ESU Ukraine » Information » International student seminar in Bad Liebenzell
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  • Author: varder
  • Date: 16-03-2017, 20:35
16-03-2017, 20:35

International student seminar in Bad Liebenzell

Category: Information

Flying on a plane, meeting with a marvelous and mysterious soul of Germany, living in the real mountain castle founded in the 12th century, discussing  topical problems of the digital world, creating unique projects, improving public speaking skills – all these things that happened during the German-Polish-Ukrainian seminar “Learning from history” will always stay in the memories of six students from Kirovograd State Pedagogical University, who were lucky enough to have the possibility to take part in it.

The first day in Germany was full of expectations, the Ukrainian participants were impressed by an enormous Frankfurt airport, and it was difficult to realize how far it is from our homeland. On the train station in a small town Bad Liebenzell we were met by Gertrud Gardenberger– one of the main organizers of the project. When we finally reached the Burg Liebenzell castle, situated  on a high mountain , and met our friends from Germany and Poland, the day was almost over. We shared  our expectations considering the project, came to know the schedule of our work and got acquainted with seminar facilitators.

The next days were full of team work and discussions. We were discovering the problem of hate speech which is widely reflected in the social media and tried to figure out the possible solution to it. The meeting with Mahmud, a refugee from Palestine, who told us his own tragic life story, persuaded each of us that the decisions a person makes can depend on very different and difficult life situations and none has a right to judge or humiliate him for these determinations. One of the guest speakers was a student of Tubingen University who told us about the dangerous consequences caused by anti-European mindset and cleared up the meaning and functions of the European Union itself. After that we were about to divide into groups and choose our own way to interpret the problem of the hate speech.

A day in Stuttgart appeared to be a brilliant opportunity to visit the House of History (Haus der Geschichte) and to see the installations connected with the life of different refugees. All these people had one common thing – they were forced to leave their own countries just to stay alive. Their true stories together with their possessions (a necklace, a dress, shoes, an exercise book) helped the students to see real people, who lost everything because of war, and seeked for asylum in Germany. The second part of the excursion was dedicated to the German history beginning from the 18th century. The inspired students returned back to Bad Liebenzell and were ready to start working on their own projects.

While working in groups and analyzing cases of hate speech in the social media and the consequences it may lead to, the participants became well aware of the destructive power of hate speech. The teamwork on the projects being very interesting and challenging united the students. The outcome of this work were researches, poems, a cartoon and even a website.

During the five day seminar we learnt about the problems of rising hate all over digital world, discussed how the web is changing society’s struggle to protect individual and collective rights, developed our critical thinking skills, worked in groups and discovered how we must change our habits to counteract hate speechdid field research, interviewed in order to explore the issue of hate speech and participated in the “Open-Space” sessions. A lot of new things were explored, a great amount of work was done, and all the participants got an incredible experience and became more knowledgeable about the problems of discrimination and hatred in the digital world. What is more, we made friends and understood that we are strong when united.

We are extremely grateful to the organizers of the project for their hospitality, support and the fascinating atmosphere that prevailed during the seminar. These memories will warm our hearts long after!


Nataliia Mykhailova, Milana Yurakh, Roman Kosiuh, Bohdana Heva, Alina Borshchenko, Maksym Korolov, students of Foreign Languages Department KSPU






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