My name is Žiga Pirš and I am the main organizer of SCiM 2016. I work as a secretary general of the Department of International Affairs, at the Student Organization of University in Maribor. Among other projects, Student Conference in Maribor is our biggest one. It is held every year in Maribor. This year, we are organizing 18th SCiM and we are really proud of this! So, each year more than 60 students from all around the world are gathered at this 10 day event, to not only attend different lectures and workshops, but also the part in the other activities of the conference.
The main purpose of the conference is to unite students from different countries in one place, where they have the opportunity to gain new knowledge, make contacts with university professors and acknowledged professionals from different fields. Besides main workshops and keynotes, students also have the opportunity to experience the city of Maribor through different activities, explore Slovenia and establish new friendships during social activities.
Those who like to travel, explore new places and cultures, gain useful knowledge, gather new experiences and make friends from all over the world should definitely join our conference. Participants will not only attend various lectures and workshops where they will gain new knowledge, the will also have a chance to participate in other activities and explore our beautiful Slovenia on a two-day excursion. Is there a better way to spend the summer?
Honestly, there is no secret formula. We are continuously improving the program of the conference based on the feedback we received from previous participants. We are always trying to select an interesting topic and acknowledged professionals from different fields so that participants can really make the most out of workshops. The fact that the conference is held in Slovenia, which is often described as a hidden gem of Europe also helps. Of course one of the highlights of our conference is a two-day excursion around Slovenia, which gives participants opportunity to explore our country and culture and differs us from other conferences.
Participants will improve their communication skills, expressing their own point of view without fear, they will learn how to debate, identify key issues of a problem and finding solutions, they will also learn how to work in a team. From all the lectures and workshops they will acquire skills that will help them to be successful. They will also gain a lot of knowledge about this year's theme.
MUNPlanet: The main topic of the conference is yet to be announced. Could you give us a sneak peak?
Of course! I can even tell you the title! It is Digital destiny. I think that our generation lives in a digital era, which has huge influence on our lives. So the topic of this year's conference will be about digital era that we live in. Professionals and university professors will cover topics from the evolution of digital world and all the way to the future – what awaits us. Participants will gain knowledge through different lectures and workshop connected to cyber security, cyber psychology, success and marketing in social media and so on.
Well, our former participants are all over the world actually. Some of them are still traveling around the world, some of them established somewhere, but they sure have one thing in common. They all remember beautiful 10 days they have spent in Maribor. They still have contact on social media and some of them even meet from time to time.
MUNPlanet: Would you consider an international character as an important aspect of conference?
Yes, international character is one of the most important aspects of Student’s Conference in Maribor. Every year over sixty participants of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds visit SCiM. We embrace such cultural distinctions in heart of the motto “United in diversity”. Participants do not only visit SCiM in order to acquire knowledge, they also get to know fellow partakers and form bonds that last a lifetime. The conference offers multiple team-building activities that encourage students to present their ethnicity, culture and religion while getting to know said traits of other participants and applaud them, thus making international character one of the most valued and praised aspects of the conference. Intolerance is strictly frowned upon and has not been an issue in the past.
Maribor is a city of wine. This part of Slovenia is very well known about producing their own wines. Maribor is a city with the privilege that has the oldest wine in the world. That is an attractive part for tourists and you have the chance to visit it. For sure it is not the only thing you can see in Maribor. And about the barrels, believe me, enough! :-) After amazing workshops there will be a lot of chances to say cheers, or "na zdravje" as we say it.
MUNPlanet: What’s cooking in the social part of the conference?
Our participants will have plenty of time in the evenings and some afternoons to relax, have some fun and get to know each other. On the one hand we are preparing some theme parties, such as International night, Hawaiian party, UV party and on the other hand we will have some relaxed evenings as well, such as movie nights, torch walk to Pyramid hill and so on. Socializing is a very important aspect of our conference!
Main themes of the conference are chosen considering the topic interesting and close to the participants. During the lectures, participants will gain new knowledge on the specific field. The main goal of the workshops is to gain knowledge and learn some skills that will be useful for their life. The educational part of the conference is important as much as socializing events. We really want to overcome their expectations and fulfill their desire to learn something new. So being really satisfied with the conference, new knowledge and new friendships from all around the world would be one impression that want our participants to leave the conference with.
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