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COSIMENA Summer School 2023 on "Cross-cultural Communication: How can we understand each other?"

© DAAD

Cross-cultural dialogue is crucial for fostering mutual understanding in a globalized world and for addressing global challenges collaboratively. However, stereotypes about other cultures, misinterpretations of cultural values, and a lack of knowledge often hinder these processes. On the other hand, the mobility of individuals and ideas through digital media provides opportunities to transcend national borders. What are the challenges to achieving better cross-cultural understanding, and how can we overcome them?

1         Aim & Scope

The COSIMENA Summer School aims to explore challenges and best practices in cross-cultural communication within different cultural and societal sectors, including social and news media, film, the arts, and tourism. Participants will engage with experts from Egypt, other Arab countries, and Germany to gain new insights and broaden their perspectives. Additionally, the participants will receive training in innovative media production strategies and tools, such as multimedia storytelling and data visualization, to effectively present their findings. The scope of the program encompasses both theoretical discussions and practical training, providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of both cross-cultural communication and media production.

2         Objectives

  • cross-regional exchange and cooperation about global challenges
  • enhancing awareness about cross-cultural communication
  • combining theory with practical experience as a claim to a demand-oriented higher education, job market and post-pandemic world
  • and gaining practical experience in the field
  • enhance cross-cultural exchange of ideas in the field between Germany and the MENA region

3         Concept

3.1         Methodology

The methodology of the COSIMENA Summer School will be multidisciplinary in nature, incorporating a variety of approaches. Expert lectures will be delivered on diverse topics, and visits to cultural communication institutions such as the Library of Alexandria or the Ahram Media Institution will be organized. Trainer-led workshops at Ahram Canadian University will provide participants with in-depth knowledge on how to present their work in innovative ways, for instance through videos and podcasts. Participants will be organized into small, cross-culturally mixed groups, working on different subjects related to understanding each other better.

During the COSIMENA Summer School, participants will have the opportunity to engage in fieldwork, including conducting interviews with stakeholders and visiting sites. The findings and insights gained from these activities will be incorporated into their final media products, which will be presented on the last day of the Summer School. Additionally, these final products will be shared online as educational materials, allowing for wider dissemination and impact.

The methodology of the Summer School encourages a hands-on approach, combining theoretical knowledge with practical application. It promotes active engagement, collaboration, and cross-cultural exchange among participants, fostering a deeper understanding of cross-cultural communication and media production.

3.1.1       Formats

  • Face-to-Face-Lectures: Lectures in which the participants can work together on a specific theme and are provided with input from the trainers and experts and discuss with fellow participants.
  • Workshops: In the workshops, the participants will work in groups on assignments and small projects in which they create innovative content tied to the theme and the programme.
  • Field Trips: During the field trips, the participants will visit partner institutions to gain insights into their work and the various approaches connected to the theme. Furthermore, the participants will get the chance to put some of the techniques they have learned in the lectures into practice.

3.1.2       Working Group Projects

During the COSIMENA Summer School, cross-cultural working groups will be formed on the first day. Each group will work on a subject related to cross-cultural communication, chosen in close collaboration with expert supervisors based on the interests of the group members. The topics chosen can be diverse and may include issues such as stereotypes of migration in different societies, the use of virtual reality for understanding the cultural heritage of other cultures, or the discussion of cultural norms of gender in Egypt and Germany, among others.

Throughout the Summer School, the working groups will conduct research, collect ideas, and gather data, including through interviews and other relevant sources. The groups will collaborate and engage in discussions to develop their understanding of the chosen topic. The goal is to create a media product that reflects their research findings and insights.

The working groups provide an opportunity for participants to work closely with their peers from diverse cultural backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural exchange and mutual learning. Through their collaborative efforts, the groups will gain a deeper understanding of cross-cultural communication and develop practical skills in media production, allowing them to effectively convey their research findings to a wider audience.

3.1.3       Certificate of Participation

Participants are expected to be part of all activities taking place in the Summer School.  A certificate of participation will be issued at the end of the event , provided that the participant has attended the entire summer school.

3.2         Logistics

The DAAD Regional Office Cairo will cover all costs related to mobility and accommodation in the scope of the COSIMENA Summer School. Accommodation will take place in Cairo with three meals a day provided.

Kindly note that no daily allowance is provided to the participants!

3.2.1       When?

The COSIMENA Summer School will take place from September 10th to September 17th, 2023, with the arrival day on Saturday, September 9th and the departure day on Monday, September 18th.

3.2.2       Where?

The program will be held at various locations in Cairo, Egypt, including Ahram Canadian University, the DAAD Regional Office Cairo and partner institutions.

3.2.3       Travel & Accommodations

The arrangements for participants will be taken care of by the DAAD. This will include covering the costs of flights or other transportation, accommodation, and boarding during the duration of the Summer School. Additionally, a transfer from the airport to the accommodation in Cairo will be arranged.

The logistics of the program are designed to provide a comfortable and convenient experience for participants, allowing them to fully engage in the activities of the Summer School without having to worry about travel and accommodation arrangements.

3.3         Application Process

3.3.1       Who can apply?

The COSIMENA Summer School encourages junior researchers from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) region as well as from Germany to apply, with the aim of achieving regional diversity and fostering intercultural cooperation between the two regions. Applicants should be currently pursuing a master’s program or have finished their master’s studies within the last 2 years. The program is open to a variety of disciplines in social sciences and humanities, including but not limited to:

  • Mass communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political sciences and economics
  • Sociology
  • Film Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • Information technology, and other fields related to the topic

Applicants should have an interest in cultural exchange and be willing to work collaboratively in intercultural group settings. While prior experience in video or podcast production is welcome, it is not a requirement.

3.3.2       How to apply?

Please apply online here: https://www.daad.de/surveys/855262?lang=en 

Required documents include:

  • CV in English,
  • graduate diploma (if already available) and/or transcripts,
  • proof of registration for a master’s degree or master’s certificate,
  • proof of sufficient English language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, language certificate from your university, proof of enrolment in an English-speaking program, etc.),
  • a motivation letter in English, outlining why you want to take part in the COSIMENA summer school, how you could personally benefit from the program and what kind of own research/graduation project you are working on and how it is related to the theme of the Summer School. The length of the motivation letter should range between 200 and 250 words.

Please note that only complete applications can be accepted. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

The application deadline is July 20th, 2023.

4         Further Information and Contact details.

As mentioned, the DAAD Regional Office Cairo will cover all costs related to mobility, visa and accommodation.

Kindly note that no daily allowance is provided to the participants!

For more information about the COSIMENA International Summer/Winter schools, kindly visit https://www.daad.eg/en/about-us/cosimena/annual-highlights/cosimena-summer-school/.

For inquiries please contact: cosimena@daadcairo.org

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