Promoting internationalisation and mobility is one of the goals of Erasmus in Schools (EiS), and our volunteers have participated in this project to discuss important topics with the kids in Lithuanian schools. This time two volunteers from ESN VMU and ESN LSMU have shared their experiences and told what it feels like to educate the younger generations.
My experience in the project Erasmus in School was very helpful for me personally and for the high school students. Why? Because speaking in front of an audience is kind of my future. I am planning to be a lecturer at a university. Also, about high school students, I just wanted them to be motivated for traveling, seeking new experience and opportunities, like Erasmus+ programme and just learn languages.
In my opinion, Erasmus in Schools is very important to educate the younger generation of Lithuania and teach them hospitality for foreigners, so everyone coming to this beautiful country would always be welcome.
Samanta Bernadeta Kaupaitė, ESN VMU
The path to educate the youth about ESN was conducted by ESN LSMU at Sedos Vytauto Mačernio gimnazija on May 8th. The ESN LSMU team consisted of members from different countries who interacted with the young minds of Seda. The event started with commemorating the Europe day, to celebrate the peace and unity in Europe.
It was a challenging task for the presenters to present in English as the students found the English language a bit hard to understand. The presentations included information on the academic studies; cultural differences in Lithuania and other countries. A former Erasmus student shared her valuable experience during her days in Erasmus and also as an ESN board member when she attended National Platforms. The event ended with a game of Kahoot which energised the students. The students and teachers made sure to express their pleasant feedback to the ESN team through their generous smiles and the warmth of their hugs and from children of which some said “ they understood our English better than their teachers “ while for others it was a realisation point and a motivation seeing one of their alumni standing in front of them presenting and speaking fluent English.
The goal of the project was to raise awareness about intercultural communication, to break stereotypes and also to increase knowledge about exchange programs.
Above all, we served as a platform to educate the younger generation about the role of ESN in a student’s life.
Steffi Shaji, ESN LSMU
The project “Erasmus in Schools” was not new for the ESN Lithuania but this year we decided to make it more visible and massive. The team’s aim was to visit schools from all over Lithuania, especially in small cities and villages. As a result, almost 60 schools have been visited in one academic year. What is more, the members of Erasmus Student Network were enthusiastic about spreading mobility for the youth communities of schools.
All the preparations for making these visits more useful united SocialErasmus coordinators of local sections, ESN members and incoming Erasmus students from different countries. This beautiful team made the project unforgettable and useful for every young people as they were well informed about the program.
Some impressions from different sections of the ESN Lithuania:
ESN KTU: The pupils raised their awareness of ERASMUS+ program and its opportunities. They had a chance to ask questions about studying in KTU, scholarships and which countries are the best for ERASMUS studies. Students and pupils gathered to listen to the international students’ experience of studying and living here in Lithuania, cultural differences and many other interesting issues. Foreigners together with pupils were communicating in an informal environment.
ESN LEU: This project gave students a wonderful chance to represent their country and its most interesting facts. All their presentations were different in some way: some showed a video about their country or town, some taught some words in their native language, some presented the most famous people who are known worldwide, some listed scientists' inventions and some even performed their traditional dances and practiced them with the children. In the end of the event we presented foreign students' postcards filled with greetings and wishes to Lithuanian pupils.
ESN MRU Vilnius: We are really happy and grateful for the schools which welcomed ESN MRU Vilnius members and Erasmus students in a really warm and pleasant way as well as for every single person who participated in the project! Hopefully, the friendship which was established between Lithuanian pupils and MRU Erasmus students will continue further.
ESN ŠU: On the sunny day of 2nd of October Erasmus students joined the volleyball match with pupils of 8th form of “Jovaras” pro-gymnasium. Participating in such events hopefully has increased tolerance between students and children and helped foreigners to easily integrate into our society. Children were so happy that they could take some pictures with foreign students and talk about the differences of their countries and Lithuania and learn some basic phrases in their foreign languages.
ESN Vilnius University: These visits were organized with a specific purpose: to educate high school kids about Erasmus+ exchange program and its giving possibilities. During the stay students and pupils had an opportunity to write a greeting or paint on their t-shirts. After doing so they exchanged those t-shirts as a form of gratitude. The international students accepted this challenge with their heads up and did it well.
