From 13th to 17th of October 2014 the students from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Hungary and Greece will meet for the happily awaited 4th exchange meeting dealing with the topic “Influential Europeans” in Budapest. The students have prepared short biographies and pictures of famous people from their respective home countries which will be used to create a huge European Wall of Fame.
Here are the products form the meeting in Sweden:
1) Digital posters about migration in Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and Germany:
password: European Diversity (in case it is required)
2. Migrant stories: written by students from; Turkey, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Norway and Sweden.
12th – 16th May 2014: European Diversity
Day 1 – Arrival Day:
Having been welcomed at Polhemskolan in Sweden, the students met their host families, with whom they spent the rest of the day, leaving the teachers to themselves. To compensate for this loss, the latter met for dinner in an Italian restaurant in the centre of Lund.
Day 2 – Work Day:
Starting the day with an informative, funny and very musical welcome ceremony, all guests were taken on a guided tour through the huge(!) school. After that, the students had their first workshop: they presented their statistics about the cultural and ethnical diversity at each school, respectively each country. Having had a tasty lunch at the school cafeteria, the second workshop, in which the students’ findings were transformed into a “Padlet”, was held, and similarities and differences across Europe were discussed. In the afternoon, the students first went bowling and later met again for a barbeque in the city park, which was observed by the teachers having dinner in a nearby restaurant.
Day 3 – Trip Day:
First, we were guided through the city of Lund by a talkative guide, who enlightened us not only on the part which a giant called Finn played in the construction of the church in the city centre but also on a barrow that has only recently been occupied – not by humans but by rats buried there by humorous students. Then we were officially welcomed in the town hall by the major of Lund, who gave a short presentation about the “cute and smart” city and its international relationships. To have lunch, we went back to the school in order to start our day trip well fed. So, we took a train, a bus and a boat to the beautiful isle of Ven, where we had a cycling tour along the amazing coast to a sleepy but cosy harbour – some by bike, some by tandem bike. Exhausted but happy because of having even caught some sun we returned home: the students to their host families, the teachers to their hotel.
Day 4 – Leisure Day…:
… at least for the students J. After having formulated the questions for the final product (the board game) students and teachers evaluated the exchange visit online. Due to the nice weather conditions, the students were free to spend some time in the city centre or the park, where they later had a burning ball match while the teachers wrote the intermediate report for their respective national agencies. Then the teachers and students (again) had time to relax in the sun before meeting again for the big farewell party at school. A great evening was spent, some tears were already shed. The students went back to their hosts to spend the last evening with their families whereas the teachers were invited by one of their Swedish colleagues to enjoy a traditional Swedish meal at her home. This resulted in a lot of singing and laughing.
Day 5 – Departure Day
One after the other, the guests left Lund, some to explore Copenhagen, others to enjoy some more hours in Lund, but all of them took only the best memories with them.
Time has come for the 3rd exchange visit of our Comenius project! From 12th to 16th March 2014, the Polhemsskolan in Lund, Sweden, will host the students and teachers from the other five participating countries.
Having prepared their projects about migration (e.g. personal or fictive short stories and statistics concerning the migrational background of each school and country) in their respective home countries, the students will discuss and compare their findings during the following week, trying to find differences and similarities in order to approach their common European identity.
Of course, there will also be time for fun activities, as can be seen in the programme below.
2nd exchange visit in Germany
3rd – 7th March: Social Challenges
Day 1 – Welcome Day:
Having welcomed our guests from Hungary, Turkey, Sweden, Norway and Greece, the students met their host families at the hotel, in which the welcome dinner of the teachers took place in the evening. Old ties were re-established and new bonds were formed.
Day 2 – Work Day:
After the official welcome ceremony, which included various performances by students (e.g. a sketch about the different languages, a choir) and the headmistress’ speech, the German students took their guests on a guided tour through the Erich Kästner Gymnasium. In the preceding workshops the students held their presentations about social challenges in their respective countries and showed photo stories illustrating the voluntary work they had done prior to the exchange visit (e.g. in an old peoples’ home and a shelter for homeless people).
Having reloaded the batteries during a collective lunch in the school cafeteria, we set off to a guided bus tour through Hannover. Being in the city centre already, the students had the chance to explore the shops and sighs together with their hosts while the teachers took the time to find a nice restaurant in order to gain strength for the third guided tour this day: one through the Herrenhäuser brewery.
