Aktualizēts 17.09.2019 11:43
|– Rahim Hobbenaghi
– 60 years old
– Urmia University Iran
– Daugavpils University Latvia
– Associate Professor of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and The Chancellor of Urmia University
– 2019/08/20 – 2019/08/26
As the Chancellor of Urmia University in Iran, I expected to both learn new things and hopefully expand the ties between Urmia University in Iran and Daugavpils University in Latvia. As far as I see it, two important goals were realized through this trip: 1. I participated in a very productive one-day summer seminar and took part in the workshops and learned a lot on how to operationalize Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), good practices in this regard at Daugavpils University with a strong tradition of research and practice in this realm, and how to craft more scholarly research articles. 2. We met the chancellor of Daugavpils University and in this highly productive and promising meeting, we explored and covered a wide range of avenues and areas for joint engagement and cooperation in order to carry the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two universities to higher levels thanks to this Erasmus initiative and our faculty’s prior cooperation with Daugavpils University, especially Dr. Javad Gholami.
The whole program was quite an exciting and eye-opening experience for me and my colleagues. It was our first visit to this Baltic region, Latvia, the city and its main university. There was a lot to see, taste, share, and explore. The lectures and workshops were highly rich, instructional, and engaging in both content and modes of delivery.
Thanks to this program, we received the opportunity to become familiar with Latvian culture, traditions, environment, and cuisine as well as a bit of its history and ups and downs in the course of its long history and its integration with the European Union in recent decades. We found Latvia a very beautiful country with a sustainable preservation of its natural resources for the future generations, and Daugavpils as a very green, peaceful, and harmonious city with a nice and smooth pace of life and very friendly people.
A very noteworthy point for me was the fact that university and its premises are well embedded in the city with no walls around it and the fact that the majority of its academic and administrative staff as well as its student boy are women, and they are the driving force behind all these wonderful achievements. In English there is a saying, ‘seeing is believing’. Through this program, we could see very real things in terms of class settings, educational system, presentation styles, and even management structure in Latvian education context which could never be arrived though media or reading.
As for challenges, in our case getting visa and its lengthy process was an issue. Moreover, it would be a good idea to prepare a culture and lifestyle booklet of tips and guidelines for each host country and knowledge of such issues in advance could minimize possible cultural misunderstandings or even shocks! My advice to future Ersamus program participants is to learn more about the hosting country, city and the university and the department and even a bit of the local language. Such prior knowledge could help the whole program in many ways.
At the end, I would like to seize this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those hardworking colleagues from Daugavpils University, most notably Dr. Dzintra Ilisko, and Ms. Velta Dilba and from Urmia University, Dr. Javad Gholami and Dr. Ali Nikbakht for arranging and preparing this trip. Needless to say, we are grateful to the Rector of Daugavpils University, Prof. Irena Kokina for supporting such initiatives with Urmia University. We hope to strengthen these ties and capitalize on them.