Engaged Citizens Programme

Charlie Stevens

The EUC Engaged Citizens Programme is an extracurricular programme in which a small group of students gets the opportunity to initiate and engage in activities that commonly fall outside of the scope of their academic learning journey. Considering the turbulent world we are currently living in, and the resulted implications on both our personal and societal situation, the Engaged Citizens Programme focus on the broad concept of well-being. It is an interdisciplinary programme designed to experience, reflect, and act on the whole spectrum between our individual to global space. The programme corresponds to a study load of 15ECTS and runs parallel to the regular coursework.

The Purpose of the Engaged Citizens Programme

Facing the different challenges current days bring can be overwhelming. Whether personal, societal, political, environmental, and other, we often lack the ability to properly experience and act on these situations. An important realization is that all these domains are interlinked, and that we can take proper steps towards a state of well-being.

The purpose of the Engaged Citizens Programme is to expose you to different aspects of the concept “well-being”, to learn and experience it from different angles, and to help you develop skills that will support you in taking meaningful action. We will learn, experience, and implement knowledge and skills related to our personal, social and environmental well-being.

Throughout this programme, we will use different methodologies aimed at personal growth and resilience. These methodologies are derived from the world of martial arts, and initially focus on individual development. Gradually, you will connect your personal reflections and development into action within the close community. These connections will further expand all the way to the environmental and global scales. This interdisciplinary interactive design will allow you to develop a more comprehensive, well-informed, and critical thinking process regarding the most urgent current global issues. It will give you the opportunity to actively act on a chosen aspect and implement your new knowledge and skills for the benefit of our community.

The structure of the Engaged Citizens Programme

Conventional academic teaching almost exclusively employs the student’s mind and ignore the potential benefits of a more physical educational interaction. In contrast, the Engaged Citizens Programme will integrate a continuous physical interaction based on martial arts practice within the delivered academic content, to develop a holistic concept of individual well-being. This experience will be expanded to the societal and then to the global levels, by developing community and environmental awareness.

The general structure of this year-long programme is designed in a bottom-up manner; we will start with personal development processes, and make our way up, all the way to the planet’s ecology.

The programme includes:

  • Interactive lectures – You can expect to learn about the history, philosophy, and cultural aspects of martial arts, as well as concepts in physiology, anatomy, medicine, and other aspects related to the practice. You will learn about community building, social networks, nature-human interactions, regenerative cultures, inner development goals, urban gardening, sustainable food, and more.
  • Physical trainings – elements from different martial arts will be learned and practiced, with the content range between practical self-defense to esthetical aspects of movements. You will learn Karate drills, Tai-Chi form, practical self-defense techniques, and more. Key concepts discussed during the lectures will receive a physical meaning through these trainings.
  • Guests’ workshops and visits around Rotterdam - like cooking, music, dancing, leadership, complementary medicine, foresting, and more. These will both broaden the learning process and deepen the connection to the community.
  • Organizing thematic events within the community, like empowerment women’s self-defense, activities for senior citizens, youth activities, and more.

Participating in the Engaged Citizens Programme

Who can apply?

The Engaged Citizens Programme is open for committed and inquisitive second- and third-year EUC students. In the selection process, we put a high premium on motivation, inquisitiveness, and an explicit deliberation on how the programme can contribute to your personal learning goals.

IMPORTANT – although a significant part of the programme involve martial arts-related practice, anyone can join this programme, regardless of their physical condition, and no prior martial arts knowledge is needed. However, these trainings will involve physical exercise and physical contact.

How to apply?

All second- and third-year EUC students can apply to the programme. Your application should consist the following:

  1. A (maximum) 2-page summary in which you:
    1. Present who you are and why you would like to participate in the Engaged Citizens Programme.
    2. Briefly present an idea you would want to explore, related to the connection between the individual and the global scales.
    3. Briefly mention a potential action you would want to execute aimed at contributing to our community’s well-being.
  2. Your CV (as a pdf file, with your full name as the name of the document).
  3. A short interview.

Please send your application to shpak@euc.eur.nl, using the following subject line: Engaged Citizens Programme Application before 27/11/2022.

Students that will be offered a spot in the programme will be notified via email by 11/12/2022.

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