From the 25th of October to the 5th of November, our volunteers alongside with youths from Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK took part in an International Youth Exchange program in Romania. The main focus of the project was to increase the employment opportunities of the youngsters and to create job-searching methods.
In the following lines, you can explore the experiences that our volunteers gained through their participation.
In a wonderful mountainous area in the Carpathian forest, I spent 10 of the greatest days of 2019. As a leader of the Greek team, with great experience in Erasmus + projects, I can say It was one of the most interesting and peculiar projects I have experienced so far.
All the elements that constitute a successful Erasmus + youth exchange were there.
• The multicultural character
• Self-improvement activities
• The joy of co-creation
• Intercultural nights
• Interesting day-trips
• Incredible human beings
As the highlight of the project, I will mention our workshop at a school in Vatra Dornei. We prepared activities for the local children and it felt amazing.
I am happy to share that the participants of the project were excited about it and it was an experience that offered them precious life skills and awareness.
So, let them tell you about it.
~ Sotiris ~
Erasmus+ project for me again! Youth exchange again! But, this time I had high expectations. The previous one wasn’t the perfect one for me. Romania, a new place and Vatra Dornei in the middle of the Carpathians. Seems like heaven… and, it was! Okay, I was expecting to have fun but these projects serve a higher goal. I wanted to educate myself and gain new skills. This was the way I felt.
One of my main motives to participate in such projects is, of course, to meet new people, make new friends and learn about cultures that I didn’t know before. I think I achieved that and I hope that new destinations and people await for me to visit them! I really cannot separate the countries and the participants right now, I love them all!
But, I should return to the higher goal I mentioned above. I learned a lot in this project. The activities were up to my expectations for sure. I think I got better in presenting myself and my thoughts. I also understood the situation in other countries about education and employment.
The schedule was well made so that we have plenty of discussion and teamwork to do. It was a ten-day creative trip! I acquired a lot of knowledge not only about the topic, but life in general also.
Last but not least, I would like to mention some things about the place. As I wrote before, it was my first time in Romania and I definitely want to visit this country again! The facilities were great with plenty of choices for your free time and well organized for our activities. The facilitators were amazing and they will stay in my heart forever. The accommodation was also really nice (at least my room with my dear roommates) and the food whether you liked it every day or not, it was traditional and for me, this counts a lot!
To sum up, Erasmus+ is a great opportunity for young people. Ι recommend everyone to apply. Magical experience! I will try to go again for sure and you should also do the same! Finally, I would like to say “thank you” to everyone that participated in this project, it made me a better person. I do believe it. If you get to read that, I want you to know that I love you!
~ Vaggelis ~
“OpportuNEETys” was my first Erasmus+ experience. Nevertheless, having friends who had already participated in a youth exchange project, I knew that it would be ten days full of interesting and fun activities. However, what they didn’t tell me was that this would be an experience of a lifetime, ten days I will never forget.
The project was really well organized, with plenty of stimulating activities, without ever letting us get bored. Furthermore, the location was truly amazing. Our hotel was located in the area of Bucovina, a mountainous area with beautiful scenery which made the experience even more majestic.
“OpportuNEETies” had a huge impact on myself. This project taught me how to work as part of a team. Through this project, I got in touch with new cultures and learnt more about daily life in the countries that participated. Through this project, I, also, managed to step out of my comfort zone and develop self-confidence and public-speaking skills. But, most importantly, through this project, I met so many different and interesting people. Different people with different personalities, different ideas, different cultures.
Through this project, I made friends from all over Europe, friends that I miss from the first day I came back home. To conclude, “OpportuNEETys” was such a mesmerizing experience. This project helped me to become a better person.
In the end, it motivated me to travel more and explore Europe in depth.
~ Ermioni ~
I had heard various rumours about Erasmus+ Youth Exchange Projects. Few friends had applied and came back, with a lot of stories to tell. What I enjoy in life is travelling to unknown destinations, learning the local way of life, meeting new and different people. From what I had heard, this project seemed like a perfect match!
My story started in Cluj-Napoca on the 24th of October. I had the luck to meet our national group beforehand, so there we were, new people, walking around this beautiful city. The exploration day of 25th passed pleasantly and it was time to gather to the meeting point. What a gathering!
There was a barely empty, cold parking area next to a river, which had been transformed by the groups of the project into something special.
We had short talks with as many people as possible. I realized that even if we were total strangers, we had already silently agreed to bond together and serve our common goal. The vibes were amazing and they continued to be amazing until we took a nap, during the night travel. The days of the project were fast because enjoyment is tricky. The schedule was well organized, the food was plenty and the guesthouse was spacious, well structured and supportive for our goals. There were a lot of places to sit with a group, chat, work and also to have fun.
During the project, the Romanian team showed great hospitality, warmth and assistance not only for making us feel comfortable but also to guide us through responsibilities. The organizer, Dumitru, always carried a big smile, good mood and enough tolerance for our moments of negligence. In these circumstances, we came closer to people from 8 different countries! Big participation for a project, as we were told, which felt like an asset. We were coming closer and closer during the days and I had the chance to pick the brains of almost everyone in different matters.
The activities were arising interesting conversations, challenges of cooperation, cultivation of tolerance, various opinions and competences were shared, and personally, I became more aware of how it would look like to live in a multicultural society.
One thing, though, became clear; sometimes we use nationality/background/social ranking as a mask that we choose to put on strangers. This mask can look ridiculous, or aggressive, or stupid, or lazy, or devious, or anything. Probably, we do it to alleviate our fear for the unknown, giving our own characteristics to certain groups of people and thus feeling closer to logic. But it is not a rational thing and totally not true. Sometimes it happens unconsciously.
Through this project, up in the mountainous guesthouse, with nature being the only thing surrounding us for 10 days, we were isolated together and something rare happened; masks got off! In this light, we interacted purely with each other in circumstances representing normal life (not tourism).
We developed and educated ourselves genuinely, and according to the European virtues. And its also the combination of kindness and openness which people in this project were carrying, that led to an unforgettable experience, with love, affection and no masks.
~ Dionysis ~
24/10/19: “The night when all started”
The Greeks are at the meeting point! I really wanted to have a drink and smoke, but “no” I said to myself “you should discover these people around you! You know you are going to miss them in 10 days!” It was true! I missed all of them! I experienced the process that creates this bonding!
4/11/19: “The night all ended”
We are at the airport at 5:00 am. Everybody! I focused not to say goodbye forever to people who are going to miss the most because I will cry! So I said to some of them “don’t cry we are so lucky we have these memories.”
In reality, I was saying that to myself. I can’t believe that we are not going to be all together again. In those 10 days, we were a circle! A circle of life and self-improvement! And now it’s gone! So unfair! Ordinary life should be like this! To appreciate every second because we don’t have time to waste! To live the Erasmus+ life that we had in Romania. I m so glad and grateful I met all of these people, but mostly I am happy that I met myself through different eyes!
Thank you Greek Youth Mobility!
~ Paulina ~