What are Erasmus Days and how can I participate at Rennes 2?
Erasmus Days is a 3-day annual celebration of the Erasmus+ program and offers students the chance to gather information on mobility opportunities linked to their study programs and professional ambitions. At Rennes 2, on October 13th in the L Building, we are inviting students to come and get informed on short and long-term study abroad programs, internships, and language-assistant programs. It’s also an opportunity to hear from other students who have already participated in similar programs and get their feedback and advice.
Erasmus Days is a bottom-up initiative, so it’s up to university communities and partners to locally create activities that interest, motivate and inspire students. This year, we’ll also be working with the organizations la Maison de l’Europe, Erasmus Student Network (ESN Rennes) and ESS CARGO & CIE to organize information stands, documentary-screenings, collaborative workshops and more. Digital events are also offered for those who are unable to be physically present on campus but yet still be involved.
The Green Hackathon: A New Event for 2022
In addition to the typical activities offered centering on mobilities, Rennes 2 will be hosting a hackathon, co-organized by Pr. Christine Evain and Pr. Elisabeth Richard, Professors in the Didactics program at Rennes 2. It’s an exciting online competition that puts the environment at the forefront of this occasion. To participate, students are invited to create and/or enrich a short video on the environment. Videos can be submitted in any European language (or non-European language if English subtitles are added), and creators of the winning submissions will be eligible to receive prizes. The kick-off will take place on October 13th and the details of the competition can be found here (in English) and here (in French).
The Language teacher-training program “Master de Didactique des Langues” is now a regular contributor to the Erasmus Days. This initiative started with the KA2 DECLAME’FLE project coordinated by Elisabeth Richard , and it now continues in order to benefit: the eMERGE (European Margins Engaging for Regional and Global Empowerment) alliance (EUI, ERASMUS+), the Language Space project “Espace Langues” (PIA4 DEMOES-AIR) and the « KA2 TRIP », (Training and Realizing innovations in Internationalisation at home Pedagogies), these projects are the result of a fruitful collaboration between the International Office of Rennes 2 University and Pr. Christine Evain and Pr. Elisabeth Richard and their academic teams.
Below, we speak with Pr. Evain about the creation and goals of the Green Hackathon and its link to Erasmus Days.
Can you tell us more about the creation of the Green Hackathon? Where did the idea come from and have you worked on other similar programs?
Christine Evain (CE):
Yes, I worked on the idea with students and our institutional partners, many of which have also participated in another initiative of ours called the Virtual Environmental Challenge (VEC). We wanted to do something in the same vein, that would help to promote the VEC and also generate material that would be useful for the program and mainly “L’espace Langues” – a project directed by my colleague, Elisabeth Richard. Since Erasmus Days invites the community to create digital events as well as the physical ones, we thought it would be a great way to get both our students and partners involved in the enrichment or creation of videos on the theme of the environment, which equally benefit language training.
What is the importance of linking the environmental theme to the Erasmus Days event?
CE: We like to link the environmental theme to pretty much everything that we can do because we feel so strongly about it. We feel that we need to rethink everything in relation to the environment. When you look at climate-related events like, for example, what happened this summer with the heatwaves in France, you realize that the countdown has already begun. There are various papers and conferences which say that if we don't change things radically in the eight years to come, our planet is going to be not only in serious danger but will be most certainly on the road to self-destruction.
Our research laboratory, LIDILE, did a conference in June of 2022, about the VEC which was basically feedback on how the project was perceived by the students and the sort of results we had achieved. One of our international coordinators, Karen de Bruin, who is a professor at the University of Rhode Island, spoke at the conference and emphasized the urgency of “thinking about the environment” and why we need to do it in pretty much everything, including in our language classes. We should ask ourselves, is there a link with the environment that we can bring into our discussions so that we too are contributing something positive?
Professor de Bruin also recently told me that: What I loved about this ERASMUS-funded Virtual Environmental Challenge project was that it was truly an exchange that fostered new knowledge and new practices. Thanks to this project, I came to the realization that language instruction must pivot; it must serve climate change mitigation. And it is precisely through initiatives like the VEC that we can build even greater international solidarity around the shift that language educators must make to become part of the climate change solution.
What will students be eligible to win?
CE: Well, we thought we'd suggest something very attractive. Michael Moore, Research Engineer of the Language Didactics Program at Rennes 2, has been extremely helpful in coming up with ideas and helping to shape the organization of the competition overall. After discussing the different ideas with the colleagues from Rennes 2’s International Office, we settled on the first-place prize of a European rail pass. There will also be other prizes that will be available, but students will be able to find out more on the specifics if they join us for the kick-off on Thursday, October 13th. There will be an information meeting for those who can make it in-person or online. It will take place from 2pm - 4pm in the Building L, Amphi L3. Students can also join via Zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/my/cevain. The session will also be recorded and available here. LIDILE members and associates will view all submitted videos and will subsequently announce the winners after the close of the event.
« Ce travail a bénéficié d'une aide de l'État gérée par l'Agence Nationale de la Recherche au titre du programme d'Investissements d'Avenir portant la référence ANR-21-DMES-0001 ».