„I like environment protection, but not in my backyard!“ – The Baltic International Summer School

Have you ever thought about combining interesting lectures about environmental awareness with travelling to another country? No? But then you should!

We spent two amazing weeks of our summer in Valmiera, Latvia, where we participated in Baltic International Summer School of Vidzeme University. Besides lectures about „Environmental Awareness. Communication. Interpretation.“ we went on different field trips where we got the chance to experience the nature of this beautiful country.

40 students from 13 different countries participated in the Baltic International Summer School (BISS) at Vidzeme University of Applied Science, which is one of the partner universities of Karlshochschule. Lecturers from other universities presented a variety of topics concerning environmental sustainability. During this ERASMUS programme we got the chance to work together with students of different cultural backgrounds, and to learn from lecturers who looked at the topic “Environmental Awareness” from many different angles. Prof. Dr. Werkmeister joined the Summer School towards the end of the second week and gave an interactive lecture about Corporate Sustainability Reporting.

Before the start of the summer school we had to prepare an essay about environmental awareness communication. This assignment was optional but necessary to receive the 6 ECTS of the programme. During the Summer School there was another assignment which had to be prepared within the national groups and the results were presented on the last day of the programme. The German team presented the oldest protected area in Germany – the Drachenfels, which is located in the nature park Siebengebirge. It’s possible to use the credits we earned during Summer School to replace one course specific module in the 5th semester.

But of course, it’s not all about indoor studies – we explored two national parks and a nature biosphere reserve in Latvia, went bird watching, hiking, swimming or ice-skating. With our new friends from all over the world we had many social activities including a barbecue at the seaside of the Baltic Sea, playing volleyball, a movie night and karaoke. One evening we were invited by a local family to join their dinner and get to know the Latvian culture and typical activities. Some went for a barbecue with fresh beer they had picked up at the local brewery, others enjoyed a traditional Latvian sauna or spent the evening at a beach of one of the thousand lakes.
The Summer School team of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences organized the whole programme very well, so there was always someone who supported you when there were any questions. Baltic International Summer School is a good mixture of studying, culture and getting to know great people.

Finally, we all agree that it really was “Our absolutely best summer in the Baltics”.

Theresa Edelbroich, IMK 3
Lara Goebel, ITM 5
Lea-Isabelle Kränzle, MEEC 5

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