2018-01-31
Journey FAQs

What can I expect on a 5 week Journey?

In this longer format, the first two weeks are focused on input, workshops and site visits exploring climate challenges, as well as inspiration from entrepreneurs. These inputs are used by participants to come up with initial business ideas, and teams are formed by the end of week 2. During weeks 3-4 teams further develop their climate-related business idea with the help of experts and coaches, and work on fine-tuning their business plan and business pitch. Finally, in week 5 teams present their business idea in a pitch event, and get detailed feedback on their business plan from a jury of experts. Throughout the whole Journey, the teams are accompanied by two coaches who support, inspire and help to finalise the business plan.

Within these five weeks, the participants move across three different European locations and team-up to create compelling sustainable business plans offering solutions to real-world climate related issues.

What can I expect on a 3 week Journey?

Since 2016 Climate-KIC has also introduced a 3-week option, directed at those individuals for whom a 5-week programme is not possible.
This is a condensed version of the 5-week summer school programme. Before participants embark on the summer school, a compulsory online course is completed remotely, and at each participant’s own pace. This course includes an introduction to climate challenges, hot-spots, impact measurements and problem statement formulations. The course gets participants thinking about how to best find areas of impactful action to battle climate challenges, and participants select climate challenge areas they would like to explore further during the summer school.

In the first week on location, the summer school continues to provide input - together with site visits - around these climate challenges, whilst at the same time kicking off a design-thinking process. In this, participants move together with their teammates swiftly through ideation processes to honing-in on an innovative business idea that adapts to or mitigates climate change within chosen challenge areas.

In week two, the Journey focuses on entrepreneurial content, coaching, and group work towards a business idea, iterating within the frame of a Business Model Canvas (rather than Business Plan). Finally, in week 3, teams have to finalise the business idea and receive feedback from experts in the form of a team discussion round. As with the 5-week format, teams also pitch their business ideas in a pitch event, and receive feedback from a jury of experts.

Teams are accompanied and supported by two coaches throughout the programme. Within the three weeks, the participants move across two different European locations.

What can I expect on the InnoSpace Journey?

The InnoSpace Jounrey is codeveloped with Copernicus.

The core objective of InnoSpace Journey is to ensure uptake and exploitation of Copernicus data, to address the challenges of climate change, as well as create awareness of both the availability and the potential applications of open Earth Observation (EO) data. The InnoSpace Journey will aim at fostering entrepreneurial thinking among students and future entrepreneurs deploying a learn-by-doing approach by:

(i) increasing awareness of downstream EO and Geographic Information Science (GIS) innovation opportunities; (ii) providing the skills and tools to translate ideas into end-user applications; and (iii) providing a protected testing-ground for entrepreneurial development in the field of climate change; and finally (iv) to develop a common inter-and trans disciplinary understanding of climate challenges and how they can be addressed using space data, Earth Observation and GIS. Within the five weeks, the participants move across three different European locations with two coaches, and team-up to create compelling sustainable solutions to real-world climate related issues.

Do I have to pay for my accommodation?

Successful applicants to the Journey programme do not need to pay for their accommodation during the official programme dates. Accommodation is provided by Climate-KIC for Journey participants for the duration of the programme. In case you would like to stay extra days before or after the official programme, you can contact the hotel (in some cases discount rates may apply).  Rooms provided by the programme will usually be shared with another participant.

Who covers and organises my travel?

You need to organise and pay for your travel from your home country to the first Journey location, and from the last Journey location back home. During the official programme, travelling between locations is paid for and organised by Climate-KIC. We cannot reimburse your expenses for the travel to and from the Journey, these are at your own cost.

Do I need a visa and who needs to arrange it?

Some participants require a visa to enter the Schengen Countries or other participating countries such as the UK. If this is the case please send us an email after you have been selected, and we can provide a letter for you to present to the embassy to apply for a visa. You need to cover the cost for the visa and apply for it yourself. Climate-KIC does not do this for you.

Participants who require visa need to have a valid residence permit and a valid passport, which won’t hinder their travels. If you are unable to get a visa due to these circumstances, please understand that we cannot keep your place secure.

Can I still apply for the programme if I am not an EU/EEA citizen?

Yes! We strongly believe that diversity and global reach enriches our Summer School.

Applicants who are enrolled at European University can apply free of charge for the Journey, even if they are not EU/EEA citizens. You do not need to pay any fees if you are a full-time student at a European University. Exempted from paying a fee are also students and passport holders of the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine. You can apply to either the 5-week or the 3-week Programme.

If you are neither an EU-citizen, nor a student in a European institution, you are still welcome to apply for the Journey. In this case a fee will apply. Please be aware that non-EU/EEA participants can apply only to the 3-week programme.

I am not a student, but rather a professional. Can I still apply?

