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„And Action!”

A Greek-German Youth Exchange opportunity

of Arbeit und Leben NRW together with

YMCA Thessaloniki & Adolf-Kolping-Berufskolleg Horrem

04 – 09.11.2019

 

How a Youth Exchange can shape your future and change your mindset!

 I’ m sure you’ve all heard about the stereotypes and the cliché about Greeks and Germans…

Well, I’m going to be honest with you and confess that all of the things that you might think right now when you hear the word – nationality “Germans” & “Greeks” pop into my mind the minute my Supervisor asked me to take part on a Youth Exchange project between Thessaloniki – Greece and Cologne – Germany (sister cities).

It only took me a couple of minutes before I replied – “YES! I would love to take part in this exchange!”

And so the journey began…

It only took me 5 days to break all the stereotypes and actually spent the most unforgettable days of my life!

After 5 days, full of work, full of energy and full of fun, I’m back home with a ton of memories, images and lots of stories to share. I don’t even know where to start now that I’m writing about my experience of being a Youth Exchange project participant.

These might actually feel like a cliché, but during all these days, I managed to;

  1. Improve my English skills! (it was inevitable… we were not allowed to speak our mother language AT-ALL!)
  2. Strengthen my soft skills. Be more social, communicative, friendly and team worker J
  3. Explore myself, explore others! And what I mean by that; I managed to get out of my comfort zone by simply being honest with myself and others. This way, people from Germany, find it easier to come and talk to me. And so, I learned about their stories J
  4. Learn about Visual, both video and audio technicalities that I never knew before!

 

But the highlight of all mentioned above, was that I met people full with motivation and ideas and I experienced a wonderful sense of community that allowed me to see that I can do, in fact, more than I think I can. I was able to communicate my ideas effectively and make people laugh while tackling difficult topics, and that gave me a newfound confidence that I never knewn I had.

And let me tell you something more… The beautiful relationships I have formed with people from Germany (and Greece), the skills I have developed, that helped me grow in body, mind and soul… well, this is something I wouldn’t trade for the whole world!

 

All in all, I’ m going to finish my writing by saying, to whomever is reading, this; if you ever offered an opportunity in taking part on a Youth Exchange project, don’t even think about it, not for a second – Immediately say out loud! “YES”!

 

This is a story that I will remember for many years to come!

Thank you Emma & YMCA for this opportunity!

Thank you my new – good friends from Cologne!

And thank you Arbeit und Leben NRW for making this real!

 

Project Participants:

 

YMCA Thessaloniki:Adolf-Kolping-Berufskolleg Horrem
YMCA Volunteers1Aparicio, Anton
1Agapidis Dimitris2Arenja, Anchal
2Anastasiadou Chara3Bozsa, Adrian
3Vasileiadou Nina4De Silva, Julia
4Gaitanidis Nikos5Esser, Julia
5Giouzeli Nefeli6Ghadami, Jasmin
6Giouzelis Odisseas7Haas, Lea
7Gkorakis Nikolaos8Hackerschmied, Noemi Celina
8Gotouchidou Georgia9Herper, Selina
9Gotouchidou Dimitra10Krause, Alina-Leoni
10Dekaristou Elisavet11Lehmann, Anna
11Karagianni Sofia12Lykov, Vitaly
12Karagiorgos Nikitas13Maslanka, Karolina
13Karagiorgos Stratis14Mausbach, Katharina
14Labrakaki Aggeliki15Michels, Sarah
15Minadakis Thomas16Mäser, Christian
16Balapanidou Parisi Vasiliki17Reichart, Mathias
17Papafilippou Katerina18Rüttgers, Louise
18Famellos Petros19Sobota, Kamila
Team Leader:20Szöke, Barnabas
1Mrs Emma Symeonidou21Weißhorn, Jeremy Alan
22West, Alina
Team Leaders:
Arbeit und Leben NRW 1Frau Kim-Laura Schäfer
1Herr Maximilian Hanka2Frau Moghan Sultanie

 

Organisation:

Arbeit und Leben DGB/VHS NRW

e.V. Fenna Godhoff ([email protected])

Mintropstr. 20, 40215 Düsseldorf

 

The Greek-German Youth Exchange is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and the City of Cologne.

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