Engaging with Climate Action: EUniWell’s International Service Learning Project in Cologne
In today’s ever-changing world, the need for collective action to address pressing issues like climate change has never been more urgent. EUniWell is committed to the central task of promoting well-being in this way. This summer, for example, EUniWell students were able to engage with climate action through an International Service Learning Project in Cologne, offering students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in real-world challenges while gaining invaluable skills for their future careers.
The EUniWell International Service Learning Project 2023, organised by a team of seven staff members from five EUniWell universities (University of Birmingham, University of Cologne, Leiden University, Linnaeus University, Nantes Université) was titled “Design a Social Media Campaign and Support the Fight Against Climate Change”. Collaborating with the Climate Cooperation Initiative (CCI), a group of young activists based in Cologne, thirteen students from five different universities and diverse academic backgrounds embarked on a mission to raise awareness about climate change, develop strategies for climate cooperation, and advocate for climate justice. Through the guidance of industry experts like Markus Brandl, a digital corporate communications specialist and academic professional, the participating students gained valuable skills in social media strategy, interdisciplinary teamwork, leadership, and project management.
The heart of the project was the creation of a comprehensive social media campaign that aimed to engage, educate, and inspire its audience. With a focus on expanding reach, attracting new members, and disseminating crucial information, students delved into the concepts of climate cooperation, carbon pricing, and climate finance. Their efforts led to the design of appealing content that resonated with an international audience and created a platform for meaningful dialogue.
A trip to Cologne from 26 to 28 June marked the conclusion of the project, where students presented their work to the CCI during an in-person event at the University of Cologne. The results of the project were impressive, as students successfully designed CCI’s social media campaign on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn, crafting engaging posts and a content calendar for optimised distribution. Moreover, their dedication earned them a grant of 1,500€ from the Ford Motor Company Fund, demonstrating the tangible outcomes of their hard work.
The success of the 2023 project points to a promising future for EUniWell’s further International Service Learning endeavours. By nurturing students’ passion for sustainability, improving their skills, and providing opportunities for impactful engagement, this project sets the stage for a new generation of changemakers.
EUniWell International Service Learning Project
The EUniWell International Service Learning Project is a collaborative programme designed to offer an integrative learning experience to EUniWell students from different universities over the span of several weeks. In collaboration with different organisations from the local community, students get to participate in online and in-person activities on one specific topic, while acquiring a variety of associated skills within a structured, yet experiential learning environment.
- University of Birmingham: Daniel Walker, Helen Hook
- University of Cologne: Meike Bredendiek, Maren Mardink
- Leiden University: Marieke van Haaren
- Linnaeus University: Per Pettersson
- Nantes Université: Maxence Boutet
For inquiries and additional information on the 2023 Service Learning Project: “Design a social media campaign and support the fight against climate change!”, please feel free to reach out to Maren Mardink and Meike Bredendiek at service-learning[at]uni-koeln.de.
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