From 4th to 8th June, UW hosted the 9th International Staff Week. 23 people from 21 countries took part in it. “Cross-cultural communication. Resolving conflicts in an intercultural community” was the main theme of the event.
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. It is dedicated not only to students and scholars but also to administrative staff. The employees of the University of Warsaw actively participate in an academic exchange and go abroad to take part in, e.g. international training, workshops or job shadowing. Also, it has been a host of the International Staff Week for the 9th time.
The training week took place on the main campus of UW. Participants from all over the world, e.g. Iran, Canada, Belgium, Vietnam, Portugal, USA and Israel had an opportunity to take part in a series of workshops with Prof. Ewa Gmurzyńska and Dr Aleksandra Winiarska from the Center of Conflicts Resolution at the Faculty of Law and Administration. They were discussing topics related to communication in the international environment, sharing ideas from different interdisciplinary perspectives on communication and working on the ways of coping with problematic intercultural situations.
“I work as a Master coordinator for a programme called Peace and Conflict Studies in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at the Uppsala University. One of my main roles is to be a counsellor for students. Our programme is international. We have national students, many European students and people outside Europe. In average, we have 25-26 different nationalities in a class. It is good to know that we do not have many problems in terms of conflict but one of the main reasons why I came here was the programme of the staff training week. I did my PhD on a related topic. I was very interested to learn more from the individual level how to make the work better for students and be better prepared for a potential crisis and some issues that may occur,” says Liana Araujo Lopes from Sweden.
“I have decided to sign up for the training because of the university itself and the programme. I am interested in working in a very diverse environment. I myself have such experience in studying abroad. I am satisfied with all activities we had during this week. It is quite an experience. We liked our professors who had workshops with us. They are very professional and they gave us all the theories and some practices from different perspectives because of their own background. They are lawyers, mediators and sociologists. All our participants contributed a lot. We were quite an active group,” explains Fei Gao from the China University of Political Science and Law.
Besides a series of workshops on communication in the international environment, participants had a guided campus tour at UW and a sightseeing tour around the Old Town. They got familiar with some aspects of Polish culture, traditions and customs, e.g. they were making Polish traditional ravioli (pierogi).
“The tours were fantastic. It is always interesting to know more about the city. It gives people a different perspective as well. Now we know a lot about the role of the university, history and some background. We really appreciated this opportunity,” adds Liana Araujo Lopes.
“We are happy that we could host people who were open, motivated and interested in our programme. They were satisfied with our event. The evaluation surveys confirmed that,” says Joanna Nagłowska from the International Relations Office of UW.