Eight URV students take part in an international university students conference in Indonesia

The annual student meeting on global citizenship at Parahyangan Catholic University brings together 120 students from around the world in Bali

El grup d’estudiants de la URV durant una de les visites culturals al temple Ulundanu.

Students from Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR) have organised an international conference on the topic “Climate change: global warming”, which took place from 14 to 21 January 2018. The URV sent eight students from the fields of Chemical Engineering; Biotechnology and Biochemistry; Law; Business and Management; Education; Social Work; and Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Energy. The visit was organised with the help of I-Networks, which finances exchange visits for activities promoted by the networks of which the URV is a member.

Half of the 120 students attending this conference come from Indonesia and the other half are from the rest of the world. The students all stay in the same hotel and the international student are each paired with Indonesian students to ensure complete immersion. During the intense conference programme students had the opportunity to listen to a series of talks and attend workshops on the central theme of the conference. They were able to discuss, work as a team and give presentations of their final poster in English while also learning to negotiate technical problems.

The students all agree that participating in this conference has enriched them both personally and academically. The fact that they all come from different academic disciplines has enriched the discourse in the work groups and emphasised the manner in which nationalities from all over the world can live and work together. In particular, the students realised the important of not taking anything for granted and learnt what it felt like to be a minority in a non-European country. The URV students also praised the work that the UNPAR students had put into organising the event as well as the opportunity to get to know the local situation through real projects and local cases. Indonesian culture itself is a mixture of many different cultures, and this in turn increased the cultural mix to which the students were exposed.

The URV’s Vice-Rector for Internationalisation, Mar Gutiérrez-Colón, wanted to learn about the students’ experience first-hand and met two of them on 14 February: Enric Prats, who is studying Chemical Engineering, and Daphne Jumilla, who is completing a double degree in Biotechnology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Daphne Jumilla explained during the meeting that, apart from the personal benefits and learning that come with an experience like this, participating in this conference would help her determine which career she wanted to pursue after her studies. Enric Prats came back from the trip with a more global vision of his field of study and a perspective that goes beyond the technical side of it.

The URV learnt about this annual conference through the INU network, of which both the URV and the UNPAR are members. Thanks to this common affiliation, some places are automatically reserved for URV students at the conference.

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