The UoH HARMONY team is pleased to contribute to international experience of students of UoH. Three UoH students-Sanjeevini N, Mohammed Naseeh Kozhithodi and V Lasya Priya -from Centre for Integrated Studies (CIS) attended three-week Boot camp under the HARMONY project, funded by Erasmus+ of European Union at Varna University of Management (VUM) at Varna, Bulgaria from July 1-21, 2023.The boot camp was attended by twenty-one students from India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. The students from UoH who participated in the boot camp are the winners of Digital Storytelling competition, conducted by HARMONY UoH team in December 2022. The bootcamp was conducted in the scenic city of Dobrich (Varna) where VUM is situated on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. The boot camp’s main objective was to foster intercultural understanding and equip students with valuable knowledge in Event Management, Intercultural Awareness, and Communication and Leadership. The programme ran for three weeks, during which the participants engaged in a plethora of learning experiences, workshops, and team-building exercises. The lectures and trainingmodulesfocused on cultivating and managing cultural diversities in higher academic institutions through the learning of intercultural awareness. This training has enabled students to prepare for the next step of the project as student coordinators for the Friends Teahouse at UoH.

The boot camp culminated in the grand finale – the “Delight in Diversity” festival, organized entirely by the participating students. UoH boot camp participants, in their post bootcamp debriefing with UoH HARMOMY team mentioned that Project Harmony not only allowed them to gain essential skills in their respective fields but also provided a unique platform to represent the country, cultivate lasting relationships and memories across borders. The students were awarded with certificates from the project and 4 ECTS for their 100 hours of learning.

Prof. N. Siva Kumar, the UoH HARMONY project lead, while congratulating UoH Bootcamp participants, opined that the bootcamp experience is a great milestone in their life and academic career, which in turn will motivate a greater number of students to participate in such intercultural learning and awareness programmes in future. He went on to add that the boot campers will take the lead to conduct several programmes and activities in the Teahouse / intercultural hub at OIA (which was inaugurated in April 2023) in the days to come.