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CCU students explore global and cultural issues during International Student Festival in Norway

March 22, 2023
Students participated in many cultural activities during their trip, including a visit to the historic Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.Polina Ampirska, CCU political science major (far right) hanging out with her workshop group

Nine Coastal Carolina University students explored global and cultural issues at the 2023 International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT), Norway, in February. Held biennially in Trondheim since 1990, ISFiT is the world’s largest international student festival. The event was sponsored by CCU’s Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences and Department of Political Science, as well as a grant from the United States Department of State.

This marks the 10th year that CCU participated in the festival, which brings together students from all over the world to discuss and debate global issues. This year’s theme, “Polarization,” allowed students to consider their roles as agents of change in a world that is increasingly polarized by many factors such as nationality, race, ethnicity, and gender.

Workshops were a key aspect of the experience. Students were segmented into smaller groups to discuss the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of polarization.

The CCU students who participated are: Lauren Willett from Ocean City, N.J.; Connor Mojo from Conway, S.C.; Lillian Stone from Warrenton, Va.; Ashley Darpel from Cincinnati, Ohio; Nico DiAlesandro from Waynesburg, Pa.; Cierra Allen from Murrells Inlet, S.C.; Ryan Freyland,from Stuttgart, Germany; Polina Ampirska from Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Amanda Lane from Richmond, Va. The students are mainly political science and intelligence and security studies majors, with minors in anthropology, Spanish, statistics, history, African diaspora studies, and Middle Eastern studies.

The students were accompanied by Richard Aidoo, Ph.D., professor of political science, and Mariam Dekanozishvili, Ph.D., associate professor of political science.

“The International Student Festival provides students with enriching and exciting experiences in global diplomacy at the highest level in a very complex yet interconnected world,” said Aidoo. “As we prepare our students to help resolve tough real-world challenges, we harness rare global opportunities like the International Student Festival in Trondheim to give them the best tools of diplomacy to ensure success in their future endeavors.”

For more information about global engagement in the Spadoni College, click here. For more information about global initiatives at CCU, click here.