After a seven-hour train journey, 24 international students and a group of E³UDRES² staff members arrived in St. Jakob in Defereggen for the first-ever E³UDRES² Bootcamp - right in the middle of the picturesque Tyrolean Alps. For one week, they worked on the topic of the "New Sustainable Future Campus", in a hotel that was rented especially for the occasion of the Bootcamp.
When the first E³UDRES² Bootcamp was announced, the feedback was overwhelming: the final participants were selected from over 140 applications in a two-stage process. The limited places were finally filled by four students each from UC Leuven-Limburg UAS (Belgium), Vidzemes Augstskola (Latvia), Instituto Politecnico de Setubal (Portugal), Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara (Romania), Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Hungary), as well as the associated partner University of Applied Sciences Fulda (Germany) and of course St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, the lead organizing institution of the event.
Bootcamp participants enjoying their time in the Austrian Alps.
For five days, students worked together in four international and interdisciplinary teams on challenges around the theme "The New Sustainable Future Campus". With the support of mentors and experts, they developed concepts for the challenges "Lifelong Learning", "Bridging and Sharing Talents", "Living Formats" and "Regional Impact". Through regular expert talks, the students also received valuable input on topics such as design thinking, business models, and brainstorming methods, and were thus able to further refine the approaches to solving their challenges. In addition to technical skills, the participants' personal development was also promoted.
During a discussion with the mayors of St. Jakob/Defereggen and Hopfgarten/Defereggen, the students had the opportunity to learn more about the advantages and challenges of the region. During their stay, they also got to know the way of life as well as the traditions of the Defereggen Valley better - a special highlight for our well-travelled students who came from Portugal or Belgium, for example.
However, there were not only challenges to the campus of the future, but also physical challenges to overcome: During a morning hike with breakfast on the mountaintop, many students scaled their personal "Mount Bootcamp." This shared sense of achievement contributed significantly to team building and the good atmosphere at the Bootcamp. An interactive social program including a live concert on the last evening rounded off the Bootcamp week.
The teams worked not only individually, but also came together for various group sessions.
On the last day of the Bootcamp, all teams presented their concepts in short pitches, which were also followed via livestream at the St. Pölten UAS during the E³UDRES² Strategy Forum. All teams were evaluated by a jury in St. Pölten, as well as by the mentors and peers. Afterwards, the commitment of the teams and their great work was celebrated with a specially made Bootcamp cake as well as a live concert. "It is unbelievable how much all participants of the Bootcamp have grown together within this short period of only one week. The atmosphere was really great - I think we will all look back at this event for a long time and with fond memories", says Lisa Recnik, one of the main organizers of the event at the St. Pölten UAS.
The Bootcamp participants coming together for a group picture.
The Bootcamp was also covered through a video series shot at the event, where various participants gave insights into the Bootcamp:
Find the full playlist with all Bootcamp videos here.
The entire E³UDRES² team looks back with pride on a successful first E³UDRES² Bootcamp - we are happy that the E³UDRES² family has grown bigger!
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