This school year, the euregio campus team will be visiting interested secondary schools again to present the various opportunities in the euregion rhine-maas-north to pupils. Christina Masch is a research assistant at NIERS and part of the project team. She herself made use of the opportunities offered by the cross-border knowledge region and did her bachelor’s at the Fontys in Venlo and her master’s at the Niederrhein Hochschule in Mönchengladbach. In this interview, she tells us about the background to the school visits.
What is the purpose of the school visits of the euregio campus team?
The project “euregio campus – Limburg/Niederrhein” aims, among other things, to make the euregion rhine-maas-north more visible as a region of knowledge and to get young people interested in this region. Our offer to schools includes the following: We want to present the cross-border knowledge region to pupils and show them the various opportunities in this region; you can study at various euregional universities and there are many opportunities in euregional business and industry. We want to show pupils that the region has a lot to offer and is a good place to study, live and work.
What does the offer for secondary schools look like and to what extent is it adapted to the different educational situations regarding Corona?
We offer a comprehensive on-site school visit, which we organise together with the Dutch company Meet the Youngsters. Meet the Youngsters is specialised in reaching young people. Besides a presentation about the region, the pupils get the chance to gain insight into different fields of work with the help of an escape room and virtual reality glasses. This combination of information and playful elements is what pupils really like.
Besides the school visit on location with Meet the Youngsters, we also offer the workshop “Becoming Borderlander”. This workshop can be given both digitally and on site. The workshop takes one and a half to two hours and is aimed at choosing a course of study. Here, the students go deeper into the typical questions that arise in the final exam year: “Do I want to study? If so, which study? Where can I study? How do I find a place to live?” During the workshop, the students are asked to think about their possible future studies and to examine what else they should consider. The aim is for the students to learn more about their opportunities in the border region and to know where they can find useful information. The threshold of studying in a foreign country close to the border should also be lowered. The first workshops we held showed that many pupils do not yet realise how complicated choosing an appropriate course of study can be.
Which schools can register for the euregio campus programme?
The programme is aimed at pupils in the Euroregion who are about to sit exams and who meet the formal requirements for studying. On the German side, these are the grammar schools, school communities and vocational schools. In the Netherlands, we focus on Havo and VWO classes in secondary education.
Why should students choose to study on the other side of the border?
By studying on the other side of the border, you broaden your horizons, get to know another culture and language as well as other ways of working and thinking. This can be an advantage later when looking for a job. You broaden your options immediately, as two labour markets will be open to you after graduation. Nowadays, many companies are also specifically looking for graduates with experience abroad.
With your own CV, you are a good role model for the euregio campus project. What was the biggest gain for you personally?
I did my bachelor’s at Fontys in Venlo, followed by my master’s at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. I benefited greatly from getting to know different working and learning concepts. On the one hand, the more project-based work at Fontys, according to the motto “learning by doing”. On the other hand, the theoretically based work at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Here, theoretical foundations are laid first, which are then Schulangebote_euregiocampus_V10put into practice in the second step. All this comes in handy in my daily work. For example, there are regular tasks for which I do not have much preparation time and which I must familiarise myself with in the course of my work. On the other hand, theoretical foundations are essential for my research tasks. The different working methods and approaches that I learned during my studies at the two universities are very useful for me in my daily work life and complement each other very well.
You’ll find more information about the school visit in the flyer: