noortevahetus youth exchange nyh portugal estonia eesti


Name of the project: Sustainable Development Goals: Make them Happen

Date: 03h July until 16rd July 2018

Country/City: Portugal, Lisbon


What was the main topic of the event?

Sustainable Development Goals

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

Maili Reimus – I was familiar with the sustainable development goals before but I did learn many new things and saw things in different way.  Also I didn’t know that according to United Nations we have 17 goals to transform our world. I think the biggest learning moment for me was when they took us to the mental hospital and showed us the everyday life of people who have some problems. This made me think that we are really lucky. In addition it made me realize that helping others a bit can change their future which can affect ours.  Furthermore, it was really cool to hear others an opinion about different topics and it was nice to see how much young people actually care about the environment and how cooperative they are.

Sten Oun – My biggest learning moment for me was not to always rely on past experiences and seek for new ones. Have no expectations of people, just learn about everyone and learn to live with them for who they might be. Be it good or bad experience.

Evelyn Suurkask – The biggest learning moments on the event for me were to see how life and society in different country and environment is. How resources differ, nature is different and people are different – yet the same.

I learned a lot about other people, their beliefs and norms, which I had not thought about before. 

And we got to share about our home, Estonia and discovered that people in other countries not only knew little about it but also had a bit of false expectations. That, of course, was not negative, because we got to learn more about each other to disclaim these false expectations.

Rain Laidma – I can’t precisely tell, because I was already familiar with these SDG goals and concepts.

Helene Tismus – I was familiar with the development goals before the project so I did not learn anything new about that. I mostly learned new things about the countries and people we worked with. Cooperation skills and really seeing the cultural differences. It really widened my viewpoints on many of the countries.

Kenneth Allik – My biggest learning moment was finding out that despite the different backgrounds and cultures people came from, we all were still very similar and got along really well.

Helena Kask – I think the most interesting learning moment was when we discussed how recycling is perceived in different countries. It might seem like a small thing at first, but it really gave a good insight in how different nations deal with such an important problem.

Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

Maili Reimus – Yes, because the experience was something I will miss. I would love to get to know more people from different countries and share my knowledge and use theirs. In the same time it is also a little bit sad too because in that time you are in youth exchange you will start feeling like a big family and then you have to go home.

Sten Oun – Of course, I had an eye-opening adventure full of friendships, love and education, who wouldn’t want to have that again? Soon enough I will join EVS and training courses.

Evelyn Suurkask – I do have plans to stay active on that field. It gave me an experience of a life and I do wish to learn and grow more as a person. Although I have not yet thought about it specifically.

Rain Laidma – I have not decided yet.

Helene Tismus – Yes, I would really like to do more projects like this. I would like to get to know more people from different countries and share my knowledge and use theirs. I would also love to take part in more cultural, artistic projects aswell since culture and theatre is my true passion. Talking about EUs problems and more about politics in general is interesting for me aswell since I just got a degree on a seminal topic.

Kenneth Allik – Certainly, the project really gave me an unforgettable experience and I’d surely continue to be active in the field.

Helena Kask – I’ve always been interested in sustainable living and I’ll try to take a part in the development of the social development goals by recycling, volunteering and focusing on the importance of education.

Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?

Maili Reimus – Yes, because it is an amazing opportunity to learn about new things about the topic.  You can also make new friends from different countries and see things from  different angle. Also these projects help people with communication skills (especially me, because I am a bit shy) .

Sten Oun – For sure and already have, I want to bring exciting adventures and moments into their lives, Youth Exchange is one of the best ways to do that.

Evelyn Suurkask – I would definitely recommend it to my friends and I already did so as well. It will help people to see the bigger picture and understand that we do have a choice and power to make a difference. It is such an educational experience; it gives a person a chance to know about the things they never even thought about before and also to make friends around the world.

Rain Laidma – Yes, because, it is an amazing opportunity to learn about new cultures and make new friends along the way. Also these projects help people with teamwork experience and communication skills.

Helene Tismus – I would definitely recommend it to my friends because it is an unforgettable experience that gives you a lot of knowledge that you cannot find anywhere else. It also makes you think about other countries situations and makes you see and understand the bigger picture.

Kenneth Allik – Of course. The experience was something I’ll never forget and will surely miss. I have no doubt that everyone that participated in the project feel more or less the same.

Helena Kask – I already have and will continue to do so. Youth exchanges are the most amazing way to see the world, meet new people and learn at the same time.

More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!

Maili Reimus – This project helped me to get to know people more, especially Estonians because I was the leader of Estonian team. I got to know that it doesn’t matter how good friends you are or have become in these days it is still hard to lead them if you are gentle. So, I would suggest the next leader to be a bit tougher because if you have even a one bad participant it can ruin a lot. But it is also a good thing to be a leader because you will get to know more about other leaders and you can have a full picture about what is going on and it also developing experience.

In conclusion, I would advise to go to youth exchange to expand your world view and to get to know a lot of new people and have new friends aboard and in your own country. But I would suggest going to youth exchange in which topic you are interested in and not choose the exchange based on the country it is happening.

Sten Oun – Open your mind, get ready and GO!

Evelyn Suurkask – The only thing I wish to add as a con was that I think there were fleas in the room I stayed. But apart from this, it was such an amazing experience

Helene Tismus – One thing I disliked about the project was that everything was off-schedule and poorly planned. Nothing happened on the right tome so there was a lot of waiting which for me personally takes a lot of energy. They often did not tell us that the activities are delayed like for example for an hour so we just sat there and waited instead of doing something with that time (i.e. go swimming). The other thing that really bothered me was the fact that we got flees from the house. Last thing I wanted to add is the fact that we had so many underaged people there when the age limit was 18+. Overall I must say it was a great experience and small fouls will not ruin the bigger picture.

Kenneth Allik – This was my first participation in a project and I really appreciate the chance to take part of it. I learned a lot and will surely take part of future projects.

Helena Kask – Try stepping out of your comfort zone. Trying new things or talking to strangers can make a big impact on your whole perception of things.


This Project was financed by European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme