Campus News
A group of students pose for a photo.
Third-year Lethbridge College Bachelor of Justice Studies students (L to R) Jordan Kurtz, Jonny Beland, Jessica Bignell, Julianna Rouire, Jonas Sommervill, and Cole Loutit in Dubrovnik, Croatia May 2023.

Lethbridge College was well-represented at the world’s leading post-graduate criminal justice course this spring in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Two instructors, Aaron Eyjolfson and Seth Adema, accompanied six third-year Bachelor of Justice Studies students as they took part in the 37th annual International Post-Graduate Course on Victimology, Victim Assistance and Criminal Justice May 15 to 27. The course brought together approximately 80 international students and 50 internationally renowned experts from the field.

It was Eyjolfson’s third time in attendance – his first experience was in 2017 when he attended and completed the course as part of his own professional development. He returned as a course faculty member in 2018 and brought five Lethbridge College students with him. Eyjolfson says it’s always exciting to make the trip. 

“Victimology is a relatively new field, so from an academic perspective, to have experts from around the world sharing and expanding their knowledge – it’s really, really interesting,” Eyjolfson says. “Participants get to have these analytical and academic conversations but also socialize casually with people from all walks of life, so it’s an amazing balance.”

For Adema, the trip was a few years in the making. He was registered to take a group of students in May 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to cancel. 

As course faculty members, Adema and Eyjolfson each delivered a one-hour lecture on the topic of their choosing, while the remainder of the two weeks was all about learning and exploring.

A scenic photo of Croatia.
Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo credit to Cole Loutit.

“It was great to take a step back from my day-to-day role as an instructor and be a student,” says Adema. “I don’t have a strong background in victimology, so a lot of this was new material for me. Touring the area and meeting new people from all over the world was also a highlight.”

The six students who travelled to Croatia with Adema and Eyjolfson were chosen to participate through an internal competition that involved an essay submission detailing why they wanted to attend and how the course would benefit them, their studies, their future and the industry. They were expected to keep a journal during the trip, and at the end of the course, they submitted an eight-page paper and gave a 10-minute presentation on a victimology topic of their choice. In return, students received a post-graduate certificate from the World Society of Victimology and earned course credit for an elective in the fourth year of their Justice Studies degree program.

“This was a rare opportunity for my classmates and me to expand our educational experience, get a better understanding of the emerging field of victimology, and make memories with each other and students from around the world,” says Cole Loutit, third-year Bachelor of Justice Studies. “Being from the small town of Hay River, NWT, where not many post-secondary students have gotten to do something like this, I feel particularly lucky to have been part of it.”

In addition to formal learning opportunities, the post-graduate victimology course included several cultural and sightseeing excursions like a tour of historical Dubrovnik and day trips to local landmarks.