Starting this academic year, bachelor students can channel their civic engagement and help effect real change through a new interdisciplinary program. The CIVICA Engage track will offer field work, exchanges and new experiences to students across the CIVICA alliance.
Young people across the world are leading movements for change. So, it is not a surprise that many of the students applying to the Stockholm School of Economics do so in the hopes of making a positive impact on society at large. A new opportunity now makes it easier for them – and for fellow students at seven other higher education institutions across Europe – to achieve that dream.
This academic year, CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences is launching a new multi-campus interdisciplinary bachelor track focusing on civic engagement. The so-called CIVICA Engage track aims to provide students with a strong sense of European identity and civic responsibility.
”If you’re like me and feel like you want to do something good in the world, I think this is a great opportunity. You get to meet students from different places and backgrounds, and gain insights and inspiration from other universities. It’s a cultural exchange that will hopefully give you a broader view of the world,” says Linnea Svanberg, a student ambassador for CIVICA at SSE.
So how does it work? In early 2021, applications to the track will be open to eligible students. The lucky ones to get accepted to the programme are then invited to participate in the Spring 2021 European Week. During the week, students will get a chance to immerse themselves in relevant topics on the European agenda. The event, as originally planned, will offer field work, coaching, guest lectures, group work and experience sharing.
“It’s too early to say if or how the event will be impacted by the current pandemic, but the goal is for our students to meet other ambitious students from the partner universities. Whatever shape or form this event takes, we believe in making personal connections and exchanging experiences. It’s important not only to broaden your own horizons, but also because a diverse group is more likely to come up with novel solutions to the challenges we’re facing,” says Katarina Hägg, Vice President of External Relations & International Affairs at Stockholm School of Economics.
During the following academic year, students take a CIVICA Engage course at their own place of learning. Those who want to immerse themselves in the experience – or happened to miss the European Week – can also do an exchange with one of the partner universities to study an additional CIVICA Engage course. The courses are focused on civic engagement and societal changes in the host country, giving students the opportunity to have a unique experience at each partner university.
As part of the course, students will work together with a local organization to address an issue specific to the host country or local community. To wrap all the different parts up, students will compile a portfolio of work and reflections on how their civic engagement and thoughts on cross-European issues have developed over the course of their studies.
“We want our students to get an understanding of intercultural contexts and the society that surrounds us. We want them to engage with local communities beyond school and beyond the familiar. Ultimately, we want them to challenge themselves, develop their cultural sensitivity and take empathy from theory to practice,” says Katarina Hägg.
Written by Ylva Mossing (SSE)
Photo credit: SSE