The field trip is a trademark of EMA and has been organised by Mag. Marijana Grandits (from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights at the University of Vienna) for years, first in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998-2003) and then in Kosovo since 2004. This field training aims to provide insights into the practical tasks, difficulties, and expectations human rights officers face in the field, and to get a better understanding of the situation in a post-conflict country.
The field trip usually takes place in mid-January and comprises visits to international organisations as well as local and regional nongovernmental organizations working on human rights issues, such as property claims, torture related questions, legal advice, women’s rights, democratic elections, free media and children’s rights. Students stay with host families and are required to participate in all activities and events organised by the EMA academic staff, external facilitators from the EU and other experts. The field trip is included in the tuition fees.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had, to become an insider for a week in the context of Kosovo, to have the chance to meet all these people – some involved in the highest offices of the international community, others struggling to work for the good of civil society, but all of them aiming towards the same goal of stability and prosperity for Kosovo.
(Ioanna Mincheva, E.MA Student 2011/2012)
We definitely enjoyed the Kosovo trip and undoubtedly had a lot of fun. But we also learned a lot and saw a lot of what we had studied in Venice, which was a very good way of bringing together theory and reality (Nikolina Karaolia and Tiina Vahtras, E.MA 2007/2008).
Though tired and weary towards the end, the return to Venice came too fast for all of us. There were still so many people to meet, and places to visit. While crossing the Adriatic back to the tranquility of the lagoon, many of us secretly made plans to go back some day. In fact, some of us have even managed to do so. (Michael Merrigan, E.MA 2008/2009)
The trip to Kosovo was my first contact with the world of human rights in the field. Organisation after organisation, meeting after meeting, it was amazing to make the link between the theory and the practice. In Kosovo during one week I was group leader, this sounds really responsible, just like in a real mission in a real NGO. In fact this first experience in the field just confirmed my will and desire to work in Human Rights as a professional. (Isidore Collins Ngueuleu Djeuga, E.MA 2010/2011)