Do you want to travel to Portugal next fall?

Text: Per Straume

- Updated

In the last week of September 2019 a trip to Portugal is planned for students taking the course IPA 113 / 213 (The European Union and Regional Development: theories and practices), which is part of the Planning and Administration Bachelor’s Degree.

Text: Sonia Gonzalvez Juan

Students from other study programs can also take the course. In this course students learn about how the EU works, and which relevance it has for Norway. There is special focus on regional development policies of the EU – what does the EU do to even out differences in development between its richer and less well to do member countries? Students taking course IPA213 will also learn about economic development issues and policies in Norway.

Visiting companies and institutions

If you decide to join this course and this trip, you will spend two to three days in Lisbon and two days in the Algarve Region in the South of Portugal. The aim of the trip is to learn about which impact EU membership has had on Portugal as an EU member country. On the trip you will visit a few companies and other institutions that will talk about their projects and own experiences, as well as exploring the capital and other beautiful places!

Every year, this course organizes a trip to a different country in Europe, as its aim for students is to learn about the experience of a country being part of such community, as well as knowing how EU funds are being used. But, do you want to know what it is like to be part of a trip like this?

The experience of the EU course trip to Italy

Last fall, IPA and some Erasmus students travelled to Rome. On the first day, they attended a lecture about Italy’s experience as an European Union member in one of the most emblematic universities of the capital, John Cabot University, followed by a visit to the European Commission representation, where they learned about how Italy works and contributes to the EU and about the country’s relation to the EU.

The following days, the group traveled to Teramo, Bisenti, and Nocciano in the Abruzzo region, and found out how a food producing business is working and being run from generation to generation, and how EU funding helped this company. The group also got to taste some of their products and had a delicious lunch in the restaurant they have in the village. Later on, the group visited a wine farm, where students learned about how EU funding was used, as well as about the process of wine making.

– One of the best experiences

A visit to a National Park was organized for the next day in Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, and staff working at the park held a lecture about recent EU projects they did about wolves. On the last day, students visited one more company where the founder talked about entrepreneurship and businesses.

Clara Riemenschneider, a student participant who joined the trip still has a lot of good memories about Italy:

– Joining the trip was one of the best experiences I had as an Erasmus student. I could see and learn from real projects about most of the things we talked about and discussed in class. And I had the chance to get to know my Norwegians classmates better!

Whether you are an Erasmus student, or whether you are taking another degree at VUC, and you think this course can be relevant for you, you still have time to join it! Remember that in order to attend the trip you must be a student of IPA 113 / 213.

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