The INVEST Summer School that took place both remotely and in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in May 2022 was an intense and unforgettable experience! We met so many great people and learned a variety of useful tips that most of us might need in the near future. There had been some minor inconveniences such as the full program and mostly during the week in Plovdiv, when we had both lectures and trips and as a result not so much time to properly meet the other people and rest, but that's not something that would keep me from living every moment of it again! I would definitely recommend to all of you to participate in such programs organized by these people. You'll have the time of your life! "Iliana"
During the European Summer School, 7 HVHL students travel to UARD University of Agribusiness and Rural Development in Plovdiv, Bulgaria for a week. From Velp: Saki Morita, Saeed Haderbhai, Harwin Kloosterman, and Tara Dixon, and from Leeuwarden: Hedzer Buren, Merit van der Schaar, and Harm Okkema. Harm’s testimony: "I am studying Management of the Living Environment, currently in my second year. When I read about this summer school, I immediately called and thought that this would be a great opportunity. Until now, we had no experience with cases abroad and this, of course, was the perfect moment. It also allows me to improve my English and it looks good on my CV. We did quite a lot of excursions with our school, but never anything at this level." I was especially curious about how students from other countries look at problems and how this is different from what we learn in our education. "VHL student"
I participated in INVEST summer school in the spring of 2022. The summer school focused on “Ensuring the quality of public services while strengthening regional sustainability and maintaining the high quality of services”. The first weeks of studies at summer school were carried out remotely on a shared Moodle platform and the actual summer school included a one-week intensive excursion in Bulgaria. Besides the actual studies, it was very interesting to get to know the local culture and people during summer school. I think all the themes at the INVEST summer school were topical, enhancing one’s understanding of the changing world.
The cooperation of international higher education institutions adds an interesting dimension to studies. Working in a multicultural, diverse community enhances one’s communication and interaction skills and opens up new perspectives. Sharing knowledge and skills with your peers is an empowering experience. Networking is natural as we have joint lectures, projects, and leisure events. Recognizing the differences and similarities between cultures and discussing them teaches us how to act in a diverse group. In my opinion, this is one of the skills to be highlighted in future work communities.
Working in a diverse team works best when you can throw around creative ideas and finally gather them together as a united whole. INVEST provides a great opportunity for this! In addition, INVEST offers a huge number of experiences of success, increases students’ self-confidence for being who they are in a diverse group, and provides a safe environment for interaction. An open, confident atmosphere is created together.
The support provided by Karelia University of Applied Sciences and the incredible expertise of teachers and coordinators, not to mention the good sense of humor, made the INVEST experience one of the best experiences of my master’s studies. It should also be noted that INVEST pays the students’ travel expenses, which is why summer or winter school is a unique opportunity that should not be passed over. I hope that each participant of INVEST gets as unique and eventful experiences as I did. It is worth it, believe me.