SPECIAL FOCUS DAYS
A topic, a day at UWC Robert Bosch College. Special Focus Days aim at taking a closer look at core areas and central themes relevant in an intercultural context.
Five times a year, we organize Special Focus Days at the College. These days are a platform for us to take a closer look at topics such as interfaith dialogue, politics, democracy, peace and injustice or sustainability.
On Special Topic Days, we skip classes for a day; instead, students and staff members organize seminars and workshops, invite external speakers and think of and create interactive sessions around a topic of their choice.
Students look at political systems and democracies worldwide on our Political Thought Special Focus Day.
The students at UWC Robert Bosch College come from all over the world and from different political, cultural, social, religious and geographical contexts and backgrounds. What does democracy mean for each of them? How is it viewed in their societies? To what extent has the society they come from shaped their understanding of sustainability, of peace and war or religion? At UWC, students have the opportunity to become teachers by sharing their experiences with others. In the workshops, which are usually student-led, the young adults can learn from one another and broaden their perspectives.
A PLATFORM FOR EVERYONE
Special Focus Days are open to all staff members and teachers, but also participants from other schools. In the last years, we’ve had guests from several Freiburg schools, some of which have also offered to take over workshops and help organize the day.
Exchange and discussion: a working group in action.
External speakers such as Freiburg’s Lord Major, Dr. Dieter Salomon, or the Director of Greenpeace Germany, Daniel Mittler, enrich the events and offer valuable impulses. In all these encounters, we try to create these “safe spaces”, as mentioned in the quote above by our teacher Alex: a platform that allows all participants to ask questions in a safe environment, to challenge opinions and share own attitudes and assumptions. Explore how Special Focus Days look like in the image gallery below, which uses our annual Interfaith Dialogues Day as an example.
At RBC, we have student representatives from all major world religions, students with a faith background and students with no faith. Religion, faith and questions of existence naturally play a big role in the everyday life on campus.
What is Sunni Islam? What do Muslims believe? Students Omar and Mahmoud answered these questions in one of the morning sessions.
On Interfaith Special Focus Day, we bring in faith speakers from a number of different religions. Through seminars and workshops, students have the possibility to familiarize themselves with how religions around the world make sense of the world, ask questions and initiate dialogue.
Interfaith Dialogue day invites students and staff to encounter, examine and understand what various religions/faiths/spiritualities and philosophies from around the world believe about the “meaning or purpose of our lives”. For one whole day, we engage in discussions, workshops and presentations by students, staff or outside faith representatives, looking at the functions that these religions/faiths/spiritualities and philosophies play in society and considering how they can promote peace and avoid conflict.
Alex Bird, teacher and organizer of this day, emphasizes that Interfaith Day “does not aim to promote any religious or faith belief over another and does not aim to influence students in their faith or atheistic positions, but that the emphasis is on education, exchange and respect.”
GLOBAL AFFAIRS: LEARNING FROM THE EXPERTS
Another part of the school’s curriculum is Global Affairs, a talk and discussion series providing students with insights and knowledge from a number of different areas, all relevant to the world and society we live in today. Often, we invite guest speakers and representatives from the fields of politics, research, culture or religion to share their experiences with the students. On many occasions, the students or staff members themselves prepare to speak on a certain topic, sometimes related to historical situations or current affairs in their home countries. Thanks to a wide network of UWC alumni worldwide, we have been able to invite a range of highly relevant speakers to the College, such as Greenpeace Germany Director Daniel Mittler, diplomat Hans von Sponeck or economist Klaus Leisinger.Contact Us
Thinking outside of the box in our Global Affairs series, which takes a look at central themes relevant in the world we live in.