Ida Nydelius, ambassador of CIVICA – the European University of the Social Sciences for the 2022–2023 academic year, is an active member of IE University’s bustling campus life. She sat down with us to share her experiences both as a student at IE University and a representative within the CIVICA alliance.
I’m Ida Nydelius, and I’m in my fourth year of the Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics (PPLE). I’m originally from Sweden, but I have lived in Norway as well as Brazil through the Global Citizen program. In addition to my work with CIVICA, I have also been President of the IE Arts Club since 2020 and am co-founder and President of the IE Nordic Club. I’m especially fascinated by the intersection of arts and culture.
Tell us about your decision to be a part of the CIVICA Congress.
I was first introduced to CIVICA when IE University invited me to represent our humanities pillar at the CIVICA Conference in Paris earlier this fall. I was immediately drawn to its values of promoting diversity and inclusivity in higher education, and I felt that I could contribute to the organization and help establish IE University‘s presence within the alliance.
How has your experience with the CIVICA Congress been?
At first, I was confused as I had limited knowledge about the alliance, particularly due to the fact that it is a young organization and it was not yet announced that IE University was a member. However, I quickly picked up on the idea, and the values of CIVICA—”United in diversity”—really spoke to me. They invited individuals from all over the world and leading European higher education institutions, and we discussed pressing topics such as the threat to freedom of speech in education. Overall, my experience at the CIVICA Congress was very enlightening.
The conference was held in Paris at Sciences Po on September 16–17. There were six students from IE University and we each represented different components of the university. The students who went with me were Donovan Paul Schar Davis, Margarita Peces Collar, Tomas Lucero Dominguez, Francisco Jose Mompean Montoya and Dyanna Monique Rivera. Our small group tackled the challenges of being a new member and networked with other participants to spread the word about IE University.
Tell us about your plans for future projects.
One of the upcoming projects I am most excited about is the second edition of the European Student Assembly. This initiative allows students to come together to discuss the challenges facing the European Union and then propose solutions to policymakers.
Another upcoming initiative led 100% by students from the CIVICA institutions is the futurEU Competition 2023, which offers CIVICA students and PhD researchers an opportunity to actively search for and propose policy solutions to questions of EU reform. The registration will open soon, so stay tuned!
How is your degree program helping you to prepare for the future?
I believe that my program at IE University has prepared me by teaching me how to analyze the world from different perspectives and disciplines. This has given me a better understanding of the political, economic and legal frameworks that shape our society.
What are your main takeaways from this experience?
So far, my main takeaways from the experience are the following:
- The importance of universities coming together to discuss and share knowledge.
- The importance of safeguarding knowledge institutions from censure.
- The role of universities in shaping the world.
- The importance of advocating for strong values.
IE University can contribute to furthering such values both by being a representative of the Iberian peninsula and as a highly international institution.
What would you recommend to future students based on your experiences at IE University?
I would recommend that future students get involved in campus life and take advantage of the opportunities it offers. The opportunity to represent IE University at the CIVICA Congress in Paris opened up to me thanks to my active participation within the Arts Club and campus life more broadly. Throughout my time as an Arts Club member, I have led the club as the president, curated and hosted exhibitions, organized art sessions and much more. More importantly, campus life has enabled me to explore and grow professionally through a passion of mine, which I am forever grateful for.