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UCL Global Citizenship Programme

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Challenging Europe

Explore the challenges, cultures and diverse languages of Europe.

Challenging Europe is open to all undergraduate and taught postgraduate UCL students.

Europe is a continent that defies easy categorisation. Shifting borders; competing ideologies and visions of political community; languages, cultures and faiths that unite and divide in equal measure. Even in the relative stability of the last 50 years, Europe remains a contemporary challenge.

This new strand explores Europe in its many guises, including the European Union but looking beyond it as well. You'll conduct your own research with London's varied communities to understand the challenges faced across the continent.

Through a close engagement with people, language, and society, the Challenging Europe strand demonstrates the values of Global Citizenship that are needed in an ever more connected world.

What skills will I develop?

  • Film-making, film-editing, and poster design
  • Language skills in one of eight European languages (from sounds and simple structures to more complex topics such as texts and cultural representation in language)
  • Ethnographic interview and fieldwork techniques
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Dealing with empathy and serendipity in interdisciplinary research
Engaging and thought-provoking content, and a great opportunity to learn a new language for free!“Engaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for freeEngaging and thought-provoking content. Great opportunity to learn a new language for free

What will I do?

Sample languages

You’ll explore one of eight less-widely used languages spoken in various local contexts in Europe: Welsh, Saami, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish.

You’ll gain an understanding of how language relates to identity and personality on an individual level, and what it has to do with other cultural practices such as religion and politics.

And you’ll finish by reading a piece of literature in your chosen language after just eight taught hours!

Understand the region

You’ll get to grips with Europe across a variety of perspectives – from history to politics, faith to migration.

You’ll develop an understanding of a huge range of subjects, including the history of political ideas particular to Europe and the European Union, the linguistic landscape of the region, migration along Roman roads and Mediterranean seaways, Viennese theatres in Odessa, Muslim populations now and hundreds of years ago, Turkish travellers, Gypsy settlements, and Jewish townships.

Afterwards, you’ll discuss these subjects in small groups, led by a postgraduate student, and debate the issues facing Europe today.

Get creative

In the first week, you’ll take part in sessions on film-making, portrait photography, and fieldwork techniques. And then you’ll put these skills to use.

  • You’ll create a documentary film about a member of the European community in London.
  • You’ll reflect on Europe and global citizenship through blog entries.
  • And you’ll curate a portrait exhibition to tell the story of migrants' arrivals in London.