Meet Romy, Yennie and Elke who attended summer school at VIA

The three students from the Netherlands, Vietnam and Austria attended the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Co-creation Summer School.

Romy, Yennie and Elke

Our experience

We attended the summer school United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Co-Creation . For our project, we were teamed up with a local NGO who works with sustainability in some form – in this case Sager Der Samler (Uniting Causes), a community of citizens who work together to solve everyday problems. We went on a trash hunt and here, we became aware that Aarhus has a significant problem with cigarette butts being thrown on the streets. The voting ashtray was the solution we came up with – an interactive ashtray that, through nudging techniques and a voting system, can entice people in a non-offending and fun way to discard their cigarette butts in it. A QR code on the ashtray leads the users to a Facebook page where they can see the results of the vote and learn more about Waste Hunt events.

Why go to summer school?

We learned a lot and had a great time, not only in class, but also with the social programme. It was really fun. We went to The Old Town (Den Gamle By), the street food market, a silent disco party and a scavenger hunt around Aarhus and got to know so many people, both international students and local Danes, by just being together. We were all here together and nobody knows anyone, so it was a great way to make new friends from all over the world.  


  • Students were presented with real life challenges posted by local organisations
  • The programme is cross disciplinary and taught by lecturers from different faculties - and is likewise open to students from most fields of study
  • The programme lasts 4 weeks and combines lectures, practical work and field trips
The best thing about going to summer school at VIA was that we got to develop a solution to a real problem.

Our greatest challenge?

Working together with people from different cultures and different fields of study than your own was difficult at first. We were all working in a language that was not our mother tongue, English, and had to adapt to different working styles. However, this also taught us a lot about working together with all kinds of people and we can take this skill with us in our future jobs. 

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