From the 4th to the 11th of July, 2016 the University of Innsbruck hosted the study tour which comprised an intense immersion in the Master of Arts Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation.
Among others, the visit included first hand experiences of the lectures, seminars and some practical exercises. The Director, Coordinator and members of the Heart Faculty hosted the visit in cooperation with some of the key partner institutions, such as SOS Children Villages International that has its headquarters in Innsbruck.
Visitors from the Caucasus University, Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University, Sokhumi State University from Georgia and Dublin City University from Ireland had the opportunity to witness a series of simulations which involved the practical training component facilitated by representatives of the Tyrolean Provincial Command as part of the Austrian Armed Forces, as well as by Alumni of the MA program. Besides being involved in a reactive role playing, the alumni shared their insights and experiences as regarding the program, as well as addressed questions and inquiries raised by the visitors.
In a World Café large group dialogue, the current students of the MA program and the visiting professors, among others, had the opportunity to share their driving motivation for being involved in the field of peace and conflict studies. In an exchange of very diverse backgrounds, experiences and philosophies, both faculty and student perspectives were included and explored as valuable resources for the project.
Professors were presented with Theatre for Living as a worldwide leading example of theatre for social change, dialogue creation, conflict transformation, community healing and empowerment. They participated in the theoretical introduction and the practical exercises through a community-based approach from a systemic perspective.
Members of the City Government of Innsbruck and representatives of the Office of International Relations of the University of Innsbruck welcomed PESTUGE partner universities to foster future possibilities for strengthened relations of cooperation and support.
The study visit also included working group sessions and managers’ meetings, thus it was essential for reviewing the project so far, discussing options for enhancing the curriculum in peace studies, and planning further activities.