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Student perspective: Working with people from different fields toward the same goal is something I really like 

This VIS project brings together students from Breda University in the Netherlands and the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Through this collaboration, the participants dive into the world of data science, artificial intelligence, tourism, and game design to develop an innovative app focused on cultural heritage. 

Rebecca Borski from Germany and Borislav Nachev from Bulgaria are both data science and artificial intelligence students at Breda University.  We meet them at the VIS event on November 9, 2023, in Groningen, where they openly share their experiences as key contributors to the VIS project. Their journey underlines the collaborative spirit that drives the initiative. 

Aim of the Project  

This VIS project aims to create an app, in 3 months from September 2023 to January 2024, that will lead users through cultural heritage routes in different cities, starting with Saint Martin in the Netherlands. With this app users can go on cultural heritage routes and scan different objects to learn about the city’s history. Beyond development, the project seeks to facilitate international exchange, fostering connections between students from different studies and backgrounds, and get to know how they work, and what they can add to this project.  

Collaborative teams in action 

Collaboration extends beyond academic boundaries, with students from the tourism and game design departments adding unique perspectives to the project. Rebecca and Borislav are responsible for the server side and the functionality of the app. The tourism students are more integrated in the actual content of the game, by collecting information for the cultural heritage that they’re visiting together. Eventually, Glasgow students will bring all the parts together.  

Students from Glasgow will actually do the game part. So, they bring everything together

– Rebecca Borski

Navigating early challenges 

With Rebecca and Borislav’s studies starting a month and a half earlier than Glasgow, this brought initial uncertainties. Without clarity about the students’ progress in Glasgow, they began uncertainly. However, now that they have started and are communicating with each other, they are exchanging answers and resolving questions along the way.  

Embracing learning and collaboration across fields 

It was a highlight of the virtual exchange to discover new skills within their own domain while working with students from other departments. It was also enriching to understand the different expertise they brought and see the collaboration of different backgrounds come together. The experience of working with people from different fields, each with their own unique approach, was a valuable learning experience that fostered effective communication and alignment towards shared goals. 

Working with people from different fields, who have different structures, toward the same goal and to aligning the different teams every week is something I really like

– Rebecca Borski

Insights for students and teachers  

Reflecting on their experience, Rebecca and Borislav offer insights for fellow students. They encourage seizing opportunities for growth and networking while acknowledging the need for effective time management and open communication. 

Go for it because it’s kind of unpredictable to see where it’s going and also from what we’ve heard already from presentations today, every VIS project is very different. It’s so nice how much you can actually grow from a project like that and learn from others.

– Rebecca Borski 

Make sure that they can manage their time, because this is an extra activity. So, they should focus on their studies as well.

– Borislav Nachev 

Expressing uncertainty about their first VIS project, they find comfort in the approach where teachers communicate with their students. They suggest collaboration and communication with the students as important advice for teachers embarking on similar projects.