Yes! We believe that diversity enriches our Summer School, including in terms of career level. We welcome not only students from Master level and above, but also applicants with professional experience. You will be able to indicate this experience in your application form.

Can I apply for the Journey, if I am a last year Bachelor student?

Participants in the last year of their Bachelor’s studies are eligible to apply for the programme. Please, provide a document stating that you are in your last year of undergraduate education.

What documents do I need to attach to my application?

Please attach only your latest university degree certificate to the application documents, which will be your Bachelor certificate or Master’s degree certificate. We are not interested in your high school diplomas.
We understand that you might have documents or CVs in your native language, but unfortunately our reviewers do not speak all languages in the world, therefore we kindly ask you to upload only documents in English and in a pdf format.

Can I choose from a 3- week track or 5- week track?

Yes, in the application form you can choose between the two different durations (or select both). You can find the differences between the three above.
Please be aware that non-EU citizens can apply only to the 3-week programme.

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

You will be informed by February 28 if you have made it through to the next round. If so, you will be invited for a online interview that you have to do on a portal before March 6. Final decisions and allocation by the recruitment panel will be made in early April.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes, we do have a waitlist for some participants after the interview is done.

Do I have to pay for the summer school?

If you are holder of an EU/EFTA/EEA passport, or a full-time enrolled student at an EU University/Institution, the Journey is free of charge.
If you are neither an EU-citizen, nor a student in a European institution, you are still welcome to apply for the Journey. In this case a fee of 4900 Euro will apply. Please be aware that non-EU participants can apply only to the 3-week programme.

Why do you need my passport information and emergency contact details?

Our Climate-KIC managers have to book your travel between locations and may need your passport information in order to book tickets. Some locations/institutions we will visit will also require passport details.

In case of an emergency we need a close family member or a friend whom we can contact.

When do I get to know to which Journey locations I am going to/can I choose the locations?

After you have been successfully selected to the programme, you will receive a letter stating the exact Journey locations you will be going to. The exact locations of each Journey will not be revealed in advance, and it is not possible to select or state preference for a particular location.

Please understand that a lot of work and effort goes into allocating hundreds of students to Journeys based on time availability and ensuring diversity in the group. We are therefore unable to satisfy requests to change Journey based on a desire to go to a specific location. Anyway – it’s the content and group that really counts on the Journey, not the location.

When do I receive the Journey programme?

You will receive an overview of the main programme points and structure of your journey about a month before your journey commences. A more detailed programme will be distributed around two weeks before your Journey begins. Please be aware that - as with any summer school - some programme points may be subject to change.

I have been accepted to the programme, but I cannot participate in the Journey.

By accepting your place to the programme you have agreed to the legal terms and conditions. If you are unable to participate in the programme and you tell us shortly before the Journey begins, fees will apply. Please understand that we have booked accommodation, catering, tuition and travel for you and we cannot give your place to other interested applicants at short notice.

Do I have to do the online course and how do I register for it?

Prior to the start of the Journey you will receive a link to register for the online course. This course is compulsory for 3-week participants, and encouraged for 5-week participants.

The online challenge creator course is compulsory for 3-week participants, and encouraged for 5-week participants.

For 3-week participants there will be concrete outputs of the course that you will need to bring with you to the Summer School. For 5-week participants, doing the course will help prepare you nicely for what is to come!

Do I receive ECTS by participating at the Journey?

Participants completing the 5-week programme will receive a certificate stating the workload, recommended ECTS and final grade. You may be able to receive ECTS points from your university by presenting them with this certificate. This is, however, up to your University. In the past a number of universities have accepted these ECTS, but it is at the discretion of the individual university. We recommend clarifying this with your university in advance of the Journey if you do intend to try to gain the ECTS.

For participants following the 3-week track no ECTS points are recommended on the certificate.

Do I receive a grade for the Journey?

The Journey is a non-formal, experiential learning format. As a result, the most important things you will get out of the Journey are experience, personal growth, tools for the future, an entrepreneurial spirit, further climate knowledge, a fantastic network and new friends! This is not a traditional academic programme, and as a result we do not like to put a strong emphasis on grades and paper outputs. We believe that every student who has completed the Journey has gone through a massive learning curve, should be applauded for this, and is taking with them a wealth of experience for their future career.

Having said that, we do offer students a grade following the Journey based on their team Business Plan and Business Pitch. If you complete the 5-week Journey, you are free to try to use this for ECTS at your university, but this is up to the University (see point above on ECTS).

However, to emphasize once again - we strongly encourage participants to step away from their usual academic habits and not focus on the grade! This is all about the experience and personal Journey, which has been worth a lot more for our alumni than a grade on paper.

Is this a start-up competition with a cash prize and real investor pitching?

