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Summer school for phd students, my Experience at X Ecadoc Summer School in Denmark

This year, from August 14–18, I joined the X edition of the Ecadoc summer school for PhD students: “European doctoral program in carrier guidance and counselling”.

The Ecadoc Summer School lasted five days and was hosted by Aahrus University in Denmark. Accommodations were provided in Sønderborg. There were large spaces, we were close to the sea, and we had ample opportunity for walks or morning runs. The school was hosted in a little paradise.

I came from the hot Italian climate, so I appreciated the not-so-hot Danish weather. There was time for a swim, but I was not so brave.

The 2023 Edition is the tenth year of Ecadoc. We had a party on Thursday to celebrate that anniversary. Each edition is hosted by a university that manages the logistics based on the indications of a scientific committee that defines the scientific choices. Each edition, therefore, takes place in a different location. It has already been announced that next year’s edition will be held in Cyprus, probably in June, 2024.

I am very glad that I joined the summer school. It was a really good learning experience.

I discovered that there is a community of colleagues in Europe who are dedicated to research on carrier guidance. I also learned that the network of European institutions in the field of guidance is larger than I had imagined.

I really loved this experience for two reasons in particular:

  1. The program was designed very well. The mix of formal teaching and workshop activities was really well balanced. They offered six different workshops, and from among them, I chose the ones on thematic analysis and participant observation, which were really very useful for my PhD. These workshops were really interesting, but not so interesting as the ones they call “collective academic supervision.” In some universities, the supervision of Master’s and PhD students when they create a thesis is provided in a collective way. I found that extremely interesting. We are accustomed to individual academic supervision based on the supervisor-student relationship. At Aahrus University, they have an academic supervision system based on collaboration among peers. During the collective academic supervision, the other researchers/PhD students discuss your project without any desire for competition (at least, in my case it was like that) and their suggestions are the basis for the supervision. This was really interesting.
  • Ecadoc is not only about training for researchers, it aims to create a community of researchers involved in sharing tools and knowledge and collaborating on research activities. Building community is a really valuable choice, especially in an academic field, which can be often be individualistic and competitive. There was also a very interesting session about that, with testimonies from some researchers who have embarked on a path of academic research after completing their doctorates.

It was very nice to be working in different contexts among all these great colleagues with such very high skill levels.

I really hope to return to the 2024 Edition of Ecadoc in Cyprus. In the meantime, I said goodbye to everyone with fond memories.

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