The Program

Structure of the Symposia

The symposia are structured as follows:

(1) Preparatory Phase

Faculty organizers decide upon the parameters for the following year during the preceding symposium. This decision pertains to the field trip location and overall topic of the program. During the term directly preceding the symposium, students are prepared in classroom seminars at each of the participating universities. We discuss the general theme and aid students in identifying their research topics to be presented at the symposium conference. To coordinate students and faculty at all three universities, we utilize an on-line course system and video-conferencing to facilitate the discussion, share courseware, and perform and coordinate joint tasks. Student selection is based on academic merits, and lies within the discretion of the respective unit.

The symposium web site ( features information on the individual participants and their projects. The papers to be presented at the symposium will be finished by the beginning of the symposium week, and test presentations will be held in class to make sure that students feel comfortable with their presentation and are prepared to engage with their peers in the concluding conference. Students will receive feedback throughout their research and writing process both by academic faculty and student/assistant organizers.

(2) Symposium Week

The symposium week consists of several days of joint activities at a specific location. These are:

  • cultural activities (museum visits, archaeological sites, art galleries, theater, etc.)
  • social activities
  • academic workshops by expert speakers on several issues related to the topic of the symposium
  • visits to political (both official authorities and NGOs), economic and cultural institutions related to the topic of the symposium

(3) Concluding Symposium Conference

The student presentations are held in a public academic conference. The conference is organized by the student/assistant organizers with input from academic faculty.

(4) Assessment & Alumni Phase

During the symposium, learning outcomes are undergoing assessment. The findings of this process will be fed back into the next iteration of the program. In conducting the assessment of the program, we combine the evaluation of the academic merits of the student participation with an assessment of several of the individual components of both the preparatory seminar and the field trip portion. We have been gathering qualitative and quantitative data in various forms, undertaken during the field trip and the conference, assessing the value of the individual excursions, the expected and actual learning outcomes by the students, and their self-assessment of their own individual learning objectives. We offer continuous mentoring and consultations to make sure the experience contributes to the successful graduation of the students.

We will also maintain connections with symposium participants in order to create a community of former participants. Program alumni will be invited to all upcoming events, and we will also offer an on-line discussion forum to facilitate an on-going exchange. This structure allows us to achieve the key learning and leadership objectives outlined below.

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Oregon State University   Humboldt University Berlin   Warsaw University

Transatlantic Students Symposia