By Thea Bladt Hansen
— The beloved intensive course “Global Identity Experience” (or GIE among friends) has long been a central part of first-year students’ experience at AUC. However, this week AUC Next announced its intention to make the course more relevant to the Science Park Community, and the intensive will thus rise from the ashes as the “Local Identity Experience.”
“It’s pivotal that courses stay pertinent to our students. With new information about how AUC students prefer to experience Amsterdam, we knew that something had to be done,” a spokesperson for AUC Next reveals in an exclusive interview with The Herring. The information referred to is a new survey which shows that 80% of students never leave Science Park during their three years at AUC.
“AUC has to be a safe environment and our course design must reflect this. That’s what ultimately sparked the decision to alter the course,” the spokesperson continues. Having adapted GIE to an online format during the pandemic resulted in the epiphany that it is actually not necessary for students to leave Science Park to learn about the world, they say.
Although the course is still in the planning stage, the spokesperson reveals that the new and improved intensive will include a lineup of Science Park-related content: “We’re thinking of an in-depth analysis of AUConfessions and how it represents the excellent and diverse means of communication at AUC. Also, there is currently talk about a field trip to Spar which is very exciting and of course confidential – we wouldn’t want to jinx the amazing opportunity for AUC students to thoroughly examine fellow students’ culinary habits. Also – and this is just off the top of my head – we could gather manifestos written by AUC students to determine the general political climate of Science Park.”
Third-year student Bram van de Jong took GIE in his first semester and reveals that it was a severely traumatising experience: “It was just a month of students yelling at each other. A very hostile environment.” Only time can tell whether this symptomatic characteristic of the course will change once GIE becomes LIE.
Dr. Dewitt de Vries, Assistant Regional Professor of Anthropology at Vrije Universiteit, applauds the initiative and sees it as a golden opportunity for students to examine their own natural habitat: “If AUC is truly a diverse community, then the chance for students to study themselves will help us understand very important things about a very tiny fraction of urban Dutch society.”
How much the course will differ from GIE has yet to be determined, but AUC Next guarantees that Local Identity Experience will of course include a podcast assignment, so it still revolves around useful skills, which will help students flourish in work environments after AUC.