Os presentamos la experiencia de un grupo de jóvenes que han participado en un INTERCAMBIO del programa ERASMUS+ en ALEMANIA.
We are EUROPE!
‘We are Europe’ is a programme in which people from different countries have experienced and learnt things about Europe. There were people from Italy, Germany, Macedonia, Latvia and Spain.
It took place in Nordhausen, Germany.
We, the Spanish group, organized an event in our village when we went back home with the aim of showing the experience to the people. This report is written by the Spanish group who will explain as we did in the event how the experience was. We, the Spanish group, will start answering the question why we were there; then, we will explain how the programme was developed and what we have learnt from it; finally, we will add some personals point of view of this experience.
The association ‘Intercambia’, came to our institute to give a talk about these exchanges. Our English teacher told us that a trip was available for us, in which the only requirements were to be 15/16 years old. Those of us who liked the idea, we signed up, there was a draw, and we were the chosen ones.
What have we learnt?
As we have a structured programme, every morning, after having breakfast, one national group prepared a language animation activity for the rest, to teach about its language and funny warming up activities related to its culture. In almost all the language animations we have learnt counting from 1 to 10 in all the languages. In addition, we learnt some words in Latvian, Italian or German, and some interesting games from Macedonia. We also did our language animation, we taught them greetings and numbers in our language through funny games.
Once we have finished the language animation, we used to review all we have to do or we have already done. Then, one of the things we have learnt was the stars song, which we sang every morning after breakfast. It was made for the programme and it represented everything we have done, talked about the European Union, the 12 stars represented each country.
According to the timetable, every morning each national group had to present a workshop. Each country had a different topic and the purpose of these workshops was to better understand EU and its functions.
- In the German workshop we made a kind of gymkhana in which there were hidden photos of buildings and we had to look for the name of the building and where it was located. Then we had to choose one of the buildings and expose in international groups because we believed that it was connected to the EU.
- In the Italian workshop we made international groups and each one was assigned a theme: borders, drug trafficking or Dublin regulation. Then we had to talk about the assigned topic and what happened with it in each of our countries. Subsequently we had to expose the other groups to compare the situation in each country.
- In Latvian workshop, the Latvian boys tried to get us to know more cities in Europe, and they made a game in which they put these cities but without any lyrics, and we had to complete them, and honestly we did not give one. Then we had to make a doll, which would represent the person model of each country, and better not see what we did.
- The Macedonian workshop was held before lunch, we held a debate on 2 different topics: immigrants and the right to beto. And you could play for or against. We divided into 4 groups, 2 for immigrants and 2 for beto. And to carry out the debate we had to look for information and create arguments to defend what we had touched.
- In our workshop, the Spanish one, we did two activities. The first, they had to build a bridge with paper and had to roll an object from one side to the other. Then we complicated the test and they had to join the bridges and we explained that it was the same as the decision between the countries some had to give up or they have to reach an agreement. The second test they had glasses, wool and a rubber band. They had to build a tower with glasses, but they could only take the Wool which two fingers. It was difficult for them because they should have previously reached an agreement on what to do because while they were trying to build the tower no one could talk.
Moreover we could highlight the action bound activity. Action bound was an activity that we did in the afternoons and consisted of creating a blog with an application about the activities we did every day. It was divided into 6 groups and each day we had to take pictures or questions about a certain activity. The end of this was that we saw everything we had done throughout the days.
After having dinner, every evening one national group was in charge of making activities to show its culture and even we could taste some food from their countries.
Among other national evenings we could highlight the pizza from Italy, the typical dance from Latvia, the spicy food from Macedonia or the delicious barbecue from Germany.
In Germany, the schedules are different from ours in Spain and their meals were quite rare for us. Over time, we adapted to the schedules and learned to try all the strange foods that they put us. Thanks to this we have also learned to value more the food of Spain.
Excursions Erfurt and Nordhausen: We made two trips to Erfurt and Nordhausen, in which we visited places in these cities, while doing the ActionBound tour.
Why do I recommend this experience?
If you ask us what the best thing was for us, we will answer:
Ivan Moreno: ‘The best thing about this experience for me, has been the people I’ve met and how much I’ve enjoyed on this trip’.
Antonio: ‘For me, the best thing in the exchange was that we create a very strong friendship bond without speaking English, and obviously the people, that was incredible’.
Elena Luque: ‘For me the best thing about this trip has been the people we meet’.
María Isabel: ‘The best of all: for me and I think that for the best that we take from this story are the friends we have been able to do because they are people that we never thought we could know and we are so far . Thanks to this experience we have learned to value much more everything and also to mature a little, it is an experience more in our life and, for everything we have done, I recommend it to everyone because it is something that will never be forgotten’.
Elena Morales: ‘The best thing for me is the friends that we have done, the good moments lived, the new experiences and everything we have learned.’