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Still unsure about the BIPs? Discover how fabulous an experience they can be

25 September 2023
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Emotions. Curiosity. Interest. Involvement. And, above all, an enriching experience for both students and teachers. This is what Blended Intensive Programmes are all about.

And this video is a standing testimony that the BIPs are not just a concept or an abstraction. They have been really happening for 2 years now, whilst hundreds of students have discovered that their dream of studying abroad can come true in a new, convenient, and innovative way.

Transcending the limits of traditional teaching and courses, the BIPs have become a major new form of mobility within the Erasmus+’ programme. Depending on the topic and the setup, a BIP might attract students from different disciplines and broad range of countries, even beyond Europe.

It was also the case for the Critical Care and Science, Ethics, and Governance of Human Genome Editing, which took place during the summer of 2023 at the Medical Faculty of the University of Tübingen, Germany. There, students have discovered that, when it’s a matter of life and death, precision and teamwork are a requirement to maximise efficiency and, ultimately, to save lives.

One of the high points for the participants was visiting the intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Tübingen (by courtesy of prof. Reimer Riessen, coordinator of this BIP and director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit 93 at the University Hospital Tübingen). There, students were confronted with real cases and gained insights into the everyday work of intensive care physicians: “Experiencing the feelings you have inside an ICU by yourself when you have to make decisions is something that I think is really useful and something that I would have waited years to have for the first time”, said Theodora from Sapienza Università di Roma.

On a completely different, but equally fascinating topic, the second BIP explored the major potential of editing the human genome for improving human health. Genome editing pushes the traditionally accepted boundaries of what is possible in biology and medicine. “And this is bringing a lot of ethical issues and concerns”, explains dr. Oliver Feeney, coordinator of the BIP and member of the Ethics of Genome Editing Research Unit, Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine of the University of Tübingen.

Heba, biochemistry student from the University of Bucharest, was excited about the interdisciplinary approach of the course: “It’s a great chance for me to learn more on the ethical side”. While Matt, from the University of Glasgow, highlighted the value in different perspectives of being brought together in one place: “I really enjoy the fact that there are teachers from across Europe and the world. […] Hearing about how different countries approach the same problem.

But the BIPs are not only about studying and working. They are also about connecting with others and visiting other countries, discovering different cultures and ways of living. And the intercultural aspect is a huge benefit not only for the students, but also for the lecturers from the different CIVIS universities: “Tübingen is like a postcard and that I would come back in a heartbeat!”, says prof. Mo Al Haddad, from the University of Glasgow.

Enjoy the full video of the 2 BIPs in Tübingen and discover the broad range of advantages this type of programme can bring. Don’t hesitate to share it with other, students or teachers. The list of courses still open for application can be found here, whilst the teachers interested in proposing one can find out more about the procedures here.