I think that everyone should experience it first-hand…
From this project I gained a lot of knowledge and deepened what I already know about ecology, as it was the theme of this exchange. Besides, I learned many facts about the culture and habits of different countries.
I met many great and kind people which I have come to love as a family and I miss them deeply. Everyone was wonderful in their own way, it was a pleasure to work with them as a team or simply talk about a wide range of topics.
I got to know a lot of Italian gestures of which I had not been aware before.
I was concerned about problems with food since I am a vegetarian but there was no need for that. The food was delicious, I was especially content when having lasagne or pasta for lunch.
At first, the biggest barrier was my English. However, it changed quickly. I got out of my comfort zone and soon I could talk with other participants or organisers without any problems.
I am grateful that I could take part in this project. It was a pleasure to meet so many amazing people and spend time with them. The late night walk around Rome was also a great experience which I will never forget.
The funny moments were especially when someone was late for appointments and faced “consequences” which we made up on our own earlier – push ups, jumping jacks or dancing. I really liked the games we played during warm-ups so that we were awakened before the class. It would be too hard to explain them but a game with “imaginary rabbit” was my favourite. Basically, the point was to pass the rabbit on and say where we kissed him. When the rabbit passed everyone, we had to kiss a person next to us in the exact same place where we kissed the rabbit.
Another fun game was introduced by a Czech Marco who listed the words in his language and we had to repeat them, raising the tone more and more. Although I don’t remember what those words meant, I remember that I had so much fun.
I think that everyone should experience it first-hand. An excellent experience which allows you to break through your language barrier and practice your English. Besides, it is a chance to learn many things about the culture and habits of different countries and to meet wonderful people.
Dominika, 18 years old, ”Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon” youth exchange
It was my first time in Italy and I was impressed by the weather there
This project for me was the opportunity to take part in the youth exchange for the first time in 5 years and even as a leader. Due to this, I was able to test my organisational skills and be a support to the group. It was my first time in Italy and I was impressed by the weather there. It was 30+ degrees throughout the whole trip and on the last day, when we were supposed to visit the Eternal City, the temperature reached 40 degrees. Fortunately, the organisers took care of our well-being and provided us with the opportunity to use the pool which was the part of the resort where we were accommodated.
The project was focused on ecology, mainly reduction in the use of plastic which was visible not only during the course, but also in other activities, e.g. when after meals we tried to wash plastic plates and cutlery and use them again, instead of throwing those things away and taking new ones.
The project’s schedule was not tense, we had time to rest, sleep and relax in the pool which, given the weather conditions at that time, was very needed.
What surprised me the most was the amount of people – tourists and immigrants. We did not manage to visit the Colosseum, because tickets must be booked a few days in advance. On the streets it is possible to see many black people and also many homeless people. Such trips certainly increase sensitivity to the plight of others and make me stop complaining about Poland.
Those trips are a wonderful opportunity to meet people from different countries and get to know their culture. But also see other country, live there for a few days, meet the locals – simply open up to others. This was not my first Erasmus exchange and, for sure, it will not be the last. However, I encourage especially young people who are still in high school to participate in such projects. It is a great time to begin the adventure with the Erasmus programme, self-discovery, choosing the studies right or improving language skills before graduation. What stops you? Are you afraid about your English skills? You are not the only one! In many cases on such projects there are no natives. Everyone is learning and making mistakes. You can join them and experience the adventure of a lifetime – there will be no better time. The best time is now.
Marika, 25 years old, „Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon” youth exchange
If you have an opportunity to participate, do not hesitate and just do it!
It was my first project but it was marvellous. I will remember it for a long time. I met many amazing people from other countries from whom I got a lot of support, help and good memories! Each day was different so there was no boredom or monotony. Everyday another country prepared breakfast and in the evening there were cultural evenings during which the country presented their typical things such as food, traditions, plays and songs. Obviously, our evening was not without its linguistic fractures, which, surprisingly, foreigners were able to handle. During each class we were divided into groups, which is why we could get to know each project’s participant better. The classes were very creative, for example we made posters, plays, tiktoks and origami. In addition, there were many games in which we could get to know each other better. My biggest barrier was the linguistic one, however I got so much support from others that I completely forgot I had a barrier. I am grateful that I could take part in this project, I met amazing people, got wonderful memories and many experiences. I saw beautiful places, tasted delicious food, not only Italian, but also from Sweden, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The worst part was saying goodbye to all of it and returning to a normal life. On the last night, when some people were leaving at 3 o’clock in the morning, no one slept in to say goodbye, thank you and reminisce all this week. Many tears of sadness and happiness were shed from everyone (even the boys cried but it is normal) because during those 7 days we got closer to each other and became one big family. The best thing is our group on Whatsapp on which we were constantly in contact – we still are. We talk with each other, reminisce about the project, laugh and send lots of photos and videos. I miss everyone I met there! It was our first meeting but definitely not the last!
If you have an opportunity to participate, do not hesitate and just do it! I was scared and I was not sure if that was something for me, I had a huge language barrier, I was quiet and shy, I was afraid to go on a plane for the first time, I experienced a situation which overwhelmed me and because of that I wanted to resign at the last moment. However, everyone was telling me to go because this trip will do me good and help me pull myself together. This is how it was! It was hard for me to come home but, unfortunately, I had to. Participating in this project was the best decision in my life so if anyone is wondering if it is for them, if it is worth it, if they will come back satisfied – definitely YES! There is nothing to think about, just take the opportunity, gain memories, experience and international family!
