Professor Olena Budnyk was invited by her colleagues at the University of LUMSA in Italy to participate in an international conference “Education for Peace” on June 26, 2023, where, together with her Polish colleague, Mariola Kozubek, a Professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice, presented the collaborative outcomes in the realms of academia and education cooperation between their institutions. They discussed the overarching strategy for the development of the Precarpathian University under martial law and highlighted the importance of offering pedagogical support to students during times of war, as well as the necessity of preparing educators to instill European spiritual values in young individuals. The speeches emphasized the important mission of universities – dialogue and cooperation for peace and unity of citizens, which is supported by the Global Education Pact. The leading rectors of the Pontifical Universities of Italy greeted the conference participants.

Participation in the conference was part of the program of scientific and educational internship of Professor Olena Budnyk and Associate Professor Kateryna Fomin at the University of LUMSA, where they stayed from June 15th till June 21st. Maria Cinque, the scientific advisor, Professor of the Department of Didactics, Teaching Methods and Special Pedagogy, and Director of the Postgraduate School in Education for the Development of Civic Society (EIS), kindly introduced the history of the second (oldest in Rome after La Sapienza) university, academic staff, educational programs for training specialists, including teachers.

During the internship (30 academic hours in total), they studied the peculiarities of teacher training, especially in working with children with special educational needs; methods of developing soft/digital skills; organization of e-learning and MOOCs at the University of LUMSA.

The seminar held at the University of Rome proved to be a resounding success during the interaction with Roman teachers. The Italian educators were deeply touched by the presentation on children affected by war and openly conveyed their support and admiration for the Ukrainian educators’ efforts. Additionally, they expressed keen interest in collaborating to explore the educational experiences of Ukrainian students who have been internally displaced and are adapting to the Italian education system.

The internship also included an exchange of experience in teaching students in crisis situations to provide them with psychological and informational support; participation in the Global Compact on Education project.