FIU named partner in International Summer University for Intercultural Leadership

FIU has been named a partner university in the International Summer University for Intercultural Leadership.

The summer university brings together top students and world-class faculty from universities across the globe to cultivate the values of peace, mutual respect and intercultural dialogue. For two weeks, they will attend lectures and workshops and participate in a variety of social and cultural events. The students will also work in groups to develop research projects which they will continue to work on after the conclusion of the program.

In its inaugural year, the summer university kicked off July 1 at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey.


FIU Religious Studies Professor Tudor Parfitt (left) and President Mark B. Rosenberg walk through the streets of Istanbul.

FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg and Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies Tudor Parfitt attended and spoke at the opening ceremony. Parfitt, who was part of the international committee who designed the summer program, also gave a talk on World War II as a racial war.

“I have been very happy with the International Summer University so far. The two FIU students participating in the program have been more than happy with it, and it is great to see the way all of the participants from around the world have been getting on well together,” Parfitt said. “The fact that our delegation was there for the opening ceremonies when other folks stayed away because of the recent disturbances in Istanbul was noted and commented on. This is just a great opportunity for engagement with Turkish and global institutions to help us increase our Middle Eastern and North African profile.”

Two of FIU’s Professional MA in Global Governance students, Claudia Balzan and Giovanni Bruna, are attending the summer university alongside 54 college students from 17 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. They are studying the causes of wars and genocide in 20th century Europe; the processes of peace and reconciliation that laid the foundation for the European Union; and the challenges facing European societies today. The theme of this year’s program is “The European Experience: from World Wars to Peace and Reconciliation.”

Launched by the Aladdin Project, the summer university is funded by the European Parliament and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Based in Paris, the Aladdin Project is an independent, non-governmental organization whose goal is to promote greater mutual knowledge among peoples of different cultures and religions, particularly Jews and Muslims, in order to bring about changes in attitudes and perceptions and develop a culture of peace and tolerance.

Other partner universities in the International Summer University include George Washington University, New York University, Sciences Po Paris (France), Tel Aviv University (Israel), Dakar University (Senegal), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), University of London and Graduate Institute of Geneva, among others.

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