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Youth and Cultural Diplomacy: Kosovar students in Thessaloniki

Youth and Cultural Diplomacy: Kosovar students in Thessaloniki
Added on 28/05/2019

Today, there are dozens of young people from Kosovo studying in Greece, the majority of which are in Thessaloniki, due to its geographic proximity to Prishtina. The presence of young students who study in international educational institutions has been made possible thanks to scholarships granted by private colleges operating in Greece, in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education of Kosovo and state or private universities in Kosovo.

Kosovar students in Greece provide an interesting diplomatic link between the two countries and a potentially vibrant source of information about bilateral issues relating to culture, identity and attitudes. Despite their geographic proximity and shared cultural values, Greece and Kosovo remain a stranger to each other, maintaining thus, minimal relations.

Research, however, suggests that young Kosovars students carry a positive image of Greece back home and that their studies and lived experience in a cosmopolitan city like Thessaloniki equip them with skills, ideas and values which are indispensable for their future. This thematic event aims at highlighting the role that Kosovar students can play in the city diplomacy of Thessaloniki and Prishtina; how their lived experience in Greece can lead to the eradication of reciprocal stereotypes and the promotion of a more fruitful cooperation.

The event will feature good practices between Greece and Kosovo in the field of youth, academia and culture, as well as research findings on the profile of Kosovar students in Greece. Success stories but also recommendations from current students, alumni, academics, youth-workers and local authorities will contribute to the discussion of what needs to be done to strengthen the bilateral relations between Kosovo and Greece and how the private education sector in Thessaloniki can promote progress, innovation and youth initiative in the wider Region.

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