EurECA Conference 2017

25 – 28 May, 2017 (Ascension Weekend)David Smith.jpg

Conference Speaker: David Smith

Venue: Hurdal Verk Folkehøgskole near Oslo, Norway

Learning from the Stranger:

Christian Educators and Cultural Differences

Encountering cultural differences in the classroom, in the church and in the public square is an everyday part of contemporary life. The chances are shrinking that we will live our lives interacting only with those who share our cultural identity and ways of thinking. Understanding culture and how cultural differences affect how we understand one another and live well together is no longer just for people who travel a lot. It has become a basic life skill.

The conference will offer an overview of how Christians have been rethinking their relationship to cultural difference. We will consider what is changing and why rethinking is needed. Creation and fall, the image of God, the believer as temple of the Holy Spirit and the church as the body of Christ, neighbour ethics, the Trinity, the incarnation and cross of Christ, and the call to welcome strangers - each of these offers distinct challenges to think in Christian ways about how we deal with differences, especially in our school and classroom.
We will also consider the practical processes of intercultural learning and how they relate to Christian formation. The goal will be to point to rich ways in which Christians can responsibly and graciously embrace cultural difference in our schools and communities.

There will be three sessions, followed by group discussions.


Session 1: Culture and Self

In this session we will explore some ways in which culture shapes who we are and how this transfers to the classroom – our sense of self, our understanding of the world and how we interact with it and even our faith. How does this affect our Christian ways of thinking about cultural differences and about ourselves? How does it affect the way we deal with cultural differences in our school?

Session 2: Culture and Calling

In this session we will consider how our Christian calling can shape our interaction with a multicultural world and especially our multicultural schools. We will consider some problems that arise when we see others mainly as a field for evangelizing. What understanding of mission is helpful and how is cultural variety embedded in the kingdom of God? How can the challenge of a multicultural classroom be turned into an opportunity?

Session 3: Culture and Learning

In this session we will consider the challenges and processes of intercultural learning. How can we move this beyond learning bits of information about other cultures so that we make space for deep learning and growth in empathy and care? What will this mean for curriculum and pedagogy?


Included in this year's conference is EurECA's bi-annual General Assembly.


Download flyer in PDF format here.

Spread the word among your collegues!

Register here online. 

We're looking forward to seeing you in May 2017!


 FAQ about the conference:


Can I stay additional nights? At what price?

There is the possibility to come the day before and / or to leave the day after, paying an extra cost.  The price will be 600 / 850 NKR for an extra day beforehand or after. This is per person in a double / single room, including evening meal on Wednesday, breakfast and lunch on Thursday, dinner on Sunday and breakfast on Monday.


How is transport from the airport organized?

The Hurdal Verk Folkehøgskole is located just 44 km north of Oslo Airport Gardermoen. We will offer a shuttle bus service from the airport to the venue for convenient access (for 10-15 € per person, one way, depends on the number of full seats). Please try to arrive before 17:30. If you are flying to Torp, you will need to find your own way to Gardermoen. Details will be sent to participants once we know more about arrival times.


What is the deadline for registration?

The registration deadline is on 30th April. The earlier you register, the easier you would make it for us in the organisation of things and the more likely you will find a convenient flight. If you need a visa, you must start the process as soon as possible!


Is it possible to leave before the end of the conference?

Yes, of course, you would however have to organize your own transport to the airport. If we can help in any way, we will be pleased to do so!


What possibilities are for people to visit Oslo?

During the Conference:

There will be an excursion by minibus going to Oslo on Saturday afternoon (as part of the optional programme).  A stay of about three hours in Oslo is planned, so one can either see the city center or visit the Bygdøy museums (including the Viking ships and Kon-Tiki).

Before or after the conference:

If you are planning to visit Oslo before the conference begins, make sure that you are back at Gardermoen airport in time (before 17.30) for the shuttle bus to the conference centre at Hurdal Verk Folkehøgskole (HVF).  There is no public transport available to HVF on Ascension Day (Thursday 25th May) or on Sundays (28th May).

To travel between the center of Oslo and Gardermoen airport you can use the airport train.  There are also local trains at half the price which are only four minutes slower but less frequent.  See for the trains between Oslo Lufthavn and Oslo Sentralstasjon.

For things to do and see in Oslo: (in five languages).


Is it possible to get to Hurdal from Gardermoen Airport by public transportation?

Please note that there will be a shuttle bus from the airport.  Details see above.  If you are unable to use the shuttle bus on Thursday you will need to make your own way.  However, there is no public transport available to HVF on Ascension Day (Thursday 25th May) or on Sundays (28th May).

For those that arrive or leave on different days,  there is a bus to / from HVF on normal weekdays, which takes just under 50 min:

From the airport to HVF at: 12.37, 15.07, 16.27, 17.06 and 19.06.

From HVF to the airport at: 06.02, 07.25, 09.07, 14.27 and 18.07.


What other relaxation and excursion opportunities will be on Saturday?

There are many things to do on the school premises: sports hall with skate ramp, climbing wall and slackline;  frisbee golf;  gym with weights and exercise equipment;  horse riding (to be confirmed);  beach volleyball;  football;  canoeing;  hiking in the beautiful surroundings such as lakes and hills.


For further questions about local issues (transport, sightseeing etc)

please contact: Signe Sandsmark -


For any other further questions please contact:

Liviu Caprar 




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