Roberto’s diary of Szczecin days

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Hi 😄 I’m Roberto and I’m from Italy 🇮🇹 . Between 18th and 24th of March I spent maybe one of the best week in my life, and so now I want to tell you something about it ✨.

I left Messina on Saturday morning at 4.00 p.m. ✈️ and, because of Etna eruption 🌋, I arrived in Szczecin on Sunday at about 3.00 p.m.. 😓
So, after a very stressful journey, I finally arrived in Poland 🇵🇱, where I was heartily welcomed by my host family 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦. It was made up by Peter 🤴🏼(my host mate), his brothers Marek 👦🏼and Arthur 👶🏼 and his parents 💑.

On the way to get home from the city centre 🏩, where my host family took me, I immediately realised that my week would be great 💫. They are very friendly and treated me as a member of the family. After a shower 🛁 I had dinner, a delicious dinner. Monica (the mum) 👩🏻‍🍳cooked for me pasta with vegetables 🍲 and a salad 🥗, and I really enjoyed them 😋.
After dinner we went to Peter’s grandparents’ house 👵🏻👴🏻, because it was the name day of Peter’s grandad. We ate a cake 🎂 and took some photos together 📸, and then Peter and I went to the city centre again 🌃, where we met the Erasmus guys 🤝. We spent the rest of our time in Galaxy Centrum, a big shops centre 🛍, in which there is also a bowling 🎳 where we played.

On Monday it was my first day of school in Poland 🏠, so I was quite excited. I woke up early 🌅, I got ready 👔 and I went to school with Peter 🚶🏽🚶🏼. There, after a school sightseeing, we played in the gym 🏐 and this made us know each other better. At 13 we had an international lunch 🍽 , in which I had the opportunity to eat something from every country 🌏. Some of these foods were very strange, like the reindeer meat 🦌 from Finland 🇫🇮, and some very good, like chorizo from Spain 🇪🇸 and chocolate 🍫 from England 🇬🇧.

In the afternoon we went to meet Peter’s aunt, Katarzyna 👱🏻‍♀️, and we had dinner together. After dinner we spent time together 🎯 and then Peter and I went to Galaxy Centrum, where we met the others. There we went to play pool 🎱 and here Elena 👧🏻, a girl from Spain 🇪🇸, taught me to play.

On Tuesday Peter and I went to school at 9.00 a.m. and there we rehearsed our show 🎭. We had lunch in the restaurant🍴with our teachers 👩🏻‍🏫 👨🏼‍🏫 and in the afternoon we went to Szczecin Underground (an anti-nuclear refuge) ⛑⚠️. But before, while the teachers were still at the restaurant, we (young people) went to the sweet factory 🍬, where we had the opportunity to make our lollipops 🍭, and to the most famous ice creams’s shop 🍦in Szczecin. Then we went back home, because we were very tired 😴.

Wednesday was maybe the best day of the week 🥇. In the morning we went to school, where we made a debate about migration 👣 . After this Parliament we acted in our show 🤹🏽‍♂️🎪 and after the show we made a “migration banner” 👨‍🎨. While we were working, some journalists came to our school and interviewed me and other guys 🎤and in the evening I saw myself during the news of a national channel of the polish TV 📺😎.

In the afternoon we went to Karolina’s house 👱🏼‍♀️🏡, where we had a party 🎉. I really enjoyed that time because I was with people that I really liked 👍🏻 and we spent all the time playing together and knowing each other better 💞. In the evening 🌌 we went back home, because our day was funny but also tiring 😴🛌.

On Thursday I was very sad because it was the last day 😭. In the morning I went to school, where our polish friends gave us a lot of gifts 🎁 and where we greet the foreign teachers 👋🏻. During the afternoon I went to the cinema with Peter 📽 and there we saw King Kong 🐒. Then we went to Aleksandra’s house (Peter’s aunt) because she really loves ❤️ Italy 🇮🇹 and she wanted to meet me. She cooked for me a delicious Italian dinner 😋. But in the evening we went to the city centre 🌃 , where the others were. There we spent our time together playing and joking 🙃.
At midnight we had to go back home because there weren’t buses later 🚌, so we had to greet each other 😫👋🏻.

On Friday I woke up at 5.00 a.m. because I wanted to greet my host brother and my host father, who had to go to school/work early 🐓🌅. Then I placed my suitcases, I greeted my host mum, and I went to IBIS hotel 🏩 where my teachers were waiting for me. At 10.00 I said goodbye to Peter and I left Szczecin behind 😔. We went to Berlin, where we had a flight. In the bus we were with the Spanish 🇪🇸 and the Finnish guys 🇫🇮, so we spent the last hours together. At the airport we had to greet and we took our flight to Catania 🛩.

Now I just want to thank Elena and Ana from Spain 🇪🇸, Riku and Aleksi from Finland 🇫🇮, Helena and Ana from Portugal 🇵🇹, Helena and Karla from Croatia 🇭🇷, Hannah and Lauren from England 🇬🇧, all the polish guys (as Maks, Gabi, Kamila, Daria, Karolina, Wiktoria …) 🇲🇨 and, obviously, Peter and his family 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦, because without them my experience in Poland wouldn’t be so nice ❤️.

Marco’s diary of Szczecin days

I left from Messina at 4 am of Saturday morning, the night before I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep in fact i slept a few hours on the coach going to the airport. Once arrived in Catania I checked in my baggage and then I went to the gate in order to wait for my flight but unfortunately I had to stay there until 1:00 am because my flight had been delayed because of Etna eruption so I lost also the connection to Berlin and I had to spend the day in a hotel close to Milan airport. That was a horrible and stressfull day but altough this fact I was still hopeful about the journey. The following day I took the 7:00 am flight to Rome in order to take it another one to Berlin, for sure one more tiring day. This time I had no troubles and I got to Sczeczin without any problems, there Daria, my erasmus buddy and her father came to Ibis hotel in order to take me to her home. When I arrived to Daria’s house I was very pleased of her family hospitality in fact they made for me special Italian chicken cutlets and typical Polish boiled potatoes which were so delicious. During lunch I started talking with them about Polish and Italian customs and traditions and I also found out that Daria had been to Italy several times with her family on holidays because she has an Italian relative from Bolzano. After lunch I rested for a few hours and then I went to the shopping centre with Daria to meet the other Erasmus guys, that place was so huge and beautiful. At the beginning I was a bit shy at them because I didn’t know them well but when we started playing bowling we had a lot of fun together talking about our interests and hobbies in our countries and comparing our law points. After that Veronika’s brother took us home and then I had dinner with Daria’s family. That day was a very good chance to see the people I was going to share this great experience with. On Monday I went to school with Daria, before getting there we got to her mother’s shop to buy something to eat, they were so generous in fact I could get anything I wanted in their shop. Once arrived at school, we made a small tour and the students showed us the different classes. Then we played some particular games in order to improve our teamwork and later we did a test about the history of democracy. At midday we had a special international lunch where there were lots of typical food from the countries involved in the project such as Portoguese cheese, Spanish chorizo and jamon and Polish wurstel and salmon and there were also some good Finnish chocolate and English sweets, I liked every country’s typical food but the food I found the most delicious was the Spanish one, maybe because It’s very similar to ours. After lunch I went to Karolina’s house together with Daria, Veronika,Hanna,Elena and Anna the Spanish one and Ola. There we listened to music and I talked to Ana all the time about lots of things like italy, Spain, hobbies, music and tv series , that was a very nice conversation. Then we all went to Trampling park where we had a lot of fun. After the trampling park some of us went to the pub in the shopping centre. There I played pool against Viktoria and Helena the Portoguese one, it was a difficoult game because they were both good and I hadn’t played pool for 4 months but I won the same. At the end of the day I came back home with Daria and Weronika and had dinner at Daria’s home. When I went to bed I was thinking about the long conversation I had with Ana because there was maybe something special between us two. On Tuesday morning there was a small school open day and I had a small French lesson and then we all together wrote the lyrics of the project song “ IN THEIR SHOES” and rehearsed for a small play in which we had to explain reasons why people should go to live to our own country, that was pretty nice, but we also learnt a traditional Polish dance called Polones really close to Italian valzer and also a typical Finnish dance whose I don’t remember the name but it was so funny. Ater that we all went to a restaurant where they served typical Polish meat, fish and fries, they were so good in fact I ate lots of things. After having lunch I went with the group to the sweet factory where you can make your own candy for 8 zloties. There a made a heart shaped lolly-pop and then we got to Gelatiamo to have an ice- cream. After that we all went to take a walk at the port near the river and take some pictures, it was so similar to river Thames in fact it was dirty. There Weronika took lots of nice photos of

A Learning Experience in Szczecin – Helena’s diary

After writing an application form, being interviewed (both in Portuguese and English), working on a logo for the project, and making a presentation/work related to migration, I got the news that I had been selected to participate in a learning event to be held in the IV Liceum Ogólnokstałcące im. B. Prusa, in Szczecin, Poland!

In Szcezcin, I was hosted by Wiktoria Razcek, whom I contacted through social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, before travelling to Poland. I learned a lot of things about her like her favourite food, sports, films, etc.

On the 1st day, I woke up at 6 am and I was a little bit nervous, not because of the trip but because I was afraid that I’d forgotten to put something in my bag.

We travelled to Porto by coach the day before our flight, since the flight was early and there were no coaches travelling from Macedo to Porto so early in the morning. Both during our trip to the airport and while we were waiting for the flight, we talked a lot and took a million pictures. I had flown before (but never for such a long trip). The flight was ok (the food was amazing!) until we reached Berlin where there was immense turbulence during the landing.

We arrived in Berlin at 3pm, more or less, and we went to Szczecin by taxi. The scenery was interesting because even though we drove mainly on the motorway, there were always a lot of beautiful and big trees along it. It took us about 2 hours to reach Szczecin so we arrived at around 5pm.

Meeting my host family was amazing – my first thought was ‘I feel so lucky for staying with this family!

At about 6pm, we had dinner –  I ate mashed potatoes with chicken and carrot and cucumber sauces. I really liked the mashed potatoes, the chicken and the carrot sauce… But I found the cucumber sauce a little weird at the beginning, though later I started to like it.

Later, between 7pm and 10pm, we went to a small pub with other Erasmus students and their hosts.

I fell in love with Szcezcin – I loved the house and ‘my bedroom’, also the town is beautiful, very bright and different from where I come from.

As far as family life is concerned, I think that things are similar to Portuguese family life. I found out that public transport is very cheap in Poland, that windows don’t usually have blinds, and that they prefer sofa-beds to beds… Food is similar, but the meals time is quite different.

The best thing of the 2nd day was, obviously, meeting the fantastic Razcek family! Also, during the day, we went to two museums and bowling for 2 hours and it was definitely amazing!

On Monday, I woke up at 8am and we went to school by bus at 9am.  I realised there  are a lot of differences between this school and mine, for example, they don’t have school janitors and their lessons last for only 45/50 minutes, then they have little breaks. The teaching style is similar and the subjects are, too (I attended a chemistry class). The thing that I liked the most was the fact that, when they have more than 2 lessons with de same subject, for example twice 45 minutes of chemistry, they are allowed to eat and drink in the classroom.

We did a lot of sport activities that I loved because it made it easier for people to meet each other better. Also we had an international lunch where I ate a looot!

In the evening, we had dinner at 6pm and then we went to a trampoline park for  1 hour with all the Erasmus+ students and hosts. Finally, we went to the shopping centre to play billiards. It was perfect and really cheap! The trampoline park was the highlight of the day as we because we all had a lot of fun together.

The second day at school was long day! We had a lot of fun writing down the lyrics for our music about migration!

Then, we had lunch with all the Erasmus+ students, hosts and teachers. It was a feast!

After lunch we all went to underground Szczecin for two hours and it was an experience that I’ll never forget, since it made me think about all the destruction that took place there during the Wars and what people had to do to protect themselves!

Then, we all went together for some traditional food called Pasztecik, which became my favourite Polish food!

Finally, all the Erasmus+ students and their hosts went for an evening stroll in the city.

On Wednesday,  we had a debate. We were split into two groups and the one I was in  first had to support the migrant people and then defend the host country’s position. I learned a lot with that and became more capable of adapting to change.

With this debate not only did I improve my knowledge but I also became less introverted in terms of speaking in public; also I improved my group work skills!

Later we  had our presentation and we invited our teachers too sing with us a Portuguese song by Xutos & Pontapés.

In the afternoon,  all of us students went to Karolina’s  (Karolina is also a host- Ana Trindade’s host) and we had a Barbecue evening.  I learned a lot of Polish words as well as Italian and Finnish ones.

Thursday was different because we had manual activities such as making a visual diary, which was great since it helped me revisit all the moments I had lived in Poland so far and the places I had visited. We also sang our migration song! I Iearned a lot about Poland and also about working in groups.

Because this was the last day we would spend together in Sczecin, we  went out in the afternoon to buy some souvenirs.

Friday just arrived too fast and we had to say goodbye. But my experience in Szczecin was amazing, something that I will probably never forget. I feel that after this trip I am no longer the same person because I grew up a lot psychologically! I would definitely recommend a trip to Szczecin because the city and the people are incredible!

