European Youth Exchanges: life changing adventures!


At only 20 years of age, Laura has already done two different Youth European Exchange Programs and now she’s writing projects herself! Get to know a bit more of her story in the interview below.

Q: Hello, Laura, nice to meet you! Can you shortly introduce yourself?

A: My name is Laura, I’m 20 years old. I’m from Romania but I’ve been living in Italy since I was 5 and I’m currently studying Political Sciences in Rome.

Q: We know you participated in Youth European Exchange Programmes. Can you tell us a little bit of your experience?

A: That’s right, I’ve participated in 2 different projects; the first one was in Spain, in Ciudad Real with Mille Cunti organization and it was about employability and opportunities for youngsters. The second one was in Copenhagen and it was about non-violent communication and solving conflicts in a peaceful way.

Q: And why have you decided to participate in those projects?

A: Regarding my first project in Spain, I decided to go because a friend of mine told me about it and it seemed pretty interesting, not only because it was a good opportunity to travel but also because I wanted to live new experiences. This has been my first experience in the Erasmus+ Project but it was a great one and I was very interested in it because I had just finished high school, so employability and opportunities for young people were very appropriate topics. And in the case of my second experience, I had much interest in the topic as well and that is also the reason I decided to go.

Q: Which project did you like the most and why?

A: I think I liked the second one better because it was a training course so the activities were different from the first one and I think I learned more things that I can actually use not only in my everyday life but also in my professional life, in the future.

Q: We know that now you’re writing your own European Exchange Programs. Were you influenced by your participation in these projects that we’ve been talking about? Why have you decided to start writing projects?

A: Of course it had an impact since participating in these kinds of projects allowed me to get to know this new world I didn’t know before. So, I’ve decided to write projects because I consider them to be great opportunities for youngsters and I think that every 20 years old or so should experience it at least once in their lives.

Q: Can you describe the normal process of writing a European Youth Exchange Program?

A: Basically, first you need to find an idea and then a team. Once you have these two elements you can start working on it and starting to imagine every single detail of the plan you want apply. So, first you must design the general points, then you get into the details and when you’re happy with both these parts you start compelling the models for the project you’re applying for and this is honestly the biggest process because you must find the appropriate words and arrange them in a way in which people will understand.

Q: Very well. And in which project are you currently working on or what was the latest project you did?

A: No, right now I’m not writing anything but the latest was a project who aimed to share knowledge between the oldest generation and technology: how to use internet and how could they defend themselves from fake news. Because for instance, at a certain point with all this COVID-19 situation there were a lot of fake news circulating and it’s important that young people try to something about it.

Q: In a few words, would you recommend to someone participating in these projects and why?

A: I would definitely recommend everyone to participate because it’s a life changing experience that everyone should have at least once. You can’t understand what happens in Erasmus+ projects if you don’t participate in it. You meet new people from different cultures with different ideas and this helps you to open your mind and be more tolerant.

Interview by Carolina Ramon da Fonseca

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