Boundless perspectives during the 2023 International Week

Many social issues transcend borders. That is why HAN organized the 11th edition of the 'International Week of Health and Social Studies'. During this week, guest speakers and lecturers shared their experiences and knowledge on international issues in health and welfare with more than 1500 students.

Podium International Week Health and Social Studies

At HAN, students develop into reflective and socially engaged world citizens. That is one of the strategic goals that HAN is working towards. The International Week of Health & Social Studies contributes to this goal. Over 90 guest speakers shared their experiences on topics such as refugee issues, inclusion, creativity, crisis relief and stress reduction. 

Open mind

The theme of this year’s International Week is 'Challenge your Horizons'. "A fitting slogan", said Rob Verhofstad, chair of the HAN Executive Board, during the opening. "Reach beyond your horizons. Challenge your horizons. Look beyond your personal and professional boundaries. Connect with others. Learn to look at a situation from a boundless perspective and with an 'open mind'."

Never again war

Dozens of paper cranes float around in the central hall. They are part of the ElanArt Foundation exhibition. Their mission is to inspire, motivate and activate young refugees. The foundation’s volunteers believe that art and culture can bridge the gap between different communities. The story of the paper cranes begins with the Japanese girl Sasaki Sadaki. She survived the atomic bombing of her city Hiroshima when she was 2 years old. Several years later she was diagnosed with leukemia; she contracted this disease as a result of exposure to the atomic radiation. A Japanese legend says that anyone who folds 1000 paper cranes can make a wish. Sasaki folded more than 1300 cranes and wished for world peace. With this in mind, the ElanArt Foundation is aiming to fold as many paper cranes as possible together with our International Week participants.

Paper cranes

Embrace uncertainty

Composer and artist Merlijn Twaalfhoven kicked off as the first guest speaker. He painted an uncertain future. It seems now that anything is possible, but will it stay that way? "We live in uncertain times and prosperity cannot be taken for granted. Can you embrace uncertainty?" Merlijn asked the audience. "Do you panic when the unexpected happens? How do you deal with uncertainty?" Merlijn suggested bringing out the artist in yourself. Artists find beauty in chaos. They 'play' to experience the present. They break patterns to feel free. They look for a safe place to show their vulnerability. They do not look for an immediate solution, but listen to their feelings and dreams. Especially in uncertain times, art offers guidance and connection.


Challenge Your Horizon

The International Week of Health & Social Studies is an initiative of the Schools of Social Studies and Health Studies. All full-time second-year students in Social Work, Nursing, Family and Child Studies (Pedagogiek) and Arts and Psychomotor Therapies (Vaktherapie) participate in the International Week. "We want students to be exposed to other perspectives early on in their studies, both outside their disciplines and beyond our national borders", says organizer Isabel Bautista. "I hope that the participating students and lecturers have been able to challenge and broaden their horizons with more understanding, more knowledge and more connections."

Proud to present

Aftermovie 2023