Multicultural and multidisciplinary co-operation at Campus Party!

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Our Instagram followers have already perhaps noticed, that myself and Taru as Tuo’s members of board were able to participate the Campus Party event held in Utrecht, Netherlands. This was already the fourth iteration in Europe and moving in double digits globally. The main themes this year were virtual reality, robotics, e-health and drones. During the event we were able to attend many interesting lectures and conversations within these topics and many more, experience virtual reality and see the first ever indoor drone championships in Europe.

Utrecht is the 4th biggest city in the Netherlands and it also has the biggest University in the country, founded in 1636. During our visit we had a little time to familiarise ourselves with the local history that has been going on for over 2000 years! The Roman soldiers built their first fort exactly where there’s the Dom of Utrecht today. We also made a visit to the Dom Under, which is actually an archaeological excavation site, showing all the history of the area clear as day.

Despite the sightseeing, the main point for our trip was to participate in the Campus Party between wednesday 25th of May and sunday 29th and that’s why we had all too little time to play tourists. In the hindsight we cannot say that we felt that we needed either: the event itself was fulfilled with activities like interesting challenges, talks, games and experiences.

Campus Party is about technology but that means in no way that you would need to be and engineering student to participate. Before the event we had a chance to meet up with students from other local student associations. We spent the day talking about things we have in common and things we do differently in our respective organisations. What made our job at TUO feel seemingly lighter, was finding out that in Utrecht they share their student union between the university of applied sciences and university, making them responsible of promotion of interests of about 74 000 students! In the end though we concluded with the notion that it would be our common interest to have more communication like this between us.

During the event itself we ran into students from all over the world. Also their fields of study varied from engineering to business and from design to medical or law. We had no chance to ask everybody about their studies, but that was beside the point anyway. The event was about bringing very different people together with a common interest in technology. It was great to see a team with each member from a different country and different field of study and not knowing each other beforehand, winning a challenge!

We sticked to listening to talks and roaming through the exhibition area. There’s no way we are able to list here all the program we attended but fairly good examples are the CEO of Hyperloop and a representative from Copenhagen Suborbitals, special bonus being the Japanese Asimo-robot danceshow! Also you may guess which one of us dared to try the skydiving simulator in virtual reality, suspended in harness and wind machines blowing from below just to entertain people with fear of high places…

When we departed, we had no idea what to expect. The experience was easily enough not to leave any doubt whether the idea to go was good or not. If there is a chance to go again in the future both of us would be glad to go. We also recommend Campus Party to any student who are even in the slightest interested in technology, be it aspiring entrepeneur, designer, coder or whatever. This is a one of a kind place to create new contacts and share experiences with like minded people. Although camping indoors is still cheating.

Thanks to Turku University of Applied Sciences and Hogeschool Utrechtille for making our trip possible.