Explore the influence of intercultural encounters with the University of Helsinki

In today’s hyperconnected world, the focus on intercultural encounters is stronger than ever.

To truly understand the multidimensional relationships between religion, conflict and peace, students must opt for a university programme that considers the importance of transnational identities, intercultural connections and indigenous perspectives.

That’s why Finland’s University of Helsinki is the first choice for many postgraduate students.

Through an academic framework of international innovations and a multidimensional learning community, students at Helsinki are transformed into changemakers.

In line with this, the university constructed the Master’s Programme in Intercultural Encounters (ICE), providing a detailed insight into the diversified world of today while addressing real-world issues concerning human interaction, living traditions and transnationalism.

How will the programme impact my perspective?

Over the course of two years, this specialised programme takes you on a journey into the latest academic research. Building on pre-existing theory, you’ll develop a stronger grasp of practical situations in a multicultural, internationally-oriented working life.

With this Master’s programme, you’ll have the freedom to concentrate on local, national and supranational cultures in locations such as the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and North America.

Through a limitless approach to learning, Helsinki highlights a variety of theoretical frameworks, helping you decode cultural dynamics and further your regional, cultural and socio-political knowledge.

As Programme Director, Saila Poutiainen states, “The ICE programme at Helsinki provides tools for critical readings of the diverse world needed in today’s academic and working life, a variety of perspectives (not only Eurocentrism etc.) and connects local and global levels of understanding together.

Source: University of Helsinki

“By joining this course, you’ll also use your research-based knowledge and education as a counterweight for polarised discussions about diversity and intercultural encounters in today’s societies. For instance, the populist movements in Europe and the reign of Trump. By acquiring these skills, you’ll be prepared for your future career,” Poutiainen adds.

By completing the ICE course at Helsinki, you’ll be able to pursue a national or international career, to act and grow within multidisciplinary and multicultural groups, as well as deal with issues of intercultural interaction, diversity, internationalisation, cultural management, media and power.

Course content without borders

ICE presents a diverse assortment of modules and topics to investigate. There are no restrictions to your academic curiosity or inquisitive nature at Helsinki.

The thematic module on Transnational and International Interactions examines strengthened interconnectivity and relations between people transcending the borders. Particular attention is given to transnational actors and activities that impact culture and politics across traditional borders. These include hybrid identities, diasporas, non-governmental organisations, multinational corporations, religious actors and more.

Another module focuses on Tradition, Knowledge and Change. This is where you’ll obtain knowledge of epistemological differences from a decolonising perspective. Your expertise will extend to indigenous peoples’ philosophies and concepts, with new insights into knowledge-making, power relations and diverse interactions in the production of tradition.

If you’re interested in the influence of social, traditional mass and internet media on our hyperconnected world, the Communication and Media module will spark your attention. Illuminating practical intercultural communication situations and processes, here, you’ll master the relevant concepts and techniques needed to thrive in today’s digital age.

The fourth module is based on Religion, Conflict and Dialogue. By researching the role of religion in conflicts within local, national and global contexts, you’ll develop expertise in conflict resolution and reconciliation projects involving religious issues, gaining a thorough understanding of the requirements of such work.

Please note – the ICE programme leads you to either a Master of Arts (Humanities) degree or a Master of Theology degree. You will choose which one you want to pursue when you apply to the programme.

Discover 21st– century revelations of religion, conflict and dialogue

For Mulki Al-Sharmani, Senior Lecturer of Islamic Theology at the University of Helsinki, this module holds many benefits for those who select it.

As she explains, “Our present times are very much characterised by different kinds of entrenched and prolonged conflicts and violence in diverse parts of the world, as well as the presence of impressive bodies of knowledge, organised efforts and actors engaging with the issue of conflict and peacebuilding and the relevance of religion and religious actors to these processes.

“Hence, the subject has global significance and aims to provide students with a layered understanding of the multidimensional relationship between religion, conflict and peace,” she adds.

To complete this academic mission, students are motivated to study through a multidisciplinary approach that draws from different fields such as anthropology, sociology of religion, theology, international relations, conflict resolution studies and peace studies.

With assorted forms of discovery happening across all departments, a really great atmosphere is seen within the ICE programme. Designed for people who want to make a difference, it’s a platform for the next generation of pioneers to develop and refine their skills.

Harbouring an exceptionally diverse student network, an inclusive union of international learners and engaging experiential opportunities, Helsinki has it all.

So, if you want to experience an intercultural encounter of your own next year, click here and broaden your global perspective!

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