Katarzyna, 18 years old, „Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon” youth exchange
The biggest surprise for me in Italy was the Italians’ relaxed approach to life….
During the project I learned to collaborate with others, improved my speaking abilities in English and gained confidence in using it. The biggest surprise for me in Italy was the Italians’ relaxed approach to life (e.g. the bus timetable doesn’t have the departure hours listed, only the destination). The food was great both in the hotel and in town. The idea with traditional breakfasts was a really good one because we could learn what they look like in different countries.
People on the exchange were really kind, open and helpful and they were not bothered by inferior English skills, it was a well-spent time. The biggest barrier was my insecurity in using English. In the first few days I didn’t know what to say, how to speak, etc, however I was able to overcome it quickly. I took away many great memories, new friendships and experiences from the camp. There were also many funny moments but the funniest were penalties for being late, because they were very creative.
Such international exchange is a great adventure. If I had a chance to experience it again, I wouldn’t hesitate, not even a moment.
Łukasz, 18 years old, „Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon” youth exchange
I am a huge fan of pasta and good pizza…
During the project I improved my abilities of working in a team since I am an individualist by nature. I learned to collaborate with total strangers, with whom after a week I became an “Erasmus family” – a certain person from another country’s exchange used this term and I liked it very much. I met many great people, I particularly liked the Swedish and Italian teams. I didn’t expect that spending time with them would bring me so much joy.
I was surprised by the Italians’ approach to life because it was my first time there. I knew that it was the same in Spain and I was ready for it but these people were never in a hurry, nothing was on time – completely different than in Poland. I have good memories with the local people, I didn’t experience any unpleasant situation, in fact, on the contrary. I am a huge fan of pasta and good pizza so I couldn’t complain.
I am grateful for meeting a certain person and that I could have an honest conversation with them and also for the opportunity to go on the exchange. Also for getting a chance to speak only in English for a week because I feel that it gave me a lot considering my language skills.
I have fond memories of creating robots from rubbish at the very end – I didn’t expect that we all would have that much fun and show such enormous creativity.
Natasza, 18 years old, „Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon” youth exchange
I feel that I have learnt something from everyone and that it will all stay with me forever…
From the project in which I participated above all, I learned about our environment or the impact that plastic has on it. It is a tough, but at the same time, interesting and even terrifying topic (which we experienced especially when we had to prepare information during the course). Everything I learned only made me think more about how difficult it will be for future generations to live and that they will have to face the consequences of our reckless actions.
I also learned that strangers are really (but REALLY) not concerned about your appearance, your style or your level of English. If someone is frightened by the thought that they are very poor at talking and would not be able to manage – I highly recommend taking the risk. I must admit that it was the biggest challenge for me before and during the exchange and even a dilemma whether I should go on such a trip. Despite the fact that I know English well, my pronunciation is rather average and it was an enormous stress for me – as it turns out unnecessarily. The exchange helped me open up and improve my speaking skills. Besides, you can even get along accidently or in sign language and if not – you can always write something and let your interlocutor read it.
I met amazing people who were able to selflessly help and, above all, they created a wonderful and unforgettable atmosphere which I will remember for a long time! Even a silly joke or a made-up movement could bring smiles to the faces of other participants. I feel that I have learnt something from everyone and that it will all stay with me forever. I also appreciate the efforts of the steadfast organisers who each day delivered warm meals to us and gathered volunteers who would go to a shop approximately 2 kilometres away.
It could seem very trivial but I was surprised that in Italy, as compared to ours, the tap water is so good. Also, that the real Italian pizza isn’t better than our Polish “inventions” on a thick crust or with pineapple.
When the company is great, many hilarious situations happen. During the course, very creative warm-up activities or even the simplest teamwork in a matched group made us laugh. We also couldn’t resist laughing when we recorded origami theatre with stories we had to make up ourselves.
I could talk about this topic for hours and for some people it would seem boring, but in fact, it is hard to understand for someone who hasn’t experienced it. Despite the fear, I seized the offered opportunity and I don’t regret it at all because it was an amazing experience.
I strongly encourage everyone to go on international trips. Even if something goes wrong, people who will be there with you will be able to make things right, even with the smallest of smiles. If I didn’t go, I would regret that I wasn’t able to meet many excellent, funny and open people. People who, like me, were stressed at the beginning and eventually realised that it was an amazing adventure and each one next can only get better and better…
Julia, 18 years old, „Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon” youth exchange
I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to such a wonderful place and to meet such people…
I learned to work better in a group and that well-organised activities can make people get to know each other better. I personally met many amazing people with few of whom I still have contact with.
Italy is beautiful, especially Roma where I want to come back at the earliest opportunity. The food was alright. I didn’t have any big barriers to break. I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to such a wonderful place and to meet such people.
We had a lot of funny moments so it is not possible to choose only one. It is a topic for longer conversation. That is all, great project, may there be more of these.
Damian, 23 years old, „Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon” youth exchange.
I think that this trip was a fun adventure and I recommend such exchanges to everyone …
I liked the exchange very much, I met many wonderful people and also improved my English. The place of exchange was Italy which made a great impression on me. The Italians turned out to be very nice and open, and I will definitely remember the places I visited for the rest of my life. At the beginning of the exchange, the conversation in English was a slight barrier for me, but with each passing day it became easier for me.
Piotr, 18, youth exchange in Rome – “Dream Youth Active More for Less Nylon”