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The High of the Alps: five reasons to come study with me at EGS

The High of the Alps: five reasons to come study with me at EGS

After two years of teaching for the European Graduate School online, ( I was delighted to return as a professor to the campus in Saas Fee, Switzerland this year.  I encourage you to join me.  Why go to all that effort and expense   Here are four reasons:

 Students study with top educators in the “polyaesthetic, decentering” method – which I believe to be the strongest art-based theory available. The experienced teachers and professors come from around the world to bring together the  latest ideas about using expressive arts in  any situation requiring change: either making change when needed  or desired, or adapting to changes thrust upon us.  There are many approaches to helping and healing that include the arts and this is the only one exclusively anchored in the domain of arts and aesthetics.   I have yet to discover theories that are more robust.   New advances in the understanding of  trauma recovery, for example, are readily supported by the basic theories of Knill et al. 

Classes are held in a beautiful world class environment.  The village of Saas Fee, where the European Graduate School is located, is nestled in a valley at 1400 meters, surrounded by some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. The Alpine mountain forest  that surrounds the village is unlike any other landscape.  It is an iconic terrain.  Filled with wildflowers and larch conifers  with their soft needles, it is not unusual to see deer and  mountain goats when you  take a walk or hike.  Of course, you can hear the bells of the Swiss cows at any time.

Students are the guests of the Hotel Allalin, which  provides your accommodations. This lovely hotel is run by the Zurbriggin family, not a corporation, so you will be welcomed as an individual. The whole community eats together in the dining room or in the garden. The chore of  food shopping and prep is taken off your shoulders so you can go write poetry under the full moon, feel your place under the Milky Way, or listen to the river at dawn.

 EGS uses experiential learning, which means learning by doing. There are readings and lectures, but aware that students must engage their senses and embodied consciousness to master something, all classes use experiential processes.   The whole university comes together many mornings to make Community Art where we move and make music in the improvisational tradition.  This might be my favorite thing in the world to do.

 The International Network of Expressive Arts Training Institutes has members institutes all around the world.   Twenty or so cooperating institutes send students to the summer school to finish their studies and have their degrees conferred. Classmates come from Scandinavia, South and North America, Asia, and India.   These students love to travel and are excited about making life-long  friendships here.

The world is struggling, with disease and pandemic, with war, with climate change, so evident as the Fee glacier recedes, but we find hope in community and in the arts.  We know the arts can hold our grief and can sustain and nourish  us through difficulty – so we can go on, another day, together.

Consider joining this amazing school for your master’s degree or PhD.  It truly changed my life, and it can change yours too.

Prof. Dr. Judith Greer Essex

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