At the heart of the European continent, Strasbourg maintains an international university tradition. Strasbourg is home to France’s largest university – The University of Strasbourg or Unistra, with close to 65,000 students, and host to three Nobel prizes. The Eurometropolis of Strasbourg is also the site of ISU’s central campus, and in keeping with the tradition of regularly returning to this home site, the 2019 Space Studies Program (SSP19) will take place in the same facility that houses the university’s Master of Space Studies program and many professional development programs. This modern building, sited in the Innovation Park of Illkirch-Graffenstaden is just 20 minutes by ultramodern tramway from Strasbourg’s historic city center. Strasbourg shares with Geneva and New York the distinction of being host to major international organizations without being a national capital.
In addition to the well known European Institutions headquartered here such as the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg also hosts the oldest continuously operating international organization in the world, The Rhine Commission. This means that Strasbourg has the cosmopolitan ambience and attractions of a capital city without the excesses. On the one hand there is the old city, registered by UNESCO as a world heritage site, with the Cathedral, half-timbered buildings and multicultural influences in evidence everywhere, while on the other, the modern architecture of public institutions, new museums and high tech businesses attests to the fact that the city continues to evolve.
The name Strasbourg is derived from its historic role as a crossing point of the major roads of Europe, and it continues to serve as a hub of communication and ideas. In this role it has particularly strong connections to its sister city, Stuttgart, just one hour away by high speed train in Germany. Drawing on that relationship and on ISU’s long record of cooperation with the University of Stuttgart, we will have an extended professional visit to that city’s significant space activities. Thus SSP19 will be a particularly international space studies program. There could be no better environment for your nine week immersion in the study of humankind’s evolving experience of space.