I participated in the first exchange of our Erasmus+ project in Spain. The nearly one-week full of different activities was about e-safety, gender equality and immigration problem in Europe. It was really great, and I got quite a few new friends during this project.

On the first day, we met with students from other schools and countries. We were divided into six transnational groups, each having one student from each country and two from Spain. During the break, I met up with a student from Germany and we had a blast getting to know each other. Later on we talked about the film “Wonder” in our groups, and had a quiz on our skills of reading the screen. We also had a schools’ carousel, where every school introduced their school and country. After the lunch break, we also had a cultural lesson, where we were familiarized with the Spanish culture and also taught some Spanish. In the evening, we went bowling with all of the students. It was a lot of fun, and I became really good friends with Germans there!

On Tuesday, we had multiple seminars. The first one was about e-safety, and how to be safe on the Internet. For me personally, it was quite boring, since I’ve had multiple of those lessons in Estonia already. Afterwards, we also played a Kahoot, and our team made it on the leader boards! Later we had a seminar on gender equality. After the seminar, we went on a walking tour to the town centre. We visited the main square of L’Eliana and also the Town Hall, where the mayor also told us about the history of L’Eliana. Still later, we had the final seminar of the day about bullying, both on the Internet and in real life, and the consequences of bullying. Our Spanish friends took us to a cafe, where we ordered some churros. They were really good! In the end, we went and chilled out in the park.

Wednesday was one of those activity days. In the morning, we had to make videos with our transnational groups about gender equality. After that we had to draw characters in the spirit of those on the landing page. I think the one I drew came out really well! We also had to prepare for the debate coming up on Friday. We were the against group. To end the day, we had a

chance to play various sports games, but it was so hot outside that I constantly had to take some breaks to cool down. I played some ping-pong; also, I got a chance to play against one of the teachers, and I also played basketball with Germans and Danes. In the evening, we went to eat pizza at Domino’s. We had a really great time there, and also some really great pizza!

On Thursday, we went on a tour in Valencia. We visited multiple historical and simply nice places there, and also got to see the world’s thinnest house front! Afterwards, we went to a restaurant, where we got some paella ‒ the national dish of the Valencians.  After eating, we took a group picture. We were supposed to go on a boat trip also, but since it was too windy, we simply visited a shopping centre, instead. I was with 3 friends of mine, and a Spanish clerk called us a family, when she tried to get our attention to buy her nuts. We had a good laugh about this event! In the evening, we were just in the park with the group, and chilled as the project was about to end.

Friday was the debate day. In the morning, we all finished our preparations and started rehearsing for the debate. The debate was about if we should let immigrants in the EU. As we were the group that had to debate against it, we also prepared not only arguments why should the not be allowed to come to Europe, but also how we could help them without needing to let them immigrate. I think that we did quite well, per the feedback we got. We also got the results of the quiz from the first day, and our group was on the last place, sadly. There was also the evaluation and feedback questionnaire. In the evening we went to Heron City to eat at KFC and McDonald’s, and just to spend some time together. It really got emotional when everybody had to leave, and I wish I could’ve spent more time with everyone!

I feel the project really helped me to speak English better and to make new friends far more easily! It was really fun, and I wish I could’ve spent just one more week together with the group, cause 5 days really isn’t enough to get to know someone. I really didn’t get much on the education side, aside from knowing how to debate. I learned that you need to be able to predict what your opponent’s arguments be, and also how to counter them, perhaps even before they bring their argument up. From seminars I really didn’t get anything, since those are topics I have been told about and have been at multiple seminars about these topics.

To wrap things up, I made multiple really good friends during this project, both from in and outside of Estonia. It was a really great project, and I plan on taking part in future Erasmus+ projects, also!

By Richard Miikael from Estonia