Our summer with the V4
In early June, our lecturer Dr. Lenka Tkáč-Zabáková invited me and some other students Bc. Zsófia Borsányiová, Bc. Barbara Gyurisová, Yelizaveta Tkalich, Natalya Krasheninnikova and an absolvent Mgr. Daria Khatková to attend V4 Summer School. It was created to encourage students to examine today’s challenges of Visegrad Group, which celebrates 30 years since its establishment and it was supported with Visegrad Grant.
Our student research team has already started preparations for research at the end of June. During the summer, we met twice a month for an online meeting where we discussed development of our work. Our lecturer Dr. Tkáč-Zabáková divided the topic of Cultural and other specificities of the V4 countries between the five of us to create a common presentation later on. We dealt with common cultural facets of the V4 countries, financial support provided by the Visegrad Fund and its successful projects carried out in 30 years of the V4 cooperation, and other outcomes of the Visegrad Group collaboration in the sphere of geopolitics, common interests, culture promotion, education, but also common actions and coordination in other fields.
This year, the final event of the summer school was organized online due to the pandemic situation. The online meeting was held on 27th August. Its agenda began with welcome speeches and Peter Rada's keynote speech about the general local geopolitics, followed by the panel discussions lead by the moderator Peter Stepper. Director for Foreign Affairs at Equilibrium Institute Daniel Bartha, Lenka Tkáč-Zabáková from our university and a lecturer from University of Lublin Piotr Celinski discussed questions related to the 30 years of the V4 cooperation. A lot of good ideas and thoughts came up during the discussion, but I personally liked the idea of Piotr Celinski who said that "the V4 could be more about people, nations, region and academic exchanges..." rather than formal political institution.
After lunch break, student groups’ presentations began. Firstly, it was our research team presenting the work. Next topic was presented by the Metropolitan University from Budapest. Their presentation discussed the use of the V4 group as a platform in European politics.
Then, last presentation was prepared by the students of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University of Lublin. The Polish group chose the topic Digitisation challenges within the Visegrad Group.
Each presentation was very interesting, I also learned a lot of new information about partial subjects, that are not covered much within our mostly culturally and linguistically oriented studies of the region of the V4.
The evaluation of the presentations and feedback circle was the last part of this online event. Vilmos Vass, the associate professor of methodological studies in Budapest Metropolitan University, evaluated all presentations and gave good ideas for the student’s future works. In addition to the professor's evaluation, students gave feedbacks on each other’s presentations to strengthen collaborative assessment.
In summary, V4 Summer School was a useful pastime. Even though it took place online, we gained a unique experience and got to know a lot of interesting people.
Text and photo: Bc. Barbara Gyurisová