Baltic University Programme is a network of about 230 universities and other institutes on higher learning in the countries of Baltic Sea region as well as countries near the basin, which are: Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia and Ukraine. Ternopil State Medical University is a partner of BUP since 2016. Hubert Mikosza, fourth year Faculty of Medicine student, took part in SAIL (Sustainability Applied in International Learning) summer conference, which started on 4 September 2018 in Szczecin and finished on 18 September 2018 in Stravanger (Norway) and was conducted at sea on-board the tall ship Fryderyk Chopin. Also participants had an opportunity to visit Visby on Gotland in Sweden. The SAIL included students from 26 member universities of 11 countries. The SAIL summer conference was focused on different thematic areas of sustainability, such as: environment, energy, climate, technology, economy, social science, education, etc.
On board the sailing vessel all students and teachers acted as a working crew, keeping all duties (navigation, deck, and kitchen) – around-the-clock. What is more, in the meantime there were lectures and group-projects for students.
“Those were one of the most challenging two weeks in a long time in my life. The schedule is completely different from what one might expect from usual conferences. The program included many activities, from hard around-the-clock work on board of the ship, to really interesting discussions and programs which were organized in the meantime. Even what was considered a difficult duty, cooking with the cook from early morning, was really satisfying, because I have never cooked on board of a ship, and my dreams just came true. Moreover I have always dreamed of visiting Sweden and Norway and now I know that they will be my next destination, because I fell in love with these landscapes and architecture”.
“Together with teachers, we became a one team, having common work, projects, inspiring conversation and discussions. I think one of the most incredible features of SAIL was a big diversity of really intelligent students from 26 universities studying at different faculties. We had never-ending topics to discuss, share many ideas and inspiration”.
The conference program gave an overview of the current situation including the most important issues of sustainability. Students participated in project work, presentations, lectures and discussions about sustainability, climate change, environmental protection and also some issues of health care.
“I was really surprised with variety of topics we have discussed. Besides sustainability issues, environmental changes, there were lectures on stress management and experiments led by prof. Jonas Bergquist. The research performed with participation of crew and students on board of Fryderyk Chopin ship, monitoring blood pressure changes during the sail, was really interesting for me as a medical student. I think everyone had chance to find some facets of their own specialty to share with others”.
Participants had also an opportunity to improve their team work skills, to learn different methods to increase work productivity, and to find out how to successfully organize a work project. A method called Design Thinking (DT), which helps in searching for creative solutions and effective solving the problems, was used for the work project.
“The lectures which took place at Uppsala University campus in Gotland were incredibly fascinating. I learned about many helpful tools, which definitely I will use in my student work, research and also my leadership as a president of Polish Students’ Association. I feel I improved my group projects skills and now I know how to organize my time efficiently. My future projects as well as other tasks will utilize results of our project on zero waste societies and Design Thinking (DT) as a one of the main tools.”
“I must confess that I had a pleasure to sing for crew and sail participants, so as one of the crew said, this was probably the first opera performance on-board of the Fryderyk Chopin ship ”.
“I am really grateful I got this perfect opportunity to spend two weeks on-board of Fryderyk Chopin ship. First of all I would like to thank Baltic University Programme for this magnificent adventure, the Network Manager – Maria Hejna and Scientific Coordinator of SAIL – Katarzyna Znajdek as well as our fantastic teachers for making out trip really well-organized and our programme really interesting and inspiring. I would like to express my gratitude to my scientific supervisor – Head of Medical Biology Department prof. Larysa Fedonyuk for invaluable support in development of my scientific work but also for recommending me to take part in SAIL 2018. I also would sincerely like to thank the Rector of Ternopil State Medical University – Prof. Mykhailo Korda as well as the Dean of International Students’ Faculty – Prof. Petro Selskyy for giving me possibility to take part in that project”.
“I am really satisfied with these two weeks on-board Fryderyk Chopin Ship. It was an unforgettable experience as well as really challenging and satisfying time. I was climbing the rigging, steering the ship, pulling lines, waking up for night alarms, cooking for everyone, singing opera and taking part in lectures and projects – that was a SAIL 2018 programme – one of the most extraordinary adventures in my lifetime.”