Thursday, August 31, 2017

Closing a circle in Hungary

The Last Transnational Meeting
May 28th to June 1st 2017

I read „closing circles“ not only carries the meaning of completing what you've started, the phrase itself tends to reveal much more. It reveals powerful energies on a spiritual level :) Joking aside, we are convinced that by closing the circle of The Y.E.S. for Future project activities we've created an international community of numerous students, parents, teachers, school staff and other organizations that have been collaborating on the grounds of the same interest: enhancing entrepreneurship among the students which is the main thematic element of the project.
The 3 teachers from each partner school (Alemandralejo, Loimaa and Slovenske Konjice) were welcomed at Arany János Általános Iskola és Gimnázium  for the last transnational meeting. The main plan of the meeting was to evaluate the work done throughout the 3-year project,
implementation of the activities and dissemination of the results put into the wider conext. We as well needed to unify the criteria and define the elements of the reporting process which we still have a head of us to complete.
As always, the Hungarian teachers organized the efficient 4 working days.
The working Monday started at Arany Janos high school where the participants were greeted by the principal Horvathne Aniko at her office. We were asked to express our thoughts on significance of the project. Its impact on our students, colleagues, local communities was particularly emphasized: The Implementation of the the students' work and thematic research carried out, new entrepreneurial, linguistic and digital knowledge putting into effect, exchange of views, methods, skills among the participants, students and the teachers. The last but not at all the least, the connections, friendships and collaboration europewide created while learning and gaining new skills.

After a short tour around school  we settled in in a classroom where we had the last project meeting within this project, which eventually lasted until the next day. So, we started compiling all the important work, products and data concerning the project: Students' and teachers' products created during the activities and mobilities in all 4 countries with the budget: Students' exchanges in Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, Spain; transnational meetings in Finland, Slovenia and Hungary; Teacher training in Spain.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to evaluation of evaluation which was among other possibilities ( group work, video conference) done by a common tool Google questionaries: (needs analysis, at the beginning, after mobilities, mid-term, final evaluation...)

Tired after a big piece of work done we enjoyed the walk around Archeological park where we were acquainted with the local historical heritage and we were finally demonstrated where the name Szazhalombatta came from. A very interesting guided tour brought ancient history to life as we got firsthand experience of Iron Age villages, landscapes and burial grounds.

On Tuesday we concluded our work with the discussion about dissemination of the results and the reporting itself. We as well tackled the challenges we may have come across during the project and at the end, before some more historical and cultural education, we had a look at the operation of the Mobility Tool and work that is still ahead of us.
Budapest again took our breathe away, even though taking a boat cruise we saw the main sights from a different perspective.

Visiting Hungary is not complete without visiting the Hungarian sea as they call it - Balaton. We used the last day for a pleasant trip to Balaton with its lovely towns. First we visited historical Balatonfüred with the famous old Spa and salty mineral water. Then Tihany, a small village with old traditional houses, lovely views on the lake, its majestic Abbey and lavender fields. The day and the visit to Hungary was deliciously finished with wine tasting and dinner in Csopak.

As for the Your Entrepreneurial Skills for Future project, it was closed, so we can start another circle with another project. :)

                                                                                                                                                  Mateja Smolar Tič, Slovenia

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Friday February 10th. End of the student exchange in Spain

We started with a Spanish workshop taught by some students from Spain (teaching the main pronunciation and accent rules, before watching a funny video of the variety of this language throughout the world) we played a kind of “competition” game between teams (enterprises), in which you would lose or win some marshmallows (as if they were the organization profits of a company) depending on the choice you made between a red card or a green one in comparison to the rest of the teams, so there were different combinations. Basically we were divided into 5 groups with people of every country, and we had to agree within the groups to choose a card or the other, in order to get marshmallows or points. Or that’s what we thought. We were given the rules of the game and the goal was that all teams should win. So after a few rounds, we were asked to get approximately the same number of marshmallows for every group. Playing this game we realised that if we had decided to use the first combination (everyone choosing the green card) from the very beginning, we all would have had the same score at the end. So it was a kind of useful experience, coming from a “simple” game, which might help us to solve problems in the future,  for example if we work for an enterprise: it is better to collaborate than to compete. 

.After that, our language assistant Leslie taught us some interesting aspects of advertising, working with different advertisements so that we could see the different ways enterprises use to sell their products. And after theory, comes practice. We were shown an advert but we couldn’t see what  the advertised product was, so that we decided ourselves what kind of product (or service)  it could be, adding a name and a little slogan to complete it.
Again divided into the 5 mentioned groups, mine decided to propose an insurance service called Ouch!, whose slogan was Choose Ouch! so that you won’t have to say “Ouch!”.
Once the workshop was finished, we headed to a local start-up and the local business incubator residence for entrepreneurs, where we were given information about what they offer like training, advice and support. It is a building in which entrepreneurs living in Almendralejo, nearby or anyone coming from Europe can propose a product  idea and start developing it. Moreover, if their idea is selected  to be a potential product in the market, they are provided with accommodation for free in the residence for two years. They also have classes and are advised to make their products better and, maybe at the end, launch them into market.
In the evening we took part in our farewell party, where each country danced to typical music of their culture, inviting the rest of participants to dance together and have fun.

by David García Corbacho

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Student exchange in Almendralejo - Thursday

On Thursday when we entered the school we had a feeling as if we had gone to a completely different place.  The whole building was decorated based on films and it was an amazing spectacle.

 The teachers of the school wore costumes and the students took part in a treasure hunt game and had to collect stars and clues at various stations.  Each station had different kind of activities based on various films and the tasks ranged from puzzles through singing and dancing to acting out.  

Solving logical puzzles

Dancing a scene from 'Grease'

Karaoke on cartoon songs

Preparing paper models

Students' 'ticket"

 Students also prepared a great show for younger students with wonderful costumes and special effects. 

It was a very well-organized event and both teachers and students enjoyed participating in it. The special schoolday was finished with a teacher lunch at the school cafeteria,  where we could taste various Spanish tapas and the traditional Paella of course! 

After the delicious meal we visited the breathtaking historic Merida,  where we admired the ancient Roman theatre,  amphitheatre and Diana's Temple. We heard a lot of interesting facts from Spanish students who - using these historic places as stages- acted out different scenes providing us with information about the ancient history of Spain. 

It was a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday February 8th


First in the morning we arrived at I.E.S Santiago Apostol and we got the bus to go to Las Villuercas Geopark to hike and study the history and nature of the region. The Villuercas Geopark is an UNESCO Global Geopark.  The area has been inhabited since the start of human history and has been a coastal area before that, which can be noticed from the great amount of fossils. There are a lot of caves, some with cave paintings and the area has one of the strongest quartzite in the world, being very hard to mine (mining process using fire to head and make the rock more soft). The bird-life is wide and the area is rich of trees and plants, shown also in the little botanical garden.

a cork tree

After Geopark we had lunch in a typical local restaurant and had a very good meal.

The last stop was in Guadalupe. We had a guided tour in Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe. An interesting fact is that the monastery was very important for the discovery of America, because in one room of the old monastery of Guadalupe was written the letter to Christopher Columbus to start the caravels to make a new route to India but accidentally they ended to America. Everything that we saw was original and not restored, so that was already 500 years ago.