 

 

My experience in Poland – Elena Parra

It was a fantastic week, I met a lot of new people and I learnt, culture and history. I’m going to explain a little bit my experience in this country.

My teachers, Spanish partner, Ana, and I started this adventure on Saturday 18th of March. I was really excited because it was my first Erasmus trip.

In the mornings, we had to go to the high school to do different types of activities, like a song about migration, learning the national dance of the country, making a giant poster or a mobility diary about this week. We also did an “international lunch”, I think that it was a great idea, but I still think that the Spanish food is the best food in the world.

I was disgusted because the Finnish people eat reindeers. Too much for me!

In the afternoons, the group of Polish and international students visited a lot of wonderful places like a few museums about the history of the city, that I found really interesting, and we went to a shop where you can make your own sweets.

We also walked around the city, Szczecin, I think that it’s a beautiful place.

I met fantastic people that are in my heart and I really hope to see them again. When I remember the moments that we spent together I feel sad and happy at the same time. In 5 days we really connected like friends.

My favorite day was Wednesday, in the evening, a Polish girl did a barbecue in her house. All the Erasmus guys were there and we had a wonderful evening. We got to know better each other, played games and we even made fire.

The last day, my teachers, my partner and I went to the airport sharing the bus with the Finnish and Italian people.

We had like two hours to say goodbye. I was very sad, I don’t know if I’m going to see these people again, it’s very difficult but at least we have the social media to keep in touch.

I have to say that the Polish food is interesting and I tried some really good things, like the “pierogis”.

I recommend everybody not be scared about travelling to new places and discover new cultures and met fantastic people. The only negative point is how much you are going to miss your time there!

Elena Parra, Spain

Ana Sánchez from Spain

Some time ago, I was given the opportunity, along with another student and my teachers, to take part in the Erasmus project my high school was in. The project´s purpose was to develop some important topics nowadays such as democracy and migration but needless to say, the experience was much more than that.

First of all, we did several activities with our classmates. Of course, the opportunity wasn´t free so we worked really hard collecting their opinions, raising awareness of the issues, taking part in debates, making posters, decorating the hall… and in the blink of an eye we were already preparing things for the trip and packing our stuff!

And there we were, road to Szczecin. The journey was long and exhausting as we had to take a bus from our city to the airport, then a plane to Milan, another one to Berlin and finally a taxi to our destination, where we arrived at almost 1:00 am. Summing up, a whole day travelling! However, we had a great chance to make our thoughts clear and get to know the teachers more as real people and friends.

From the beginning, I was amazed by the place and as the days went by, I didn´t get disappointed. It felt like being in a fairy tale, surrounded by lovely and colourful houses, woods, lakes and landscapes that made me speechless.

I also discovered, wandering around the city, how unique the architecture was, mixing past and present, huge and new shopping centres all together with old building which years ago were war factories and now host in their inside libraries and shops. Poland history was latent in every street corner.

Another fact that shocked me was the environment. Urban transport was well developed and never late, public infrastructures were clean and cared for, you could find cool street art and sharing books points basically everywhere.

Now, talking about my host family, what else could I ask for? Immediately I felt comfortable, like another family member. They were really kind and nice, always offering me new dishes to try and all of them spoke English so it was easy to communicate and share our cultures.

My mornings started with the bustling sound of woodpeckers in the nearby forest and a huge breakfast including all the typical Polish food you could imagine. Then, it was time to go to school.

School period was fascinating for many reasons. Apart from seeing and comparing how different our education system is, there were plenty of things to do. The whole morning was thoroughly prepared and although some of the activities could look childish at the beginning, we had a great time working all together, learning and exchanging our ideas. Having so many cooperative tasks such as integrational games and the international lunch pushed us to leave our shame behind and soon, we created strong bonds.

Without any doubts, my favourite activity was the debate. I had never been in a similar situation before and it surprised me how my partners and I were able to make ourselves understood and defend our arguments, always supporting and cheering each other as we all knew English wasn´t our mother tongue.

During the afternoon, we managed to visit as many places as possible. There were so many places to go and we had so few time. We walked around the city, discovering the past of Szczecin by visiting museums, monuments, the port… Natural landscapes left us open-mouthed, it was unbelievable how every few steps you could find a forest or a lake.

The traditional food we tried didn´t lag behind and every single moment we spent together bowling, jumping in mats or just talking for hours around the shopping centre was magic and wonderful.

