ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: youth exchange
Venueí: Busteni, Romania
Dates: 26 October—6 November 2023
National team: 4 participants + 1 group leader
Hosting organisation: ASOCIATIA ODEN
This Youth Exchange took place in the small town of Busteni, which offered us breathtaking views of the Carpathian Mountains. During the 12 full days of the project, we have focused on the topic of active citizenship and civic engagement among young people in the EU. We were a total of 42 participants from 8 countries including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland Romania, and Spain.
We started with some teambuilding activities followed by presenting and comparing information about the political systems in our countries based on our previous research. The next day we set out among the locals to find out about their civic involvement and awareness of the national politics. This activity was followed by a short hike in the mountains to visit the Howling Waterfall.
During the following days, we engaged in numerous creative activities like World Café, preparing and acting in short sketches, or Rope Debate. During the Intercultural Evenings, we explored foreign foods, traditions, and dances, while having the opportunity to bond with others.
This program was interrupted for a day when we had the opportunity to visit the Dracula Castle in Bren and the beautiful city of Brasov. After this break, the pinnacle of the project came in the form of 3 days of discussion of the World Schools debate format. We were split into international groups of 4 and clashed with our opinions on mandatory voting or making the EU a single country.
The last part of the project was dedicated to creating an online campaign stimulating young people to vote. We then presented this campaign, which consisted of 2 posters, a flyer, and a short video to the others in the evening. On the last day, we had the opportunity to visit Sinaia with its marvelous castle – the former residence of the Romanian kings.
In the end, the inevitable came in the form of the last evening with lots of hugs and tears but also promises of seeing each other again.