ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange
Venue: Garlstedt, Osterholz-Scharmbeck, Germany & Brussels, Belgium
Youth exchange dates: 5—15 May 2023
Advance Planning Visit (APV): 22—23 March 2023. APV will take place online and will take approx. 1.5h—2h/day.
National team: Martin Jančev (GL), Jakub Záboj, Martin Sochorec, Ondřej Štěpánek, Ester Zdislava Piáčková, Anna Anděla Jiráková, Daniel Havrda
Please read the info-pack.
Hosting organisation: NaturKultur e.V.
The 5th of May, the beginning of yet unknown experience called EU to Green or not to Green. It’s seven of us yahoo! Let’s meet up in front of the central station in Bremen at 6 p.m. so we can arrive at the venue in Garlstedt all together, as a team. Well, we really thought. Train and bus timetables are as precise as a mountain’s weather forecast…in fact, not punctual at all. We had no option but to improvise and split, however nobody let this little inconvenience get us off balance. By the time the clock struck nine, we were all sitting together at one table, enjoying our well deserved dinner having no idea what had just begun and what was about to happen.
The morning after felt just like a dream. We woke up in a villa together with 35 other youngsters from five different european countries (Greece, Italy, Croatia, Germany and North Macedonia) surrounded by nearly pristine nature and instead of noise pollution we heard bird chirping, bee buzzing, we heard nature! For some it might sound like a Big Brother type of thing, but believe me, it’s nothing like that.
Before we started with workshops about the EU and Environmental issues we started with some games to get to know each other better and so to create a homelike atmosphere. The workshops were quite intense but fun, empowered our creativity and the ability to collaborate in international and multicultural teams which also resulted in actively using and improving the English language.
In between workshops we had quite a lot of free time and everyone could use this time as they like. We could play a wide range of games outside/inside, go explore the woods or just take a nap. The whole schedule was very diverse, there was no time to be bored nor to think about troubles. Taking in account also a very unusual part of this project, an “inside” trip to Brussels, where we had an opportunity to visit the European Parliament and the European Commission and some spare time for sightseeing as well.
If I’d have to label this experience as a book title, it would be called “Ten days in Paradise”, nope I’m not exaggerating. I brought home unforgettable memories, knowledge, and friendships from all over Europe which in many ways changed my way of thinking and led to certain personal development. So if someone aged 18-30 is reading this, I encourage you to do this! You can only benefit from this experience. And you know… if you never try, you’ll never know!