East, west, Horsens is Best!
During the summertime much of the Danish industry drives with lower steam than usual and many people use the summer to go on holiday and relax. However, at VIA University College there are some for whom the summer is almost the busiest time of the year. In Vitus Bering Innovation Park there is life and many students are studying hard throughout the summer at the VIA Summer School.
The 7th of July. The common house is full of chatting students who are busy eating breakfast. There is a sense of excitement to what the next three weeks will bring. The opening ceremony is starting. Rafael, who is the coordinator of the Summer School, arrives and silence slowly appears as he officially starts the Summer School:
A warm welcome to you all and welcome to VIA Horsens and the three next weeks of Summer School.
VIA Summer School is divided up into two terms; one from 7th to 25th of July and the other from 28th of July to 15th of August. The first term on the 7th of July welcomed 100 students.
Studying with a touch of fun
The VIA Summer School started as an idea formed by Jens Cramer, head of ICT Engineering, who thought that students should also have the opportunity to use the summer to learn new things and form new friendships. He still opens the three weeks with a welcome speech:
I hope that you can use the knowledge both for studies and future careers. It is important to remember that it is not enough to read a book to learn, we also need to bring it into real life. This is the essence of what we try to do at VIA Summer School.
Tutoring at the VIA Summer School takes place in the rooms of the Vitus Bering Innovation Park, and the managing director of the Park, Ulla Sparre, was of course also present to welcome the new summer students. She reminded the students that the Park is a working environment and must be treated that way. Rafael pitched in by reminding the students of the importance of going to Summer School:
It is still school! You should of course have fun and remember that it is summer, but we still expect you to attend all classes, do your homework and take the school serious.
Getting ahead and following your interests
There are many different reasons to go to Summer School – to take extra classes after your interests, develop your skills or get ahead of your education. For Italian Raffaele, who is a full time Global Business Engineer at VIA UC Horsens, it is to get in front of his education:
I am planning to take a double degree with ICT Engineering, and here I will later have the Lego Robot Class. By taking it in Summer School instead I can split up the work a bit.
Three weeks later the 25th of July arrives and all students are gathered in the G-block. There is hum of talking and a red carpet has been rolled out. Most have dressed up for the day, as the Summer School is close to an end – it is graduation day. Jens Cramer says a warm congratulations to all students about finishing and completing the three weeks. He stresses the importance of intercultural understanding that he hope that all has gained during the Summer School. He finished by changing a Danish proverb from “East, west, home is best” to “East, west, Horsens is best”! Jens manages to get all students to shout the changed proverb with much of excitement.
Ioana from Romania tells about her stay:
I came for the Summer School because I heard about it through my brother, who normally studies here. It has been really fun to be here and I have learned a lot.
Graduation and Barbeque
Graduation Ceremony in VIA Summer School is not just about getting a diploma. Each course has five minutes to present what they have learned or what the main topics have been during the three weeks. There were many different ways with speeches, movies, showing the course work or give a practical demonstration of what has been done. By the end of each presentation the teachers called each student by name and they got both a diploma and a hand shake. Because the essence of Summer School is much more than just learn new stuff – it is also about learning to work with people from other cultures, to have fun and to learn in a different way. One of the teachers, Jacob, tells:
There is a huge potential in so many different people and cultures. But it has been a challenge to teach them to learn in a different way. Many of the students are used to an authoritarian leadership, where teachers speaks and they write, but here they must learn that the process depends on them being active. However, it has been a very easy task to teach them as all have come with so much enthusiastic.
Rafael finishes up the ceremony and thanks all for being good students for three weeks. He has arranged with some of the other helpers at the Summer School that the students can finish the weeks off with a barbecue. The applause is big, both to Rafael, all teachers, the helpers and to the students themselves. As Rafael says:
The stress is over – it is time for relaxing and pleasure.
But today (the 28th) it starts again – this time with almost 200 students from many different countries; including 20 students from China!
Read more about VIA Summer School here.