This pioneering Summer Course, which began on July 11, has had as its center of knowledge the training ship Saltillo and the Basque coast, as well as several places along it (Portugalete, Bilbao, Santurtzi, Mutriku, Donostia and San Juan de Luz/Ziburu) where lectures open to all citizens have been given. The two participating crews, university students from UPV/EHU and the University of Bordeaux, will take what they have learned to their respective universities, knowledge that covers both the nautical and the sustainability of our seas and oceans.
The press conference was attended by the agents, who collaborated with each other to create what is special about this adventure: the transmission of knowledge in an extraordinary intercultural, multilingual and coexistence space.
The result could not have been more positive, as expressed by Eva Ferreira, rector of the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU: “I am sure that this has been, on a personal level, an extraordinary experience. And I am also sure that it has been an extraordinary academic experience”.
For his part, Charles Pinto, director of the School of Engineering of Bilbao, highlighted the importance of the direct experience of this course: “One of the stakes of the course is the mix between cross-border universities, cultures, backgrounds and genders. With these ingredients, students from the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU and the University of Bordeaux have been able to share projects in a very limited space”.
The co-director of the course Julieta Barrenechea from Euskampus Fundazioa wanted to emphasize the following: “With them we have been able to strengthen the link between the two universities from its strongest link: the new generation of professionals and scientists who will thus know how to navigate an ocean of knowledge and territories without borders”.
One of the great protagonists of this course that has sailed through knowledge has undoubtedly been the training ship Saltillo. These are the words that its captain, Mikel Lejarza, has transmitted: “I had two main fears, the weather and the response of the crews. We have had two different crews and, both one and the other, have adapted very well to the ship, to living together.”
In addition to all of the above, an important aspect has been the transfer of knowledge in 4 languages. The 3 local languages, Basque, French and Spanish, as well as English as a lingua franca. All have made use of their linguistic repertoire to facilitate communication and coexistence as much as possible. Likewise, the speakers made a great effort to deliver their talks in multilingual formats. In addition, the group had resources in 4 languages for an agile and open coexistence on the boat: all the basic terminology of the sailboat, guides and instructions/use of materials… The linguistic diversity has been a reference and the flexibility and tolerance towards these multilingual practices a great opportunity for the social cohesion of the group.
To close this adventure, the crew attended the last lecture of the course, “Treasures of a healthy and sustainable ocean” by Ionan Marigómez, in which he highlighted the fundamental role played by the ocean for our planet and for ourselves.
This first edition has been a success on every level: knowledge of navigation, ocean sustainability, coexistence and multilingualism. The crew members have taken with them forever a unique experience full of learning, personal growth, experiences, friendships… and this is what they have transmitted:
Martin Van Roy from the University of Bordeaux: “For me it has been an incredible opportunity and I have been able to meet extraordinary people, as well as learn about ecology, among others. And I couldn’t be more grateful for that.”
Elise Baritaud from the University of Bordeaux: “I wanted to thank Mikel (captain) for everything, as well as the rest for making the experience unique. I hope it will be held again, because personally it is a very interesting experience because we discover new places by ourselves”.
Javier Sanz, Nautical student and part of the Saltillo crew: “The trip went perfectly, we were all a little nervous at the beginning about whether we were going to get along well or not, and I want to emphasize that the important thing is that there was a very good attitude on the boat, we got along perfectly with the first and second crew, and we even formed a great friendship”.
Fanny-Laure Thomassin from the University of Bordeaux: “I have learned on a personal and professional level, we have learned a lot about sailing, but not only that, things we did not expect as well. Thank you for making this possible.”
Congratulations to all of you for making this possible!
See you next time!