May 11, 2018
Guest post by Ana Cristina Sánchez Delgado, Volunteer of Biderbost, Boscan & Rochin (BB&R)
It is really difficult to summarise the three experiences I have had with Erasmus+ in a few simple lines. The first project in which I participated was “Crossing Cultural Borders: A North-South Exchange” (in June 2015 in Vevang, Norway). Although I am still a girl, at 16 I was much more. The change was bigger than it seemed at first glance. It was one of those experiences that marked me so intensely, that I recognise that I was not aware of it until several months passed. After all, it was one of the first times I was outside of Spain. But it was not the only thing. Even though several of my friends participated with me, the union that I have with them since then is unparalleled. Moreover, most of the participants, as well as the rest of my Spanish colleagues, I barely knew them.
In addition, we were very lucky to meet people who match or connected with us in such a natural way, that we did not believe it. Today I can say that those Norwegian boys and girls are my friends. I’m not exaggerating if I say it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. I remember Norway with a lot of love: the teachers who accompanied us, the organisers, all the participants, and the families who collaborated (since then, going back there is like feeling at home). Although the people were the best of the experience, the activities and experiences that we had continue to enrich me today: the initiative, desire, enthusiasm and creativity reigned with us. On the other hand, learning about the differences and similarities between both countries filled me immensely. All the above seems to me to be essential for a cultural exchange; for an Erasmus+ project.
The second Erasmus+ project in which I participated was: “Stand-Up Psychology for Youth” (in December of 2017 in Iasi, Romania). The people I met there is the best memory I have. Together, youngsters from Spain, Italy and Romania, we learned about the independence process of European youth. It was very interesting and instructive. Last February I returned to Norway to participate as co-organiser in my third Erasmus+ project: “Activating Youth: Non-Violent Communication”. And every time I get more excited.
I have always defended that travelling opens the mind. Going one step further, thank you to Erasmus+ I believe that there is no better way to travel than doing it with the native people of a country. That’s when a trip really enriches you. I would love that my friends and other young people in the world could have the same opportunity I had. Because Erasmus+ has been a gift for me. Moreover, to be able to learn from topics that go out of the ordinary, that you do not study at the school or at the university, it broadens your field of vision, your expectations and your curiosity. For me, Erasmus+ allows young people to be committed to society. Nonconformists who believe in creating a better world.
This text was born in the framework of the project “Activating Youth: Non-Violent Communication”. This project was coordinated by Vevang Vel (Norway), Biderbost, Boscan & Rochin (Spain) and HDA Cardiff (Wales), and funded by the Erasmus + program of the European Commission.