ESN ISLB: We were discussing why it is so amazing to be a part of ESN and what the ESN means in general? Also Erasmus+ students talked about their countries, cultures, customs and why their countries are so unique. After listening to those stories there is a big possibility that pupils after finishing their secondary school will be going to study abroad on Erasmus program. We enjoyed our time with pupils who were interested in our program and its mobility. Our Erasmus students made a quiz for everybody, so everyone had a chance to win some amazing ESN prizes.
Most importantly, these visits were not only of presentation type. Gladly, ESN members made those gatherings more interesting by organising various sports events, games, and other activities that helped to promote mobility.
After two semesters of those activities, ESN Lithuania decided to share the experience with other students and organisations of active pupils organisations in order to find out what else we can initiate or change in this project. Discussions were productive, informative, thus we came up with new ideas how organisations can help one another to make this project more useful for community and especially for pupils.
We hope that this project will get better and better each year and young people will not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Then our task of project will be done.
Erasmus in Schools(EiS) is the flagship project 2013 of ESN and is the main activity within the education pillar of SocialErasmus. The project aims to promote mobility at an early age.
Our ESN VGTU section organise visits to schools so that our exchange students would be able to do various activities. It usually includes few parts: country and culture presentation, traditional music and dances, ESN and mentors programme presentation, international possibilities and university presentation, trivia challenge game and open discussion time.
This year, we have visited 5 schools: Pabradė Rytas gymnasium, Alytus Putinai gymnasium, Rokiskis Obeliu gymnasium, Vilniaus Mykalojaus Daukšos high school and Juodšilių Šilo gymnasium. We have met about 150 pupils from all of Lithuania and about 40 Erasmus students got the possibility to participate in this project while visiting schools of Lithuania.
On the 11th of April, we had final EiS event in VGTU. We have invited about 70 pupils to visit the university. Our special programme was not only about Erasmus students but also about study possibilities. During this event, pupils got an opportunity to participate in Admission and Information centre’s acitivities, visit laboratories and meet our section’s ESNers during workshops.
Participants about Erasmus in Schools:
“Erasmus in Schools project by ESN VGTU was one of the best. It is related with children and they are really important to me. They are the purest part of the world. And if I can create smiles on their faces, personally, it is one of the most meaningful things for me. When we met them for the first time, they looked at us, but then humbly looked away. They showed interest in us but at the same time, they were a bit shy. I have played lots of important matches as a goalkeeper and I had lots of practice with public speaking which, to be honest, I am not so excited about. But I was really enthusiastic in front of the pupils. I was proud to introduce my country to all amazing school children. We spent good time together. I tried to say some Lithuanian words to make them smile. There was a quiz part for them in our programme. They tried to find answers .Seeing their effort to find correct answer and also seeing their happiness when they have found the correct answer was spectacular .” – Ramazan Esen from Turkey.
“It was an amazing project for all of our students. I think it was a great opportunity to meet new people, to become more tolerant and more open minded. Erasmus students from your university made a good impression to all pupils because they were really friendly and wanted to communicate, and to know more about education system in Lithuania. Thank you ESN VGTU for this wonderful event it was really special for all of us!” – teacher.
What was the best moment of EiS project?
“I really enjoyed Turkish dances and music. There are cultural differences between people but they can still communicate and be friends, it’s really cute.”
“The best moment was when I met students from Taiwan and we have even shared our Facebook contacts so we could communicate after this project.”
“It was really interesting to meet people from all over the world. They are so friendly and polite. Also, I really liked Lithuanian students from ESN VGTU. I think they are doing great job for taking care of all exchange students.”
“I think it was very important for me because I am planning to choose studies in VGTU. So all of the excursions in laboratories were very interesting. Also it was nice to meet all these people from other countries.”
“I don’t know... I like to meet new people all the time. Also, it was nice to improve my English knowledge. I met really friendly people from ESN and I am planning to join this organization when I will be in a university.”
