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Summer School on ‘The Migrant Crisis within the Greek context’

Summer School on ‘The Migrant Crisis within the Greek context’
Added on 06/07/2016

The International Faculty of the University of Sheffield-CITY College welcomes applications from undergraduate and graduate students for the 1st multi-disciplinary International Summer School on ‘The Migrant Crisis within the Greek context’ taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece from July 30th to August 5th 2016.

The unprecedented migrant crisis in Europe has assumed massive proportions in the past year creating a series of knee-jerk reactions by various European states, including closing their borders and reconsidering EU agreements. Greece finds itself in the midst of this migrant crisis. Being in its 6th year of debt-infused social, political and economic instability, as a transit country on the Balkan corridor route and bound by EU agreements, like Dublin II, Greece is faced with the difficult task of dealing with myriads of migrants arriving daily on its shores.

The main goal of the summer school is to put the migrant crisis inside a broader framework of multiple crises occurring in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans and help students understand the complexity of the matter and the obstacles or opportunities to finding a possible solution. The program does not have a strictly academic nature. It has been specifically designed to expose participants to the reality of this humanitarian crisis and the conflicting views on how it should be solved. The mode of delivery will be through a mix of lectures, guest speeches by policy makers and NGOs, as well as, practical on-field experience with a fieldtrip visit to a migrant camp at the borders with FYROM.

Students will interact with migrants through volunteering on-site and will have the chance to witness first-hand the enormity of the crisis. After reflecting on their experience they will be encouraged to challenge the views and policies presented to them by policy makers and NGOs. At the same time participants will understand the constraints within which any policy is or can be implemented. Through in-class debates, students will have the chance to inform each other on different views on solving the migrant crisis and to discuss their opinions. By the end of the program students should be able to understand the dynamics among different levels of engagement with the migrant crisis (EU involvement, local authorities’ involvement, NGO involvement) and to critically assess and reflect on their on-site volunteering in the migrant settlement.

The emblematic city of Thessaloniki, located in the north of Greece, provides the ideal backdrop to the summer school. Thessaloniki has a long history of integrating refugees and migrants through the centuries. Its multicultural experience is an amalgam of Greek, Ottoman, Jewish and Slavic populations, with Pontian Greeks being the most recent population to settle in the city after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. At the moment Thessaloniki is on the refugee route to the borders with FYROM and thousands of migrants find temporary refuge in the city. Participants in the program will be given the chance to explore Thessaloniki’s past and present through various activities.

Students taking part in the program will receive a certificate of completion from the International Faculty of the University of Sheffield-CITY College.

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