Connecting with the Mediterranean
Central to the ethos of UWC is the belief that critical thinking and experiential education allow students to engage in the possibility of social change. UWC Short courses help UWC broaden its impact by sharing its mission, values, and educational experience with more people from different countries, backgrounds, and communities.
Short Courses are summer programmes that offer an experience similar to that of the two-year program but in a shorter timeframe. Short courses allow participants to explore, live, and share experiences with 30-60 other students from around the world.
Recognising the strong potential of UWC short courses and the multi-level impact such educational program can have on youth from the region, UWC Lebanon National Committee has organised two editions of this international course in 2018 and 2019 consecutively that aimed at:
- Encouraging critical thinking and awareness of the MENA region within the global context
- Creating a safe space for dialogue, in which similarities and differences, on a personal, and cultural level between participants can be explored together.
- Promoting the UWC sense of idealism, international and intercultural understanding, compassion and service, personal responsibility, and integrity.
- Equipping participants with the courage to apply the skills, knowledge, and ideas gained from the short courses in community projects back home that they can either join or initiate themselves.
- Applying theoretical knowledge in practice by working hands-on with local initiatives in Lebanon.
- Benefiting from cultural exchange through teamwork and collaboration with young people from around the world.
Given its complex, unique and diverse cultural landscape, Lebanon provided an added value to the short courses; its natural environment, social composure of diverse identities, and the constant struggle for the maintenance and strengthening of real freedom of thought and conscience added an innumerable value to the short course experience.
UWC Lebanon Short Course 2018
Connecting with the Mediterranean – UWC Lebanon Short Course 2018 took place from the 8th until the 18th of July in the heart of Beirut at the American University of Beirut campus (AUB).
Participants and Facilitators came from 21 countries and from different socio-economic backgrounds. Nevertheless, Lebanese participants themselves were also from varied and different backgrounds, which included refugees, asylum seekers, state schools' students, and private schools' students. This purposeful cultural and socioeconomic diversity of the participants was only possible due to the high number of full and partial scholarships that were made possible; About 60% of the participants received financial aid while the rest paid a subsidized fee. This allowed the participants to live and learn together, while gradually becoming aware of the different realities of other participants.
Participants attended workshops facilitated by experts, did hands-on simulations, site visits, and recreational activities. This experiential learning program exposed them to concepts of intersubjectivity, history, social innovation, design thinking, privilege, migration, and social change through the lens of Lebanon, connecting it with the Mediterranean.
This Short Course instilled in the participants a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to the idea of connecting across cultural and socio-economic divides, to foster personal and social awareness, and to inspire them to be pro-active agents for social change through their own initiatives.
UWC Lebanon Short Course 2019
After the great success of the first UWC Lebanon Short Course, Connecting with the Mediterranean – UWC Lebanon Short Course 2019 took place from the 2nd until the 16th of July in the mountainous village of Laqlouq.
Participants came from 15+ countries and from different socio-economic backgrounds. The number of students applying from the MENA region increased significantly since the last Short Course as well as the total number of applications. 50% of the participants received financial aid while the rest paid subsidized fees.
85% of the participants expressed that the Short Course encouraged them to discover and follow their personal ambitions in the future. Participants also expressed strong satisfaction with the workshops' content and the facilitator team.
Participants took part in interactive educational workshops that focused on sustainability, migration, social justice, activism, and arts. Participants expressed strong satisfaction with the workshops' content and design. Participants were also able to immerse themselves in the Lebanese culture through outings, discussions, and food. The participants left the Short Course with new skills, knowledge, and friends from all over the world.