Name of the project: I am European Youth Exchange
Date: 25th April – 4th May 2019
Country/City: Lastours, France
What was the main topic of the event?
Alice: The main topic of the youth exchange was intercultural learning and communication between different countries and nationalities. We also discussed what being European means to us and during the project we lived in an environment friendly and sustainable camping.
Hanna Kata: Knowledge about our culture and other cultures. How not to be afraid to share our own culture, how to accept other cultures that are different from ours. Also, how you can keep these cultures and still be European.
Jannela: Different European cultures and understanding each other.
Annely: Sharing our experiences about being European and European values and expressing it through art, dance, acting and music.
Jörgen: The main topic was about discovering cultures from six different European countries, discussing about the topics of Europe and integration and learning how to communicate with each other and how to express yourself (often without using words). In addition, emphasis was put to sustainable living and everyday harmony.
Maarja: To bring youths closer to their culture and to let them know more about other European countries.
What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?
Alice: The biggest learning moment for me was the flashmob video that we had to organize with the whole group. At first it was difficult to find a team, where I could be the most useful. After that it was a challenge to work with new people, who had a lot of ideas. But at the end, everything went well and we were happy doing the video. It was a big learning moment about working in a group with 36 individuals.
Hanna Kata: To let go of my fears – talking to people that I do not know that well, but also taking part of activities that make me uncomfortable, but are doable. One of the biggest learning moments were also the presentations of different nations. These were really eye opening.
Jannela: How to live outside the comfort zone and how to be okay with it.
Annely: I decided to accept the role of group leader and it was my first time being responsible for a group of people and helping to make sure everything works in an Erasmus+ project. I learnt new things about myself and my leadership skills, but also about finding a balance between being a participant and also a leader. I recommend everybody to be a group leader at least once if possible, because it means new challenges for yourself and also having a bigger impact on people’s lives.
Jörgen: The biggest learning moments for me were definitely the assignments, acts and plays related to self-expression among people who I was not familiar at first.
Maarja: When we had to make a sketch about our county and we thought what stereotypes and other things we have. Also, when we watched other nations sketches.
Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?
Alice: In the future I would definitely like to take part in other Erasmus+ projects, because it is a great way to get out of my comfort zone. I would also like to volunteer abroad.
Hanna Kata: Not in anything particularly.
Jannela: I am not sure how, but I have more knowledge about different countries.
Annely: I plan on continuing with both exchange programs but also integration and artistic self-expression. I found my passion for Erasmus+ projects again by meeting so many wonderful people but also got more courage to express myself musically with instruments I had never tried before.
Jörgen: Not specifically.
Maarja: I’m not sure about that. We’ll see what life brings to me.
Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?
Alice: I would recommend this project to my friends, because it is a great way to meet new people and see the world. In my opinion it was a very good experience.
Hanna Kata: Yes, because it is a great way to meet a lot of new people from different countries, learn about their culture, try their typical foods and etc.
Jannela: I would recommend this because of the people I met there, but I would not recommend this because of the campsites and activities
Annely: Yes, definitely. Erasmus+ projects are an amazing experience if you want to travel, broaden your worldview, meet really cool people from many different backgrounds and learn in an informal way.
This specific project had a really close relationship with nature and sustainability as well and the fact that we were on a campsite and a bit out of town, let as bond more and get to know each other eve better.
Just keep an open mind and it’s going to be so worth it!
Jörgen: Yes, definitely! One cannot learn the value and understand different cultures by staying isolated. This kind of projects and youth exchanges give us a tremendous opportunity to meet new people all over the world and expand our horizon.
Maarja: Yes, because I learned pretty much by being there, and it’s so nice to meet so many cool people from different countries.
More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!
Hanna Kata: This project in particular had a very good group of people who were all so nice, friendly and funny. Also, it took place in such a nice place – mountains everywhere you look. These things made this project so much more better.
Annely: Võib-olla sa mõtled, kas peaksid kandideerima projektile? Tundub isegi natuke hirmus? Ma tean, et kui mina värskelt 18 saanuna oma esimesel Erasmus+ projektil käisin, oli küll natuke hirmus. Ma ei kujutanud ette, mis seal projektil saama hakkab. Siiani olen käinud neljal projektil ja iga viimne kui üks neist on toonud kaasa trobikonna uusi sõpru, naljakad seigad, mida jään alati mäletama, ning mõttevahetused teemadel, millele ma igapäevaselt isegi ei mõtleks.
Kui sa juba mõtled, et võiks minna, siis mine! It’s gonna be soooo worth it!
This Project was financed by European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme