Close your eyes and imagine a group of young people coming together from three different parts of the world: Europe, Africa and Asia. And what’s the location all of us met you might ask? The answer is -drum roll please- central Europe and especially Podhájska in Slovakia. We got to meet new friends from all over, learn about each other’s cultures, and discover many new things.
Now, you probably want to know all about the juicy things that took place during this eventful project but first let’s take a look at what we learned, how we shared our knowledge, and the great advantages of this cultural adventure. We had a wonderful opportunity to take a look at our occupations from various perspectives, reflect on our career purpose and background which may help us in the future. The participants shared some successful stories as well as some failures.
Every day, we had activities and workshops that helped us understand jobs, success, and leadership. These activities were like games that also taught us important life skills. We talked about our dreams and ambitions. Because we were from different continents, our ideas were very diverse, which made these discussions really interesting. We also improved our social skills, learned how to work better in teams and discovered the value of working together. We did a lot of different things that helped us understand how people from different backgrounds can collaborate and be friends.
Additionally, we gained a lot more than just knowledge. We made new friends from around the world and learned to appreciate the differences between us. We broke down stereotypes and discovered that we’re all unique in our own ways. The friendships we made will stay with us for a long time, reminding us that no matter where we come from, we can all work together and make the world a better place.
Even though we were busy with learning, we also had some fun adventures. We explored Podhájska, talked to local people, enjoyed a nearby lake and had a blast at the aqua park that was literally five minutes away from our villas. These activities were not just for fun, they helped us learn about Slovakian life and culture.
The best part of our exchange was meeting people from so many different places. We all had different backgrounds and traditions, but being in Slovakia made us feel like one big family. We learned about each other’s countries through special presentations, kahoot -of course- and other fun activities which helped us understand our differences and similarities better. This made us more open-minded and respectful towards each other.
What was especially fun during these cultural exchanges, learning about the “Zaghrouta” that women do in the Middle East to express their happiness, in Cyprus the “Goza” -the pottery- when they break it during the dance and its bad luck, in Ukraine the special scarf which it’s symbol in weddings, the snow in the African continent in Tunisia -who would’ve thought- and the many “Ouzo” toasts during the Greek night. Also, it was interesting finding out that Slovakia’s drink of choice is “Tatratea” with more than 70% alcohol. Furthermore, the Georgian team prepared a beautiful dance for us and last but not least Armenia performed a hilarious sketch and much more.
In conclusion, our youth exchange in Slovakia was a wonderful experience of learning, sharing, and growing. Coming from Europe, Africa, and Asia, we learned to celebrate our diversity while finding common ground. This adventure reminded us that by connecting with people from different parts of the world, we create a stronger, more colorful global community. This valuable experience has left a remarkable sign for our future.
Oh and we -the journalists- lied to you, the juicy things will stay hidden because what happens in Erasmus stays in Erasmus!