Between April 15th and April 21st, 2018, our school welcomed students and
teachers from different nationalities (German, Romanian and Cypriot.
During a whole week I was fortunate enough to host a German boy called Estoril.
Yes, you read it well: Estoril (!!), as the name of the Portuguese village
situated near Cascais.
That was a week that I'll undoubtedly never forget. We showed them the best that we have in Portugal, such as our hospitality, our gastronomy and of course, our culture. We visited monuments such as the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, always accompanied by a guide. And on the other bank, we visited the Cristo Rei statue, Cape Espichel and the charming Serra da Arrábida.
The schedule we programmed was nicely done and balanced, with funny moments and interesting experiences. I think everyone involved in this project loved this week, where we could live, talk and learn from other nationalities.
My contentment was also influenced by the guest I hosted: Estoril i s polite, kind and he's always in good mood. He has what I call the Erasmus Spirit. (Miguel Mesmoudi, Portugal)
I think that the experience I am having in Erasmus goes far beyond what is thought: travel. For me the reality is different and the greatest contribution that it has to my personal development is undoubtedly to allow me to grow as an individual in a multicultural society.
Knowing and living with people from other countries, with other cultures, other habits and even other people different from me, is the best that can be.
And most importantly, it is realizing that we are human and that, therefore, we have a capacity for adaptation, even though we are not capable of this or that, in situations outside our comfort zone.
I learned to have an open mind, to respect the person. My Romanian friend seemed to be very different from me, but no. We seemed so different, but we were so much the same.
The best moment of all was when we would get together at night and talk, talk and talk. Each of us faithful to his ideas, but to respect each other.
My Romanian friend, always laughing and well disposed, in those days we were, in the end, a family, a group of friends who joined in an experience, that still misses me today. (Mariana Cristino, Portugal)
The visit of the international students from the ERASMUS+ project F.A.C.E (Future Active Citizens of Europe) was unarguably one of the best weeks of my life.
My guest was really polite during is stay, very curious about the culture of Portugal and, eventually, we became good friends. Everyone spoke understandable and fluent English and, most importantly, were really pleasant, nice and funny.
In general, the visit was well planned and the activities were well chosen. The fact that we had two dinners with all of this ERASMUS team, and after each one, a party, were a positive aspect, increasing the socialization between the foreigners and their hosts. I now have new international friends a many happy memories all thanks to this opportunity given by ERASMUS+ and all the students and teachers that could make this possible. I hope that I can get opportunities like these again! (Miguel Araújo, Portugal)
The Portugal trip lasted six days, from the 15th to the 21st of April. I stayed at a host family in Verdizela which is a suburb of Lisbon. The family treated me very well since the first day, which is why I felt very good over the days I stayed in Portugal. Every day of the trip started in the school of the Portuguese students, all the participating students and teachers met there before initiating the Erasmus+ activities. During the trip, we visited the landmarks of the country like the famous Cristo Rey, the fortress Belem and the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon. Every day of the trip had a specific purpose, like for example Monday, which was a so called icebreaker day where we had to get to know every participant of the project. This day was at the same time the best one, because it stands for the values of the European Union: respect, unity and multiculturalism. (Neno Voss, Germany)
There are not enough words in all the languages mixed together to describe the happiest week of my life. I finally met my Portuguese family, I got the chance to see Portuguese culture, I made new friends and last but not least, I spent quality time with my Portuguese sister, time that can't be compared to anything. I was more than happy to see her and some other kids that were in Romania, but I was also really excited to meet new people. The fact that we were all very different made the presentations about European rights and obligations way more interesting! I saw hope and love in each one of them. I saw great people with brilliant minds, I feel honored I got the chance to meet. Remember our names because in 10-15 years you're going to hear about us. In the end, I want to thank everyone in the project, from teachers to principals, from parents to the kids in the project. You made us realize how beautiful and important we are, no matter where we come from, no matter in which country we live. This project was, is and will live in our souls forever. (Radescu Iudita, Romania)
Actually, when I was considering taking part in the trip for this week, I was thinking about the sun
in Portugal. I just thought it would be like any other trip to a country in the Mediterranean region.
But now...I can just smile. Because my first impression was not the right one.
Portugal is the perfect place to escape from all the noise, stress and my down mood in Germany.
The country is just the best place to be yourself. In Hamburg I have to take care of everything,
really everything: a stylish outfit, our last election, the future, work and especially
"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" in our mechanical lifestyle in Germany. But in Portugal I could be relaxed all seven days of that week. That's exactly why the main topic of our discussion in the last day was staying in that lovely country for ever and leaving our ordinary lifestyle in Germany.
ESMC (our host school) was great. The high school was really nice, as were its students. I am used to sitting at my school for five days a week and just writing and listening. But there I could speak, not only with my friends and acquaintances, but I could talk with everyone. The students and the people and especially my hosts were so unbelievable.
To sum up, I could say that there was no day when I thought that my decision about Erasmus was incorrect. I love Lisbon. I could walk around the lovely downtown for hours, I could easily imagine living in that amazing city. It's only 4 days that we've been back in Germany and I really miss my Erasmus-mates. At the beginning they were just familiar people, but now they are friends and we are planning our visiting trips.
If I could stay there longer - I would stay. Because I got used to that atmosphere during that short period of time. I got used to mates, to the city, to the culture and .... And I had to go. A week is such a short time for getting to know such an amazing culture and country. All you can do in such a short time is to just get a little bit familiar with a small part of the country, which was incredibly awesome. But I think Portugal will see me again. Definitely.
And lastly I will say once again that I'm grateful to my hosts, friends, our teachers and our schools, which made this legendary experience possible. (Ali, Germany)
I should start with the beginning ... From the moment we arrived at the airport, I knew that I wouldn't forget that week. Why? Because I felt relieved that the FACE family was going to reunite once again. It's maybe one of the greatest feelings in the world to see so many familiar or new faces full of joy and impatience waiting for you. I was delighted to see Leticia and the others again. I finally got to meet her parents which are lovely and caring people. We had an amazing week, full with activities. I had the chance to socialise more with the foreign students and even to make new friendships. Also, this experience helped me overcome my fear of speaking in public. All the memories are still vivid and yet so far away. I can recall the time we were walking in the Lisbon's city center playing loud music at speakers and laughing and enjoying the view as well as the weather. The time passed so quickly... it feels like we just woke up from a beautiful dream! I wish we would meet again in the future and spend some more time together creating new unforgettable memories. (Ana Maria Cristean, Romania)