In my opinion, the best part of this project has been the diversity of the students that took part in it. Although we all came from very diverse countries and situations, we all had the same attitude towards knowledge, sharing experiences and having fun, which made everything easier. We never ran out of conversation topics and learning so much about other ways of life, types of government, traditions and cultures has made me realize how different everything is leaving behind our borders and has awaken even more my traveller spirit.

The aim of Embrace has been crucial too. Sometimes with the school year´s pressure we downplay really important matters from our past history or the current present. The topics go further than a simple test, having good or bad consequences, they define us as humans.

This type of project, compound by interactive activities and international meetings is perfect to develop student´s sense of team-work, curiosity and empathy towards global issues.

I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who has the opportunity to take it and thank teachers, families and everyone who made this possible.

If I have to say something negative about the project, I´d say that it was to short!

Certainly, these days have been unforgettable. It´s an ideal way to exit the comfort zone, know other ways of thinking and above all, meeting new people.

I´m glad to say that I´m still in touch with the awesome friends I made during the exchange. We talk almost daily, sharing our routines, traditions and planning when our next meeting.

Now, it only remains to wait for the next Erasmus students to come to Spain. I´ll try to treat them as well as I´ve been treated.

From the Host`s Point of View – Meeting in Szczecin- March 2017

In March I took part in an Erasmus+ project. Our school hosted 12 students from 6 different countries- Finland, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Italy and England, I got a girl from the UK, Hannah. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Everyday we had something else planned. We did so many great activities, but I still feel like we didn’t get to show them everything.
It’s a shame that the exchange was so short because there were so many students- it was hard to get know all of them.

Wiktoria, Daria, Weronika, Ola, Karolina and myself were the organizers of the free time for out guests. It was hard to find things to do that everyone could enjoy, but I think all worked well enough. It was a very interesting experience.
On Saturday the students arrived. They got here at different times so we all met (but not the Spaniards who arrived at night) in the evening, we did some shopping in the “Galeria Kaskada”. During the day me and Hannah went for a walk around Mierzyn, we watched some TV – we just tried to get to know each other.
On Sunday we went sightseeing. We saw the National and Art Museums, Wały Chrobrego, Filharmonia- we just wandered in Szczecin. Sadly it was raining all day but we still were having fun. Later that day we went bowling which was very fun, too.

During the week we were at school from 9 a.m. to around 2 p.m. We played some get-together games, had some classes, wrote a song, made posters, had a debate and did a lot of other great stuff. I especially enjoyed the lunch we had on Monday where we could try some traditional food from all over Europe. There were delicious olives from Spain, almonds form Portugal, meat from Croatia, cheese from Sicily. crossbuns from England and reindeer pate from Finland.
Overall I loved the project a lot. I had a great opportunity to have some great new experiences and meet amazing people. I would love to take part in other projects like this. It’s a lot of hard work to do but it’s worth it.

Karolina Pacholska

Our adventure by Karla Erdelji, Croatia

Our adventure

Our adventure started in the middle of the night, after a pleasant drive to Budapest from where we took a plane to Warsaw and then to Szczecin. To make things a little bit more interesting, a metal detector made that annoying sound while I was going through airport security. Already a little bit tired, we landed in Szczecin, and the Polish weather welcomed us with a heavy shower. We soon met the families who were going to be our hosts during our stay in Szczecin. My family was great and they did everything for me in order to feel good. The adventure went on when we went to the host school and met all other children from Spain, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Great Britain and Poland. Every day we had all sorts of workshops which helped us learn more about diversities of our countries. We had debates, we wrote a song, we created banners, we had a quiz on the debate and we tried delious food from other countries at European lunch. Every day our activities started at 9 o’clock and we ended around two in the afternoon, which means that we really worked a lot during our stay in Poland. The hosts did their best to organize the rest of the day as well. We went bowling, we played billiards, we visited museums and shopping malls. We had a lunch in a real Polish bar. One of the students organized a great farewell barbecue party in her own garden. I spoke English all the time and it felt so good. My English teacher would surely be proud of me. Days spent in Poland will always stay in my memory as a great experience. I made new friends and I learnt a lot about other cultures and countries. I believe we succeded in presenting our school, town and country in the best possible way.  My host family invited me for another visit. A similar invitation came from my new Spanish friend, too. And finally I must say that I tried the best ice cream in the whole world. It was on the 22nd floor of a building from which the whole Szczecin was lying in front of me. Priceless…

 

Karla Erdelji, 8th class

Osnovna škola Višnjevac, Croatia