On the 20th of March the event WEEK WITHOUT SNEERING took place in Kaunas J. Grušas Art School. ESN KTU team together with international students from Azerbaijan, France, India, Italy, Pakistan, Turkey and Sought Korea of Kaunas University of Technology went to secondary schools in order to spend a day with pupils, have discussion about the importance of tolerance and cultural differences. The beginning of the day started with tour around the school. Expositions of crafts and folk art were shown in small museum of the school. But the greatest part of the tour was shopping at a market where all dealers were children of age 7-12. Cookies, candies, jewelry, paper flowers – most of the goods are made by their selves. Great interest was seen from pupils taking activities, playing games and listening presentations. Each representative of the country shortly presented the place where they’re from, told some interesting facts about their lifestyle. During the workshop of learning languages, international students taught pupils some phrases in their mother language, such that Hello, How are you?, You’re beautiful and etc. the work in the groups of few Lithuanian pupils and one teacher – international student – was really fast and efficiency. Pupils were trying to learn as much as they could. Everyone was happy – pupils, students, teacher – spending their day and enjoying the time all together. We’re looking forward to meeting again. ;)
Bringing the diversity in schools, sharing personal experience and stories and transferring the entire positive mood to Lithuanian high school students, was one of the aim of international students coming from Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey and Kosovo, who were the next working group of the project “Erasmus in Lithuanian Schools”. “Akademijos Gimnasium in Kedainai region was the next target point of the mentioned project which was already the 10th school visited by very productive, successful and cooperative international students enrolled at Vilnius University. Starting the preparation some days before and ending up with a very fruitful program and agenda made the visit produce very positive results and impressions.
A cold morning of 14th of March brought together 7 foreigners who were ready to share their own culture, language and personal skills with Lithuanian youth who were eagerly waiting to meet new people . Starting the day by singing and asking each other in Lithuanian “Kaip gyveni” (HOW ARE YOU), and responding very positively with “gerai” (GOOD), made the journey be more warm, interesting and exciting. A short welcome speech by the school director Liudas Tauginas and teacher’s staff members, accompanied by a short informative presentation about the school and artistic performance prepared by school students made the international visitors feel more comfortable and relaxed. After a short introduction and meeting, it was the time for splitting in smaller groups and starting a short cultural journey through games, stories, and songs. Divided in three groups (two Russian and one German speaking group), students of “Akademija Gimnasium were able to meet closer and get familiar with the cultural differences and diversity over the world. A friendship that lasted nearly three hours, helped Lithuanian students understand better the value and importance of tolerance, cooperation, diversity which may be better gained through higher university education. After a joint lunch offered by the school, Erasmus students were guided through the Kėdainiai city by being introduced to some of the most important historical buildings, museums etc.
Ending up with a warm goodbye words and expressing the gratitude for the visit, students of Akademija gymnasium got back to their working habit by hoping one day to be part of the greatest international diverse community called ERASMUS.
Report by Eddy Galjusi (Kosovo)
P.S. Song, mentioned in this article might be found on YouTube.
Social Erasmus with the project Erasmus in Schools invites to share some joy between the schools and pupils of Lithuania. All what do you need - the help of international students. Steps to follow:
1. Kindly ask international students to bring 2-3 postcards from his homeland. Few things should be mentioned on them:
• name of the country;
• few phrases in the language of the cards' holder;
• few sentences about first impression of Lithuania (in English);
• phrase in Lithuanian (written with a help of a mentor);
• and everything else you want to share with pupils!
2. After collecting the postcards, ESNers will divide postcards in equal parts and will send them to the selected schools of Lithuania, where postcards will be exposed.
Let the International winds take over the schools of Lithuania!
Thank you for all the participants who sent “Letter for ERASMUS exchange student in Lithuania“!
The most original were students from Klaipėdos siuvimo ir paslaugų verslo mokykla (3KP 3 gr ir 3D 6 gr., teacher - Irina Basalyga); they will get our special prize :)
Other prizes go to:
Justina Miliūtė - Seirijai Antanas Žmuidzinavičius gymnasium
Mažvydas Juščius - Vilniaus rajono Paberžės „Verdenės“ secondary school
Indrė Kaminckaitė - Neveronys Secondary School
Dėl padėkų ir prizų atsiėmimo prašome kreiptis į „Lietuvos vaikų ir jaunimo centro“ projektų koordinatorę Jolantą Markevičienę ( tel: +370 5 272 53 19, e-mail: [email protected]).
Lithuanian pupils and students & ERASMUS exchange students in Lithuania will say loud that ERASMUS helps to go towards one world idea!
For 11-18 of November North-South Centre of the Council of Europe organizes “Global Education Week”. During this week Lithuanian students and teachers will be encouraged to find out their educational activities, which would make a great impact to their global citizenship.
This year Erasmus Student Network of Lithuania also joins this event providing the society information about the Erasmus exchange possibilities and its’ importance to the development of the global citizenship.
10 ESN departments in Lithuania are inviting all the pupils to participate in the essay contest:
A LETTER FOR ERASMUS EXCHANGE STUDENT IN LITHUANIA.