Youth exchange programme or how to create an international family with ERASMUS+

Youth exchange programme or how to create an international family with ERASMUS+

On January 16-28, 2023, interactive, emotional and incredibly informative youth exchanges "Cultural Crossover" and "Beyond Borders" took place in the city of Rzeszów, at the office of the International Projects Association "INPRO". 4 countries took part in the events: including Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, with a total of 60 participants. Activities within the framework of these projects are aimed at encouraging  intercultural exchange, as well as improving communication skills and abilities, in particular improving English language skills.

The participants were students of the Faculty of Health and Physical Education, the Faculty of Philology, the Faculty of International Economic Relations, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Foreign Philology, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Mathematics and Digital Technologies of Uzhhorod National University.

Teamwork is an important aspect of such exchanges because it really unites and removes all language or cultural barriers. It facilitated mutual understanding and communication, helps the patricitants to get acquainted with each other, initially personnaly, and later with representatives of certain cultural groups.

During  the Youth Exchanges, the participants discussed cultural differences and searched for common heritage. Students also discussed and listed the main problems that young people were facing across Europe and the world.

In order to dispel already outdated ideas of various cultures, we were asked to find and discuss stereotypes, certain ideas, imposed prejudices that the participants had about each other’s countries and cultures. I can confidently say that these active debates ruined all existing stereotypes and allowed me to get to know the culture, history and flavor of other countries better. To summarize our thoughts, we made creative collages about shared values, likes and desires. It made us closer, and helped us to realize that each of us was an incredible and original part of this world, which could exist only in combination with other people who were ready to develop and break outdated stereotypes. The days we spent there are an example of best practices and the source of inspiration for the future of each of us.

Owing to Erasmus+ exchange programme we were able to change, gain new experience, find like-minded people, sincere friends, and most importantly, learned to represent our country at the international level. Our country is invincible, strong and independent, this is exactly what our friends understood about it and saw our Motherland from a different viewpoint. We express our gratitude to the Department of International Relations for the wonderful opportunity to learn more about the world and develop, strive for improvement, because this is so important for young people.