Kaloyan Staykov

(Bulgarian Youth Forum)

I arrived in Bucharest. At the airport I met one of the participants in the project and we took the bus to the city center. After an almost whole day of strolling around Bucharest and gathering step by step with the rest of the participants we finally arrived at the Constitution Square, just in front of the huge building of the Romanian Parliament. We saw a small group of young people with suitcases, who then came closer to us. We realized they were also part of an Erasmus+ project but things got very fast quite mysterious. We were both going to an Erasmus+ project in Costinesti, Romania. We both had some common countries participating in the project, but it was apparently not the same project. Then we realized we were going to experience something incredible, unbelievable and amazing – two projects at the same time, at the same place, with common free time and parties. That is how everything started.

I participated in a training course “Lead(E+)rs”, aiming at teaching core leadership skills. What does it mean to be a good leader? How can we motivate our teammates? What are the key competences which all leaders shall possess? During this project together we managed to find answers to all these questions. We had the possibility to reflect on different topics, to play theatre, to experience new techniques in presenting information. In the middle of the project we also visited a local school and had some time with the kids there. We had sufficient time to thouroughly plan the activities with the children and to coordinate between all the groups. Upon our arrival from the school we had a short discussion on what went well and what could have been better. We exchanged our views on what had happened at the school and learnt how to practise what is called constructive criticism. At the end of the project we had the opportunity to create short movies promoting Erasmus+ or the topic of the project. I must say, it was an amazing experience. We had a lot of fun and learnt many things at the same time. The movie making day ended with an Oscar Night, where both the Youth Exchange and the Training Course presented their movies. We were then given the opportunity to vote in various categories.

Perhaps the most interesting and enriching part of each and every project are the cultural nights. Having two projects at the same time, we had quite a wide variety of cultures to be presented. The countries from the Training Course were Latvia, Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey, Romania, Poland and Croatia. The Youth Exchange consisted of young people from Romania, Croatia, Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. National dances, drinks, special food, traditions and quizes were used to present the cultural diversity we had experienced during this week by the seaside in Romania.

To sum up, I would like to recommend the Erasmus+ Programme to any young person who hasn‘t been yet on an Erasmus+ project. It is a great opportunity to meet new like-minded young people with similar interests, to enhance one‘s intercultural proficiency, to acquire key competences every European citizen needs and lots more. Last but not least, I would like to thank the Bulgarian Youth Forum for being my sending organisation for this project and thus giving me the opportunity to experience what I tried to summarise on one page.