As a delegate from my hosting organization - Greifswald International Student Festival - I had an opportunity to visit International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT), Norway, that was held from 7th-17th February this year.
What is ISFiT?
ISFiT is the largest international student festival in the world. In 1990 the first festival was held and ever since it has been organized every second year in order to create unity between students across borders. Every participant of the festival has a unique chance to take part in a great variety of cultural events, workshops, plenary sessions, and many other events.
This year the main theme of ISFiT19 was «Migration». 500 participants from more than 100 countries gathered in Trondheim to explore various aspects of migration.
In order to fully dive into the festival’s theme and look at the topic of migration from different perspectives, ISFiT team organized more than 15 workshops, such as “Technology”, “Culture and migration”, “Politics and Power”, “The Refugee Crisis”, “Education”, “Human Trafficking”, and others.
I was lucky enough to be involved in “Technology” workshop. What were the main activities on this workshop?
We drew parallels between technologies and migration discussing our thoughts with participants from different countries, we looked at the topic “Migration” of how it influences our lives and communities. In addition, we exchanged knowledge and experience, generated ideas, played teambuilding games, and had fun.
Another bonus is that we had an opportunity to attend plenary sessions and panel discussions after the workshops and dinner. This year ISFiT team organized them entitled “Migration to Mars”, “Modern Slavery”, “Voices of change”, “Climate Migration”, “The Refugee System”, and many others.
On every festival outstanding people are invited and over the years the first female prime minister of Norway - Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Dalai Lama, Chai Ling, Nobel Peace Prize winner - Wangari Maathai, Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, and numerous others have already visited ISFiT.
ISFiT19 was no exception: Nobel Peace Prize laureate - Tawakkol Karman, winner of the 2018 Nansen Refugee award - Dr. Evan Atar, Executive Director of the Mars Society USA and Education and Outreach Officer for the Royal Astronomical Society in London - Lucinda Offer, Aaron Ridley - Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, Hoda Katebi - a Muslim - Iranian political fashion blogger, and others.
Program of ISFiT19 was full of different cultural events: concerts, parties, exhibitions, poetry nights. Regardless Opening and Closing ceremonies, Student Peace Prize ceremony. That was great.
Plus, during the festival «Snow day» was held and I had a lot of fun to go fjord skiing and playing snowballs.
As for me to be a part of ISFiT19 turned out to be a good opportunity to get more information about Norwegian people and their culture. I was living in a nice host family, where I found out, that for thousands families in Norway traditional Friday dinner is Taco. This fact really surprised me. Besides I tried famous «Brown cheese» and learned, how much people in Norway like skiing, but prefer to go skiing not in Norway, but Sweden.
And of course particular attention should be given to Norwegian nature and architecture of the city. In Trondheim I saw a lot of beautiful and at the same time architecturally simple Scandinavian style buildings from different times, wonderful fjords and very cold Norwegian sea (but this fact did not prevent our workshop Team Lead and a participant from Bangladesh to swim in it in February).
Without any doubt I am delighted, that I was a part of ISFiT19.