Vidzeme University recieves 137 summer school applications from 34 countries
 
Valmiera (Latvia), June 10, 2008. – This year Vidzeme University has received summer school applications from 137 students, representing 34 countries. It is a record-high number of applications and countries for Baltic International Summer School that will take place in Valmiera, Daugavpils (Latvia), Narva (Estonia) and Zarasai (Lithuania) from August 1-17. About 40 students will be selected for paticipation this year. The summer school will feature 17 recognized lecturers from 6 different countries, including United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Finland, Poland and Latvia, who will share their knowledge and competence on the summer school’s topic – “Communication. Technologies. Integration.”

The purpose of the summer school is to gather motivated journalism, public relations, new media and mass communication students as well as other interested individuals from all over the world to discuss the future of communication. This year’s focus is twofold: on the change of communication in the presence of information and communication technologies and how media uses new technologies to promote consolidation of society. The summer school will be both theoretical and practical. Students will have lectures and practical workshops where they will learn to use new tools to tell stories about the subject of various aspects of social integration.

The summer school will start out in Valmiera (Latvia) – where students will have classes and workshops, and continue with field trips to Narva (Estonia), Daugavpils (Latvia) and Zarasai (Lithuania), where they will examine the social integration issues and visit local media outlets to gain real-life experience about media’s role in integration of bilingual society. During the summer school students will also have an opportunity to learn or refresh Latvian and Russian language skills.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the summer school, Vidzeme University, in addition to traditional free time activities intended for understanding the Baltics better, such as Baltic film evening, folk dance evening, sports evening and excursions, several social activities will be organized differently this year. For instance, international students will have a “home stay” evening where they will be invited to stay with local families in Valmiera for one evening to experience the Baltics in real life setting. We hope that this one evening will make new friends to our participants in the Baltics for life.

The overall coordination of the Baltic International Summer School is provided by Vidzeme University College but this year it is joined by two more co-organizers – Daugavpils University and Tartu University’s Narva College. Traditionally the summer school has had many friends and supporters from public and private sector who provide extra scholarships for students to participate in the summer school – Latvian Ministry of Education and Science and Valmiera City Council, as well as private companies “Applied Information Service”, “Latvian Mobile Telephone” and Hansabanka, Valmieras piens, Trials, Cesu alus and Diena.

Full summer school program and a list of applicant countries is attached to this release. More information about the event can be found at http://biss.va.lv.

Media contacts for extra information, interviews and visuals:
Kaspars Ruklis, Director of the Summer School – kaspars.ruklis@gmail.com, +371 2940-5048,
Dana Cainikova, Public Relations Coordinator – dana.cainikova@va.lv, +371 2934-1235