Study Tours to Europe
Students of the Adenauer Division for the Study of European Politics and Society have the opportunity to join various study tours to deepen their understanding of Europe from political, socio-cultural and historical perspectives.
Poland, for most of us, is immediately associated with educational tours on the Holocaust of European Jewry. Indeed, this issue occupies a central part in the Jewish-Israeli relationship with Poland and beyond that, World War II in general and the Holocaust of European Jewry are a major issue in the political-social discourse in Poland. However, in the Simone Veil Research Centre in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung's tour to Poland on November 2019, we decided to focus on the other contents of Poland- a country with a rich and diverse history and culture; kingdoms and kings, dictatorship, communism, democracy, joining the European Integration project, and political and social changes. All these are reflected in the political, cultural, academic, and civil society.
During the tour, we visited places that told the fascinating history and interesting present of Poland. The heart of the tour dealt with Poland being part of the European Union, we discussed the processes that took place in Poland following the integration, and asked political, cultural and social questions, dealt with issues that are related to democracy in Poland and in the European Union in general. We will examined Poland's foreign relations and diplomacy at different levels. Our students met the young generation - students, political and social activists, as well as the institutional side - politicians, academics and others. We attempted to understand the various complexities of Poland in a multi-disciplinary and cross-period perspective.
During the tour, we discussed the connection between the distant past of Poland, its role and its role in World War II, the communist past, the westward turn, the rise of the right, its approach toward minorities, the place of the Jews, the connection with Israel and the
immigration to and from it.
During the first week of March (2018), CSEPS organised a study tour to Athens for a group of students from the Adenauer Division of European Studies. The study tour aimed at offering students a first-hand account of various challenges faced by Greece including the financial crisis and the refugee context as well as on Greek-Israel relations. The tour began with a visit to the Acropolis, a stroll around the Monastiraki Market and continued to the Corinth Canal, the ancient city of Mycenea, the charming port town of Nafplio, and the Athens Olympic Village.
During the tour, students had the opportunity to meet with a diverse set of individuals sharing their experience and insight on the current context in Greece and its relations with Israel. Ambassador of Israel to Greece, Mrs. Irit Ben-Abba, shared her extensive knowledge on Israel-Greece relations. Study tour participants also met with a group of Greek students who shared current challenges they face as a result of the country’s difficult financial strains.
Participants were also hosted by the University of Pireaus, where they were provided lectures on European perceptions of Israel and Israel-Greece relations. Later, they met with the Director General of the Greek Ministry of Immigration who discussed the country’s current immigration challenges. Study tour participants also conducted a ‘graffiti tour’ in the Exarchia neighbourhood of Athens. Finally, the group met with asylum seekers from Syria and Iran as well as with a Greek NGO assisting them. The asylum seekers shared their tremendous stories of despair and survival and discussed Greek efforts to assist them in their integration processes.
CSEPS organises an annual study visit to Brussels for students from the Adenauer Division and from the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The tour includes a fascinating day of meetings at NATO headquarters, a day of visiting the EU Institutions: the Parliament, the Secretary General of the Commision, the European External Action Service and the Comittee of the Regions, and a day of meetings with the Israeli delegation to the EU and NATO and representatives of EIPA. The visit provides students with the opportunity to meet and discuss with varied staff members of EU institutions, exposing them to important facets of EU work and action.
Berlin – The Politics and identity of Berlin The life of Multi-Cultural City , June 2015 , June 2016, June 2017
Three years ago, CSEPS decided to establish a study tour connecting the story of Europe, Germany, Berlin and Israel, to mark the 50 year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel.For us, as students and researchers at the Center for the Study of European Politics and Society, it is a great opportunity to visit and tour the capital city of Germany, Berlin. The multi-cultural city is a great destination to understand the German identity by all means – from past through present and its future. In every tour we are trying to discover more about its history, politics, culture, the people, the diversity etc. of the most colorful and interesting city in Europe. During the tour we meet politicians, social activists, researchers, students, artists, people from the culinary industry, and of course –everyday residents of Berlin. With them we hope to get to know Germany better; for our relationship, for us. Each day of the tour has its own theme from classical Berlin, East vs. West, activism through food, the immigrants and their role in the city and the Israelis and the Jews’ of Berlin.
Three Berlin study tours have taken place thus far.
Vienna, one of the historic cities in Europe and the center of the continent. It contains diverse stories about the development of European identity, modern nationalism and more. The city that was destroyed during the world wars symbolizes renewal, preservation of tradition, modernity, art, history and also conflicts.
The tour to Vienna allows a historical look at processes that took place in the city that still affect today, starting with conflicts around monuments, international institutions and legislation that promotes minority rights. The tour teaches us a lot about the political events in Europe in the past and today and how they shape the European identity.