Monthly Archives: March 2016

All About Travelling University ‘Place for Future’ 2016 in Western Stara Planina and Chiprovtsi (26 May – 1 June 2016)

For seven years in a row, the Travelling University of the Place for Future education network has gathered students, teachers and researchers from various countries (including Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Slovakia, Poland and China) in the town of Chiprovtsi and the Western Stara Planina region in Bulgaria. Our main partners have been New Bulgarian University and the French Institute in Sofia. The Travelling University is interdisciplinary, aimed at scholars and civic activists from diverse areas of knowledge and expertise.

In 2016, the Travelling University will take place from May 26 till June 1. Our unifying thread will be Cities of the Future / The Future of Cities.

You can sign up for joining at: place.for.future @ gmail . com (Attendance is limited :) )

For Facebook users:

Our topics include:

  • Green jobs: alternative employment or another empty slogan? How can we apply them to small towns such as Chiprovtsi?
  • The lifecycle of cities: dying, nascent, evolving settlements and communities.
  • Migrations and dynamics in the development of metropolises. Mobility and stability. Adaptation to the new social and urban conditions.
  • Growing urbanization and urban policy. Where do humans stand?
  • Protecting cultural heritage: government policies, cultural institutions, formal and informal activities.
  • Real and virtual habitation. The new online communities and their intermingling with the offline world.
  • Pluralism and tolerance. How do we live with the Other–especially under the constant bombardment of media buzzwords such as ‘terrorism’?

We will work in several interdisciplinary groups:

A. Urban planning.
B. Local policy.
C. Green activities.
D. Cultural and social activities.

We’ll endeavour to build upon the ideas from our previous travelling universities.

Our working language will be English, with interpretation in Bulgarian during our discussions with the local community.

The transportation of all participating students (by a 50-seat bus) will be covered by the organizers.

The accommodation of students, lecturers and our international guests will be covered by the organizers.

Participants need to pay in advance 25 Euro (50 leva) for five lunches.

We recommend that you bring at least 50 Euro (100 leva) for personal expenses (especially food); personal IDs (including an international passport); shoes suitable for the mountains; clothes for rainy or cold weather; sunscreen; anti-insect spray or another insect repellant.

We kindly ask anyone with specific food (vegetarian, vegan, non-dairy, allergies, etc.) or health needs to let us know about them in advance.

Our 2016 Travelling University is sponsored by the following partners of Shtastlivetsa Civic Association:

  • The Strategic Development Fund of New Bulgarian University
  • French Cultural Institute, Sofia
  • La Maison des sciences de l’Homme, Dijon
  • Library Science Department at the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies
  • District Administration of Montana
  • Municipality of Chiprovtsi

Our team includes scientists and lecturers from the following educational and scientific institutions:

  • Pierre-Mendès-France University, Grenoble, France
  • University Montesquieu (Bordeaux IV), France
  • University of Burgundy, France
  • University of Craiova, Romania
  • Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
  • Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
  • New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria
  • La Maison des sciences de l’Homme, Dijon, France

as well as experts from NGOs, business partners, representatives of the local community, and outstanding individuals with invaluable practical experience in various fields.

Taking part in our Travelling University allows students and volunteers to:

  • spend a week working in an international team, with like-minded people from various European universities;
  • participate in discussions on topical issues (sustainable regional development, cities in transition, new communities, new forms of citizen participation, new social and cultural practices);
  • gain knowledge and experience from established scientists, young researchers, experts coming from various fields and from the local community;
  • get familiar with the unique natural and cultural heritage of the region of Western Stara Planina;
  • experience inspiration and adventure, build new friendships, engage in intercultural communication that brings joy and hope; 
  • work in interdisciplinary teams, develop their skills in communication, mutual enrichment, and communal solidarity;
  • help accomplish practical tasks that will benefit the development of the region and their own personal growth.

Our team will be happy to welcome volunteers to the Travelling University 2016. Candidates who wish to have part of their costs covered by the organizers need to send a motivational essay and afterwards attend an interview with a member of our team. Volunteers who cover their own expenses are also welcome.

Itinerary and schedule