Day 3 – Trip Day:
Starting at eight o’clock, we left Laatzen by bus and took an autobahn to the east, until we arrived in the beautiful city of Wernigerode. While the students explored this old city on a competitive treasure hunt, the teachers had another guided tour along the half-timbered houses – to quote one of the teachers: “it feels like walking through a fairy tale”. After a quick lunch we took the narrow-gauge railway (very “Harry-Pottery”) up to the mountain Brocken to enjoy the view… However, at the top, clouds barred the vista, but still the students enjoyed the remaining 1-metre-high snow as well as the 2-hour-long hike down. Back in Laatzen, the students spent the rest of the evening with their host families and the teachers had a Bavarian dinner.
Day 4 – Active Day:
In the morning, the students were mentally active when formulating the questions for the final board game in the last but one workshop to enjoy some free time around lunch. Then they became active physically during the Comenius Charity Championship – a football match in which every goal meant money for a good cause as the German students had organised sponsors in advance. By the way, Sweden won.
After the truly last workshop concerning the evaluation of the exchange visit, students and teachers met for a farewell party in school. The host parents and students provided the food and the music, so that, at the end of the evening, everybody was well-fed and dancing.
Day 5 – Farewell Day:
Sadly, one after the other, our guests left Laatzen, hopefully taking only the best memories with them.
Annkathrin Bons & Simone Matz
1st Comenius exchange visit in Veria, Greece
Monday, 2nd December 2013
Train, bus, plane, bus, hotel: waiting… Who? What will they be like? Arriving one after the other, the host families were awaited by the excited, nervous but also tired students from Norway, Sweden and Germany (the Hungarians and Turkish having arrived earlier) in the lobby of the Aegaes Melathron in Veria, Greece. Hello! Nice to meet you! Hi! How are you? Being heartily welcomed one after the other, they left their teachers – us –, who had been equally excited, nervous, but also tired. However, after a short time of chillaxing, the absence of our students was well compensated for by a delicious welcome dinner at the hotel restraurant, during which contacts were revived and personal, and, of course, pedagogical information exchanged.
Tuesday, 3rd December 2013
Welcome! Herzlich Willkommen! Hjertelig velkommen! Hoş geldiniz! Varmt välkommen! Üdvözöllek! ĸαλώςορίσατε at 5th High School of Veria! After a guided tour through the school and an official welcome ceremony including a sword dance as well as an introduction of all the delegations from each country (on a gigantic stage!), we visited the archeological site of Vergina. There, it was all about the tombs: of King Phillip II., father of Alexander the Great, of his wife, of one of his sons, and about the vicious fact that the builders had to lock the doors from the inside after having finished their work – luckily there was a thing called the keystone! The afternoon was studiously spent: in the first workshop, the students watched each other’s videos about their everyday life, finding surprising cross-cultural similarities (like the male aptitude for videogames J) and differences, which were to be used to formulate questions for the final product of the project – the board game. Similarly informatively a guided walking tour through Veria, starting with a visit to the town hall, filled the evening, which, despite being unexpectedly cold, became quite heated due to tasty food (as well as wine) and dancing in a traditional Greek tavern.
Wednesday, 4th December 2013
Speaking of tradition: as traditional as yesterday ended, today started: during a sightseeing of Aristotle’s School, we learned about Greece’s most famous philosopher and his equally famous student Alexander. After having received food for thought, we were well-equipped for physical exercise in the form of a walk through the Park of St. Nicolas in Noussa. The rest of the afternoon was characterised by work for both students and teachers, the former planning the following exchange visit in Germany, the latter formulating the said questions about “Everyday Europe” in the 5th High School of Veria. The rest of the evening was characterized by socialising of both the students and the teachers, the former in a pub/restaurant/bar in Veria, the latter in the winery Dalamaras in Noussa.
Thursday, 5th December 2013
Capital, here we come! And with us the sun! On the brightest day yet, we (partly) enthusiastically explored (parts of) Thessaloniki J: the Archeological Museum, which offers a wide range of artefacts, the White Tower, which offers a fantastic view of the city, and the waterfront promenade, which offers numerous little restaurants and cafés. After a collective dinner, the exchange was collectively evaluated online in the 5th School of Veria and finally the collective seperated: while the students went their own ways, the teachers had some time to rest and then met again at the farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant, exchanging impressions, presents and warm words.
Friday, 6th December 2013
Goodbye! Auf Wiedersehen! Farvel! Görüşürüz! Hej då! A viszontlátásra! Αντίο!
by Simone Matz
Having started on 2nd December, all of the participating schools are currently meeting in Veria, Greece. 2-6 students from each country are staying in Greek host families, experiencing the Greek culture (like the tombs of King Philipp II) and lifestyle first hand. They will meet in the 5th High School of Veria in groups to discuss the topic “Everyday Europe”, about which they have already produced short films in their respective home countries.