portuguese environmental health enthusiasts, and Belgian engineering geniuses. Talk about a wild mix! This is how Kirsty Naysmith, a student on the International Business Management programme, describes the group and project she was assigned to.
Once at the conference, around 100 students and 50 academics met to pitch projects, make presentations, showcase their results and network.
– I felt "finally we get to meet the other team members in person" and at the same time meet students from the other working groups. While the week was undeniably challenging, it also became a source of cherished and enjoyable memories. Seeing all those passionate and ambitious students from all over the world was an amazing thing to witness, says Lanya Najm, a student on the International Business Management programme.
Working in cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary teams was both exciting and challenging
According to the students, the most exciting and perhaps challenging aspects of the concept were the co-operation between individuals from different countries and disciplines:
– We had to find a way to communicate, bridge our cultural differences, and survive the stress. Somehow, we managed to communicate despite the language quirks, cultural misunderstandings, and the occasional "lost in translation" moments. We worked tirelessly, leveraging our strengths, and overcoming any differences or obstacles that arose, says Kirsty Naysmith.
– The concept was really fun and a great experience. It gave us students a great insight into how people from different cultures work in different ways and prepares us well for any future international projects we take on later in life, says Laura Otten, a student on the International Business Management programme.
MDU students' work recognized
In addition to gaining new experiences, lessons learnt and relationships, the MDU working groups also managed to win 4 out of 5 possible first prizes.
– And guess what? We nailed it! We didn't just win the "Best Poster Pitch" award but our presentation was so epic that it swept the crowd off their feet and clinched us the prestigious "Best Presentation" award. Despite the challenges, the sleepless nights, and the occasional language mishaps, we triumphed. It was an incredibly gratifying experience to be acknowledged for our efforts and expertise. The awards served as a testament to our dedication, hard work, and the quality of our project and they filled us with a sense of accomplishment and pride, Kirsty Naysmith describes and continues:
– At the same time, the best part was the journey itself and the bond we formed as a team. Sure, the awards were fantastic, and the bragging rights were fun, but the friendships we formed, the memories we created, and the laughter we shared were absolutely priceless, says Kirsty.
“A journey of self-discovery”
In summary, Euroweek is one of the regular international collaborations that MDU participates in and that students really appreciate.
– Euroweek proved to be an incredible platform for encountering remarkable individuals and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Throughout the process, I gained profound insights into my ability to navigate conflicts and engage with other individuals. The conference became a catalyst for personal growth and expanded my understanding of myself and others, says Lanya Najm.
MDU will host Euroweek in April 2024 and we look forward to welcoming all our partners within PRIME Networking to Västerås. Students will once again work in multi-cultural, multi- and interdisciplinary teams exploring and present possible solutions to the theme “Dilemmas in the Transition Towards a Sustainable Future”.
MDU will host Euroweek 2024
We look forward to welcoming all our partners within PRIME Networking to Västerås. Students will once again work in multi-cultural, multi- and interdisciplinary teams exploring and present possible solutions to the theme “Dilemmas in the Transition Towards a Sustainable Future”.Euroweek 2024