SILS adds new summer seminar focusing on information enterprises in Germany and Ireland

Release date: 

September 21, 2016

The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) is adding a new international summer seminar for 2017 that will focus on the ways information gathering, dissemination, privacy, and security affect businesses.

Students will travel to Dublin and Berlin, getting behind-the-scenes access to global technology companies in each city and participating in other educational and cultural activities made possible by SILS’ partnerships with University College Dublin and Humboldt University of Berlin.

This seminar joins SILS’ two other international summer seminars, which explore libraries and librarianship in Prague and London. The new seminar is an exciting addition, not only because of its information-science focus, but also because students will have the chance to explore the subject in two different countries.

“The Dublin/Berlin summer seminar will give participants an opportunity to gain a pan-cultural view of information technology operations,” said SILS Dean Gary Marchionini. “It will offer especially valuable insights through visits to international companies in both an English and non-English speaking country. Whether they are current professionals or students about to launch their information science careers, participants should find the perspectives offered by this program extremely useful.”

The seminar is available for three (3) hours of credit from UNC SILS, though as with all SILS’ summer seminars, the program is open to students and professionals and participants do not need to be affiliated with SILS. 

“Study abroad is a challenging adventure that provides endless opportunities for both personal and academic growth,” said SILS International Programs Coordinator Kaitlyn Murphy. “We’re very excited to add another program offering for summer. The visits to tech companies in Dublin and Berlin will allow on-site learning about global information, communication, and technology straight from the corporations who deal with these issues on a global scale every day. And our partnership with Humboldt and UCD will allow students to experience another iSchool in an international context. As a result, participants can gain global competency, cross-cultural communication skills, and an awareness of international business.”

The two-week seminar will begin in Berlin with the arrival of students on May 22, 2017. Participants will tour behind the scenes at three Berlin-based global companies and attend presentations by experts in the field of information in Germany. There will also be an organized daytrip to Potsdam, which includes a visit to Sanssouci Palace and park (a UNESCO world heritage site). Participants will also spend a day on Humboldt University’s campus, hosted by their iSchool, and take part in cultural activities (i.e. cooking class, theatre performance, athletic event, concert, film screening, etc.).

Participants will then travel by plane on May 30 to Dublin, and will remain in Dublin until the program concludes on June 6. In Dublin, participants will visit three additional businesses and partake in lectures from Irish information professionals. One or two days will be spent at University College Dublin’s iSchool.

Weekends will be free and other free time will be built into the program so that participants can explore Berlin and Dublin on their own.

Registration is not yet open. To be added to our interest list, please email Kaitlyn Murphy at