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ENDietS February Newsletter 2019

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Report from EFAD conference

The first international European dietetic students network established! 

The DIETS/EFAD conference (9-12 October Athens, Greece) offered the largest and most varied students programme ever. Around 400 students participated, most of them obviously coming from Greece, but also many from other countries such as Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey. Even some students from last year’s conference were present again, so we can definitely call this a huge success! All of them could follow the general programme, but also some specific student activities were organized as we have been doing for several years now. During the different poster sessions, students were also able to present their own work to the international audience of professional dietitians

Students were welcomed on the first conference morning to get acquainted with each other and to be introduced in networking on conferences. In the afternoon two inspiring presentations were offered. Firstly, we were honored to have Evelina Dimitrakopoulou from IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations) talking to us about their experiences and good practices. This example certainly gave us a lot of inspiration to reflect about. Afterwards, Ursula Lukas (German Association of Dietitians) gave a lecture about working overseas as a graduated dietitian, illustrated by a case study from a project in the African continent. You could actually notice the eagerness of some students in the audience to be involved in such kind of projects. At evening, Iliana Michali (Hellenic Dietetic Association) had arranged some very pleasant social events and guided us together with local Greek students to Plaka in central Athens for some entertainment and a typical dinner.

On the second conference day, an interactive workshop was scheduled in the afternoon. Koen Vanherle (Artesis Plantijn University College, Antwerp) led this session which could be called a true milestone for all dietetic students. Indeed, in this workshop the first international European dietetic students network ever was established after three rounds of brainstorming and discussion. A network structure to kick off with was adopted and will be elaborated and refined during the following weeks, with full support of EFAD. We will certainly communicate about this process to all students and HEI’s in the near future, to promote and expand our students network.

After this hard work, another evening of fun was on the menu, this time bringing us to a restaurant in a students area where we could celebrate our successful outcomes. All connected together, with all the delicious Greek food and accompanied with our singing and guitar playing students, some new wonderful friendships were born. The local atmosphere of ancient Athens and the Mediterranean climate made it even more unforgettable.

And even than the conference was not completely over, but continued on Sunday morning with the last presentations and the awards for best students poster. Even more, two of our own students had a special surprise for the audience and treated them with a guitar song as they also played the night before in the restaurant. It really touched the audience, and we couldn’t imagine a better way to end our conference with! We can look back to it with great pleasure and satisfaction, full of valuable achievements, making it a magnificent experience to remember and treasure! We already invite all dietetic students to participate (again) to our next conference, you will indeed return home with a bag full of ideas, professional connections and international friendships! If you are curious already, all information and photos of our latest conference in Athens can be found on the DIETS and EFAD online media.

Koen Vanherle – DIETS/EFAD Students Key Contact

Download report: Students @8th DIETS/EFAD Conference in Athens

External publications

Interview with Ravi Nagar the British Dietetic Association Students representative