Sorbonne University hosts first 4EU+ Alliance sports exchange

From 2 to 5 April 2024, 32 students and their supervisors travelled to Sorbonne University to take part in the 4EU+ Alliance’s first-ever sporting exchange.

Hailing from four of the Alliance's member institutions, they represented Charles University, the University of Geneva, the University of Milan and the University of Heidelberg. Students from hosting Sorbonne University also participated.

The programme included welcome activities, a concert by the Sorbonne University Choir and Orchestra, a visit to its Mineral Collection, participation in a flash mob and, of course, sports encounters. Students participated in volleyball, badminton, circuit training and wheelchair basketball, in friendly tournaments organized by Sorbonne University’s sports departments.

For Hasina, who does not formally study sport but does play for the University of Milan’s basketball team, the experience was unforgettable. “It was such a good experience. This was my first exchange, and sport really helped to encourage group cohesion and connect with other students.”

Dr. Mona Kellner, a participating academic from the University of Heidelberg’s sports department, echoed this sentiment. “I think sport is a perfect way to get to know each other, and to work together despite barriers.”

Tatjana, a University of Heidelberg student in mathematics and sport, also appreciated the diverse, multilingual atmosphere. “It’s nice to talk with people from your own nation, and then switch languages when you join another group.” Tatjana was particularly thrilled by the opportunity to visit the city itself. “It was my first time in Paris,” she gushed, “so that was my highlight.”

The engagement in this sporting event amidst the anticipation of the Paris Olympics highlights the vital role of international cooperation and sports in fostering global connections.