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Students return from emotional study trip

26 January 2017 @TeesUniNews


Students from a range of creative courses at Teesside University have returned from an emotional trip to Poland where they met a Holocaust survivor.

Twenty two students from History, Journalism, Film and Television Production, Graphic Design and Creative Writing degrees spent five days in Krakow to learn more about the Holocaust.

Mark Handscomb, Senior Lecturer in Online Journalism in the University's School of Design, Culture & the Arts, was among academics who organised the trip.

He said: 'The study trip offered a unique learning experience for the students. In addition to visiting Auschwitz and Schindler’s Museum, students had a rare opportunity to meet a survivor of the Holocaust.

'They were also able to explore landmarks in Krakow, such as the Jewish quarter, the Catholic Cathedral and Wawel Royal Castle besides having time to enjoy eating out and discovering more about the Polish way of life.

'The value of this trip is that it introduces students to a completely different culture and the chance to experience one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Krakow is very student friendly thanks to the eleven universities there.'

Gemma Thompson, first year BA (Hons) Journalism student, said: 'The trip was life changing. It completely changed my perspective on so many things. The University has provided so many opportunities which I could never have done on my own, such as meeting a survivor of the Holocaust.'

Sam Wells, first year BA (Hons) Television and Film Production students, said: 'Krakow is one of the most unique places I have ever been to. There's so much culture and such a big history here. The architecture is incredible.'

The trip was life changing

Gemma Thompson, BA (Hons) Journalism

Dr Ben Lamb, Senior Lecturer in Media Studies, added: 'If I had travelled to Poland on my own, I would not have had the opportunity to meet a Holocaust survivor. I wouldn't have had a historical expert on hand to take us to areas of Auschwitz Birkenau which the tour guide missed. I wouldn't have even known where the Palace to see the Chopin piano recital was. Luckily we had enough experts on hand to make sure we had the trip of a lifetime.'

Mark Handscomb, Senior Lecturer in Online Journalism sent this report back from Poland.

Teesside University is set to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) with a programme of talks, seminars, exhibitions and screenings from 11.00am to 3.00pm on Friday 27 January. Hosted by the University’s School of Design, Culture & the Arts, it coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

More information about the event can be found here.

Places must be booked by contacting Jade Whittaker in the University's School of Design, Culture & the Arts on or 01642 384290.