In the late days of November in the city of Warsaw, Poland, the CIVICA student Asossciation Forum 2023 took place. Hosted by the SGH Warsaw school of economics, the event managed to bring together a plethora of Universities in order to present student-led projects and initiatives as well as exchange ideas and collaborate in future plans. I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent The Stork in the IE team that was sent to Poland and here is an insider view of the experience!
What is CIVICA?
To begin with, CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences, is one of the many Pan-European alliances that shape the universities of the future to boost the
excellence dimension of higher education, research and innovation. It brings together ten of the top European universities in the fields of public policy, business management, humanities, and social sciences, with a combined student body of 72,000, including PhD holders, and 13,000 faculty members. The 10 member group of universities includes The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Università Bocconi, Sciences Po and of course IE Univeristy.
The journey begins
Having stayed overnight in Madrid (as the only segovian in the IE team) I joined the rest of the group very early in the morning of the 23rd of Novermber to commence our journey towards Poland. Since the moment we landed in the country the schedule was packed tight in order to help us share as many ideas as possible and connect in the most efficient way in the limited time we posessed. We were greeted by the very kind students and faculty of SGH who treated us to very tasty candy as well as a tour of their university (their library was by far my favourite part!).
The second and main day of the forum had a very early start and a very late finish, but was bound to be time well spent. CIVICA had organised 2-hour workshops that we had pre-selected ahead of our arrival that covered a surfeit of interesting topics and aimed to give us a crash course on their most imortant aspects.
The ones I had the chance to attend were Projects: Navigating Planning and Mastery and Communication skills: how to improve your interpersonal effectiveness through public speaking, active listening, and feedback. They were both very interesting and within them I conversed with the students from other universities in a more creative context through the practical exercises and applications of the concepts introduced in the workshops.
Student-led projects and ideas
The mornings of the 24th and 25th we all gathered in one of the University’s many auditoriums and each university group presented the initiatives, clubs or projects they had nominated for the forum. One of the most interesting clubs and projects presented (in my opinion) were the Bocconi Student Opera Society, providing a comunity for opera, ballet and orchestra lovers to meet and go to concerts together. The Tournoi Les Parisiennes from Sciences Po was also memorable to me as the biggest student-led international sports tournament in Europe, with equal participation from men and women in Football, Rugby, Basketball and Volleyball, as well as a wheelchair football workshop.
Our University proudly presented the activities, values and goals of our student government, Motorsport Club, Eco Club, Brazilian Student Association (BRASA), Center for Health and Well-being, Charity Club, Film Club, IR Society and The Stork.
In between all the activities and discussions fostered in the walls of SHG and CIVICA, we also seized the opportunity to explore the city of Warsaw and all the little special things it had to offer us. We walked through the old and new city, enjoyed a cup of warm cherry liquor and treated ourselves to a traditional Polish dinner that included many pierrogis!
In retrospect, I am extremely grateful for the chance I had to be chosen as a part of this event. I got to meet many international students with great ideas for future initiatives and exchanged with them views for current events as well as got to know them on a more personal level. Being surrounded by such interesting people really broadens your horizons and personally makes me eager to be creative in my professional life.
Events like the CIVICA Student Assosciation Forum are ones that by nature encourage young minds to be open to constructive criticism, collaboration and development and this experience will for sure act as a guiding force to make my contribution to The Stork a more fruitful one with out-of-the-box ideas and new perspectictives!