American Students at UNIRI

Professor Sanja Barić, Ph.D., Vice-Rector for Studies and Students, along with Ms. Iva Tijan from the UNIRI International Unit and Ms. Patrizia Pelčić from the International Mobility Erasmus Office welcomed Professor Christine A. Lai, Ph.D., Head of the group of students from The State University of New York, on Monday, March 26, 2018. The group is here for their week-long volunteer visit to Rijeka, i.e. work on the Civic and Community Engagement project in Rijeka.

This concept implies acquainting the students with the community and direct action on concrete problems in real life. Civic engagement implies volunteering to make positive changes in the lives of our communities and developing a combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that change. It also includes the participation of individuals in activities of personal and public significance, which are not only for individual enrichment but socially useful to the community.

Community involvement implies cooperation between higher education institutions and their communities (at the local, regional, national or global level) for a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in the context of partnership and reciprocity.

The US Delegation arrived at the University of Rijeka Campus on Friday evening March 23, where a welcome committee consisting of the UNIRI Student Body Government welcomed them. During their visit to the University of Rijeka they have accommodations at the Student Dormitory "Trsat" within the framework of the Student Centre Rijeka.

Upon their arrival the group visited the Swimming Pools Kantrida and Athletic Hall Kantrida on Saturday, March 24, 2018, for sports-related volunterring activities. They helped out members of the Forca Swim Team, a swimming club for disabled persons, also experiencing Empathy Swimming, where the swim coach tied their respective arms, legs, and put blindfolds on in order to experience what it's like to swim with a disability. After that the students tried indoor rock climbing.

The students shared their experiences at the University of Rijeka Rectorate, where they were also briefly introduced with the work of the University of Rijeka, after which they made statements for the media.

The US Delegation is headed by Associate Prof. Christine A. Lai, Ph.D., and the respective students are Ashley E. Balicki, Alexis R. Lewis, Kacper Kozminski, Vadim V. Lebedyuk, Nakia C. Hock and Amber L. Martinez.

The group is set to visit the Rehabilitation Center Rijeka, Brašćine and Pulac subsidiaries, and ''Fortica'' Rehabilitation Center in Kraljevica, where they will participate in volunteer activities with the Center's proteges, and the ''Škurinje" Elementary School where they will, through various workshops, get acquainted with the program for children of Roma nationality, encouraging them in their English language studies.

They will also meet with representatives of the Student Union of the University of Rijeka, as well as Erasmus Student Network representatives.


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