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Europe.Excellence.Collegue – new initiative at C·A·P

What have the Colleagues been up to?

27.06.2016 · C·A·P

"Two heads are better than one.’" This concept inspires Europe.Excellence.Colleague, a C·A·P led initiative for international students at LMU supported by the university and the Bavarian State Chancellery. The project pairs international students completing their master’s degree in political science at LMU with German tandem partners, establishing teams with a particular focus on the European Union. The goal of Europe.Excellence.Colleague is to provide international students with the language, technical, and cultural support they need to succeed in their studies, while simultaneously providing them with insight into the working environment in Bavarian institutions which are active in a European context.

Although the project is it its first year, it has attracted a number of enthusiastic German tandem partners and colleagues from Lithuania, Egypt, Ecuador, and China, and they have already undertaken a number of interesting and informative activities together.

On May 9th, for example, tandem partners participated in Europe Day in Munich, an event designed to celebrate European integration, while providing learning opportunities about current issues in Europe, ranging from youth unemployment and anti-European populist parties to TTIP negotiations. In addition to Europe Day, the students involved were also able to gain career information and advice about working in the European Union at the European Parliament Information Office in Munich in June. Director of the C·A·P, Prof. Dr. Weidenfeld also recently presented his new book Europe: A Strategy, explaining his perspective on the state of Europe at present, before he entertained a lively discussion and question and answer session with participants. Tandem partners look forward to an upcoming European Union simulation this fall as well.

When asked what he has taken away from his experiences with Europe.Excellence.Colleague so far, German tandem partner Matthias Priewe described how practice and career oriented the events were, which dovetail well with the theoretical foundations provided for students at LMU. Another German tandem partner, Franziska Reuß stated that the project events "provide a chance to get to know and work with students from different countries in a fun and interesting way." One such student is Lithuanian Vytautas Jankauskas, who has been paired with German tandem partner Julian Lamers. Together the tandem team celebrated the project’s specific goals, ability to bring in a variety of different perspectives, and commitment to finding effective and efficient solutions to European problems.

At the beginning of the project partners were asked to write down what Europe means to them. Amina Abdelmaksoud, of Egypt, wrote "For me Europe is tolerance and freedom." Her tandem partner, Tim Heinkelmann-Wild of Germany, thinks about Europe similarly writing that for him it represents, "the voice of universal values in the time of global politics." Now the two from different continents can discuss their common enthusiasm for Europe, along with several other young people through the Europe.Excellenz.Colleague project.

Heather Painter

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