No. This is an educational programme around climate entrepreneurship. The most important things you will get out of the Journey are experience, personal growth, climate entrepreneurship tools for the future, an entrepreneurial spirit, further climate science knowledge, a fantastic network and new friends! You will work in a team on a Business Idea and have a chance to pitch this at the end, and you will receive detailed feedback on this business idea from experts. But it is not as such a start-up competition, and there is not a cash prize at the end. If you develop a fantastic idea during the Journey, and would like to continue with it afterwards, Climate-KIC offers a pre-incubation ‘Greenhouse’ programme, as well as an Accelerator, which we encourage you to apply for following the Summer School.

What happens if I get sick during the Journey and have to skip parts of the programme?

The Journey is a (more than) full-time, very intensive course – with a packed schedule each week Mon-Friday, often late into the evening, and regular preparation work or travel over the weekend. Full-time attendance is expected by all participants.
Obviously we understand that if participants fall sick, their participation may be limited for a few days. In case you are feeling unwell, we ask you to immediately inform the local manager and the coaches. There is a doctor’s number in each location specific handbook, and the local manager can help you in contacting a doctor. If you will miss parts of the programme, it is up to you to make up for the lost time with your team members.

I want to go to a wedding/reunion/exam etc. Can I skip some parts of the programme?

The Journey is a (more than) full-time, very intensive course. Attendance of every session is expected of all participants.

It is not possible to skip any elements of the programme. This is a full time summer school starting from around 09:00 (sometimes earlier) and finishing at the very earliest at 17:30 each day, with many evenings then having additional networking events and/or group-work sessions. Every organised session is a compulsory part of the journey. Participants cannot be excused for separate sessions due to skype calls, work assignments or any other reason.

Please clear your calendar of any other obligations during the 3 or 5 weeks. Alumni will tell you – you simply won’t have the time! Even the evenings or weekends that are not officially structured by the organising team tend to fill up with informal networking or group work. It is this focus and intensity of the programme that makes it so enriching and rewarding!

Please understand: the Journey is an extremely popular programme with a very selective recruitment process and limited places available. It would not be fair on the many excellent and motivated people who applied but were not selected if you join the school but do not make full use of the offer available.

I am already familiar with the content of some of the sessions, can I skip them?

Full-time attendance is expected by all participants. You may not skip any of the sessions – we believe it is crucial that all participants receive the same input and understand what everyone else has been taught. People in your team might not be aware of the topics discussed and they want to acquire that knowledge. We realize that some of the participants have more relevant knowledge in climate science topics or business development. We advise in those cases to help your team members with your deeper knowledge, which also contributes to better performance of your team.

Please understand: the Journey is an extremely popular programme with a very selective recruitment process and limited places available. It would not be fair on the many excellent and motivated people who applied but were not selected if you join the school but do not make full use of the offer available.

Do I have some free time?

The Journey sessions take place from around 09:00 (sometimes earlier) and finishing at the very earliest at 17:30 each day (usually later), with many evenings then having additional networking events and/or group-work sessions. After the programme you have free time. Weekends are also free when there is not travel organized between locations. However, it is worth being aware that even the evenings or weekends that are not officially structured by the organising team do tend to fill up with informal networking or group work, so please clear your calendar of any other commitments or expectations during the full Journey period.

If you would like tips of things to do in your free time, ask your local manager – they will be happy to help!

Please be prepared for the fact that the Journey is a full-time intensive Programme, involving hard work! It is this focus and intensity of the programme that makes it so enriching and rewarding! If you are looking for a touristy free-time summer school, this is probably not the right programme for you.

Do I need to sort out food?

On most week days of the Programme breakfast and lunch are provided. On a couple of evenings a networking dinner will be organized. Other evenings and at the weekend you will have to buy and organize your own food. Sometimes the accommodation is equipped with kitchens, so that you can cook together with other participants. If not, the local manager will be happy to give you tips for local restaurants.

Please also be aware that we try to keep the carbon footprint of our Journeys down by limiting our meat consumption and providing only vegetarian and vegan food wherever possible. So many (if not all) of the meals provided by Climate-KIC will be meat-free.

Can I bring my partner/family/friends on the Journey with me? Are pets allowed?

The Journey is an extremely popular programme with a very selective recruitment process and limited places available. It costs us at Climate-KIC a lot of effort and resources to organize accommodation, food and tuition, so please understand that we cannot accept people into the programme or facilities who have not been selected via the competitive recruitment process.

We can only provide accommodation for the selected participants, and this will often be in a shared room with another participant, so it will not be possible to host someone external in your room.  Likewise, you and your colleagues have been carefully selected to participate in the programme elements, so we cannot welcome externals into these sessions.

Your beloved pets cannot join you on the programme unless there is an official medical reason.

Diversity

Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.