It was a short interesting conversation with this young Norwegian. His name is Marius Jones and he was selected as the 2015 ISFiT president one and a half years ago. ISFiT itself stand for International Student Festival in Trondheim, which is obviously held in Trondheim, Norway. ISFiT is basically an international student event that gathers student from all around the world and there they will share and trade their ideas, perspectives, and views about a certain topic. Marius and his team chose “Corruption” as the 2015 theme. Why corruption? Marius said that corruption always comes up as a major roadblock in many cases like war or even peace-building. Which I think he’s got a point on that. It is not hard to realize that even the most effective solution that ever been made will not work if those who actualize it are corrupt. Marius also agreed with the idea that corruption is the biggest challenge of our time and it is not a problem of one country or two, but it has become a global issue. That fact makes corruption an ideal topic for people from different cultures and backgrounds to discuss about and find the solution to the issue together.
The festival is not only about serious workshops and discussions. ISFiT also offers its participants the fun part. Marius referred it as “big cultural program” where the participants will not only share their ideas but also make some new friends and have fun together. Marius even mentioned that there will be a concert. Well that should be great.
But why Trondheim? Why not somewhere else? It’s not like you cannot have similar events in some other places. Well, beside the fact that ISFiT was established in 1990 and the word “Trondheim” has been there since then. “It’s a different place.” said Marius. With its exotic climate, the cold Norway offers something different and unique to people from outside Norway. It offers something new, something to discover, something to experience, and something to remember. Which then makes it a great place to get new insights and have fun at the same time. What makes it even more exciting is that people of Trondheim are very supportive toward this event. The participants will stay with the locals. So they will not only enjoy the festival but also experience the life in Trondheim.
To travel a lot more is one of the effects on the participants Marius is hoping for. He wants ISFiT to be a door-opener for others to do more traveling, as well as to discover new things and make friendships as they travel. Marius himself is a traveler. He spent a few years in the army and he’s also been on several student exchanges, one of them was in Palestine which he admitted was fulfilling for him. He said he got different perspectives with what he saw on TV during his time in Palestine. He even said that he’d like to go back to the middle-east. What a traveler.
So after all this great concept, what is exactly Marius expecting from this event he’s been working on? This positive young man said that he wanted to challenge people’s views. He wanted people to talk about their opinions and trade it with the others, so in the end they can come up with a solution that creates a better future for everyone. Apart from that, of course, he wanted people to travel. Sometimes to listen to a different perspective is not enough to make one understand, one have to experience it himself. So to put in a conclusion, Marius wants ISFiT to be an eye-opener for those who are involved in it. If this guy has said so, why wouldn’t it be?
Marcel Proust might said “The voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ,but to have new eyes, one must know that other choices do exist. The Beatles might said in their song “We all want to change the world.”, but to change the world, you must first see it.
Travel a lot. Not as a tourist, but as a traveler.
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.