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My trip to Wroclaw - Winner of the best Bachelor Thesis in DSS2016

Published by Irati Icardo — 2 years ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

A bit more than a year ago, I presented my bachelor thesis to the organization of San Sebastian capital of Culture of Europe, which organized a contest in order to give the prize to the best thesis with relation of the cultural capital. I was the winner and I had the chance to travel to Wroclaw, the other capital of culture. Here I attach the blog I published in the blog of DSS2016 Capital of Culture:

My name is Irati Icardo, I am 21 years old and I come from Irun. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Tourism from the University of Deusto and I am currently studying a two-year Master's Degree in "European and International Relations". Who would have told me some months ago that my Bachelor's final thesis would take me to Wroclaw? Actually, my thesis, called "The measurement of the cultural impact and the citizen participation during the European Capital of Culture Donostia /San Sebastian 2016" has been the winner of the travel grant given by the organization of DSS2016EU.


Source: Donostia / San Sebastian 2016 (

My research, which was carried out in April, measured whether the Capital of Culture had a cultural impact in the city, as well as the feeling of the citizens towards their participation in the project. In fact, the project was successfully finished thanks to the more than 450 citizens of San Sebastian that answered the proposed survey.

As soon as I arrived in Wroclaw, despite being dark, I went to explore the city. Wroclaw, which shares the European Capital of Culture title with San Sebastian, is completely different from our Basque city. The Polish city does not have the coast that identifies San Sebastian, and neither has the mouth-watering "pintxos", but Wroclaw has much more to offer.

The one-year adventure of Wroclaw contains more than 1000 events; among those, 12 have been the most significant ones. These have been the pillars of the year-long program and their objective has been to show their values, culture , citizens and identity through different cultural expressions.


Source: Wroclaw 2016 (

Going back to my stay, the day after I arrived I met the organizers of Wroclaw 2016. They all gave me some information about the history of the city, as well as the program followed during the year. Of course, I was given some books to widen my knowledge about the project they have been working on for more than 7 years. Furthermore, I went to three conferences during the week: SIECAR, which consisted on talking about intercultural contact and globalization; "Kulturo Futuro" in which artists and experts on the field of the arts talked about the future of culture and art; and "Idea Wroclawia", where different possible scenarios of the cities of the future and specially Wroclaw were presented.

I acquired knowledge from all of them but there was something that blew my mind: "Culture is hybrid, each of us is born with a determined culture and values and builds their own culture depending on the experiences that she or he lives". Many times we do not give value to the diversity of cultures in the world, we are afraid of the unknown but we must open our minds because as I mentioned, diversity is a very valuable part of society.

Apart from the meetings and conferences I attended, I was also able to wander around a bit. The city is amazing, both for tourism and for living. The Cultural Capital has helped this city to be newer and cosier. The history of the city is worth a look and so is the story behind the little gnomes that can be found in the city. I absolutely recommend a visit, even if it is not during 2016.

My trip to Wroclaw - Winner of the best Bachelor Thesis in DSS2016

The world of ECoC is much more than what we can see through the organized events and the advertisements. Actually, the Southern Silesian city of Wroclaw has been working on this project for more than 7 years, and there is a network of all the cities that have been and are ECoC, what makes Europe a little bit closer and tight-knit.

To end up with my post, I would like to thank

All the people that helped me develop my work, both answering and sharing the survey. Nagore Ageitos, my tutor during this project at University of Deusto. 

I would also like to thank the professors that congratulated me, mainly Marina Abad and Patricia Celis, who valued my project very positively. 

I would like to thank the D/SS 2016 organization for awarding me this prize, and particularly Ion Gil, for helping me during this process. To finish, Dziękuję (thanks) to the organization of Wroclaw 2016, mainly to Katarzyna for the warm welcome and all the help. 

I also want to thank Lorena, one of the Basque workers in Wroclaw who I had the pleasure to meet. 

And to the people that are reading this post, take advantage of the opportunities to take part that D/SS2016 gives, it is worth the effort.


Source: Donostia / San Sebastian 2016 (

You can also see this in the blog: 

In another post, I will talk about Wroclaw itself, a worthwhile city in Poland.

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