Tuesday, 12 June 2018


In the previous blog I promised to continue sharing my experience with the interdisciplinary honors programme. Last time, I talked about what I studied at Graduate Honours Interdisciplinary Seminars GHIS, which I called the first component of GHIS. Now, I'll continue with the second component of GHIS which consists mainly of  the research proposal and a trip to Heidelberg. 
The second component of GHIS was the fourth and last block. The block started off by a three day journey to the beautiful city of Heidelberg. The city trip revolved around a conference at the university of Heidelberg and some other social activities. The conference was about interdisciplinarity and the role of the university; how are universities ought to be? Also, we were challenged to come up with interdisciplinary approaches towards specific societal issues. The conference was lead by professor Burke, the dean of the honors program along with other prominent scholars who touch upon interdisciplinarity in their respective work. Also, there was a number of PhD candidates who joined us from the University of Heidelberg, and whose respective dissertations are based on interdisciplinarity. On our part we interacted well with everybody and left a good impression about GHIS and Utrecht University. We, moreover, presented our ideas.There I realized the strength of Utrecht University, really.  
The trip was not as dry as it may sound now, we had so much fun -I actually now realize that I should've dedicated a whole blog to this trip- we went out for an interesting walk onto the Heidelberg mountains -philosopher's walk. Additionally, we had an amazing hike to Heidelberg castle, and much more during the evenings. 

This was all to prepare us mentally and professionally to  the 'research project' that we had to do. Upon our return we had a couple of meetings more at which we discussed our projects and presented them. By then the cohort was already split into 9 groups and each group was tasked to come up with an interdisciplinary research proposal. In the fourth and last session every group presented their work in the form of a scientific poster. Overall it was awesome.
The last component of GHIS, which is purely my experience, is the embedded learning aspects of the programme. Those can be explained by two words that are peculiar to GHIS; Internationalism and Integration. For me, these were the most fruitful aspects of the programme. Mixing and chatting with people from other countries, cultures and disciplines in an academic discourse is truly indispensable. Everybody was open to share their background; they shared a lot of stories and experiences with me, and I of course was also happy to share my experiences, especially the ones that took place in Egypt. 

In the end, I think GHIS, interdisciplinarity in particular, is an umbrella under which students, scholars or practitioners from various disciplines can meet, discuss and learn from each other. This multifaceted approach towards problems has proven to me to be a powerful tool by which complex issues can be tackled. Now, I feel I am equipped with an extra and creative lens through which I can tackle problems that I deal with in my field. I feel I become more creative in my discipline; Law.