“Europe‘s Youth unites against discrimination“
March 10 – 16, 2017
Friday, March 10
We actuallymet at 6:15 A.M. in front of the school. However , we weren’t there to attend our lessons, but to start our trip to Italy.
We boarded the shuttle to Munich Airport and after our arrival we got our tickets. At the customs examination Felix noticed that he lost his boarding pass, right after receiving it only 10 minutes earlier. However, in the end he found it and all of us were able to board our flight to Bari (city next to Trani, our final destination), after an hour of spare time in the humongous airport of Munich.
During the flight there was hardly any trouble, we had our breakfast, Miss Pratsch went through our tests and Lukas almost died because he’s so scared of flying.
After the arrival in Italy, Felix noticed that the gift for his host parents, which was a bottle of good German beer, had not made it through the journey undamaged, so … his suitcase hmmm ... was a bit full of beer :-).
Saturday, March 11
Way too early, we had to go the last place we wanted to go to: school. After an introductory speech of the Italian principal, we played a little game to get to know each other.
The next activity we participated in was a quite unusual scavenger hunt. We built teams of 12 students and had to visit various interesting sightseeing points. Whenever we reached one of those, we got some small pieces of information as well as a question that we had to find the answer to with the help of a little (or, if necessary, bigger) hint. Those who weren’t able to answer the question were forced to pronounce a tongue twister, which was quite an amusement for the others, of course.
When all the groups finally met at the last station, a park right next to the seaside, our photographer Nicola Pappalettera took a photo of the whole ERASMUS group.
After we refilled our energy reservoirs with a little something to eat, we had the chance to visit the famous cathedral of Trani, that is located right next to the sea, which is very rare. Our exchange students guided us through the various rooms of the cathedral, not without providing us with some “interesting” pieces of information.
After our evening activities, most of the German ERASMUS+ students met at the Republic Plaza, next to the Dibbistore. This place was supposed to be our meeting point for the next evenings as well. Now it was time for what we all have been deperately waiting for the whole day: the banquet that our host families had prepared.
Sunday, March 12
Sunday was our day off. Most of the host families had already made plans to show their guests the surrounding area. We had the opportunity to capture some awesome photos for our families when our Italian friends showed us magnificent places. The prejudice that Germans love beer even made its way to the deepest south of Italy. For lunch during our city trip, my host family gifted me a bottle of the famous Italian beer “Peroni”. Back home we were resting a bit so we were able to meet with our international group of friends in the evening.
(written by Felix Fechner & Lukas Groß)
Monday, March 13
The week started with our first “real school day” full of presentations. The whole day should begin at half past eight but we started with a delay, like rest of the week ;-). We Germans and the Dutch weren’t used to this relaxed treatment of time, so we had to get used to this southern mentality. For the first part all the students were divides into two groups (with five members of each country in each group) to do a workshop on „national identity“. One was lead by a Spanish and the other one by a German student. The German student Konrad had prepared a presentation in which the different nations had to find key words about their autostereotype and the stereotypes they have of the other countries. Then they had to put them on a poster for each country. Finally, we had to think of keywords for a European identity and put them on the posters as well. The Spanish presentation included interesting surveys where we, the students, had to get active, which means that we could estimate a percentage of how important certain key words are for the identity of our country. One of the conclusions included that the Dutch and German students responded rather similarly as well as the Italians and the Spaniards. Through those surveys you could get an amazing view behind “the curtain”, meaning how different from you foreigners think of your race and counrty in some cases. Another plus of those tasks was that you could agree with prejudices/stereotypes foreign students mentioned for Germany or joke about them because they are nonsense. Well, as you can probably tell, the Spanish presentations took quite a while and because of technical difficulties they took even longer. After an eagerly awaited lunch break the program continued with meeting two migrants from Africa who told us all about their journey and their assimilation process in Italy. It was a rare good to have the chance to hear such a story face to face and we could ask questions we always wanted to ask such people but never had the chance to. Lastly, we played a game where you had to guess the country whilst only hearing a soundtrack or looking at some pictures. All in all, it had been a day filled with a variety of activities which wasn’t exhausting though. After half past five we were dismissed and could do whatever came to our minds. We went out for dinner or were amazed by the cooking skills of our host mums. Luckily, there were plenty of fruit and veggies, which means we didn’t gain too much weight although we ate way too much pizza and pasta :-)
Tuesday, March 14
Now it was excursion day! That means we all gathered around school at a quarter past eight, but as always we left a decent amount of time later. Our first stop was at Alberobello, a cute little village with houses with stone roofs that look like they were from another century. All the people there earn their living through tourism, which means nearly every shop owner stood in his doorway trying to sell products to you. You could buy nearly everything, from homemade noodles and olive oil to dolls and bracelets. After our small “tour” (once up and down the paved hill with the shops) we drove ahead -with our by the way “personal” bus that stayed with us the whole day- to Pilignano, which was probably THE highlight for every student. Finally we would see the sea! There we had a two hour lunch break which we used to explore the rocks and cliffs. The Spanish students even dared to walk into the sea with their naked feet. We Germans rather stood nearby and exchanged cameras so that everyone got at least one picture of himself with the sea in the background (additionally to all the selfies). Till now, this location was one of the most beautiful ones of all. Rather by chance we picked one of the cafés/restaurants for having our lunch. There we ate mainly pizza, pasta and focaccia (you see: we did act stereotype-ish in some way). Unfortunately it had been very windy there. But what would be the sea without a little breeze, right?
Wednesday, March 15
Today was our second day filled with presentations. The Dutch had one presentation about stereotypes in songs and then there was a poem concerning refugees that you could read forward and backwards and that was pretty amazing because it gave you goosebumps. Depending on which direction you chose, the author either spoke in a friendly or in an extremely harsh way about refugees. Finally, there were presentations about the Anti-Islamic and the right-wing movements in the Netherlands and Germany. Apparently, such movements don`t exist in Spain and Italy. Afterwards we played volleyball or watched some Italian students baking a traditional Eastern cake whilst the other group of students immersed into their subject “trees”. The international students had to form a tree together and took a picture of it.
At half past nine or let’s just say nine o’ clock, we were invited to the great “Farewell-Dinner” with four (!) courses (Bruschetta, noodles, Scampi and chocolate fudge) that were prepared and served by the students who study hotel management there. The atmosphere was rather posh, considering the 25 students (approximately 4 per table) that rushed around trying to serve everything perfectly. In the end, everyone was totally satisfied and after a huge thank you we spread out into the evening, walking around Trani one last time until we fell into our beds (one earlier than the other).
Thursday, March 16
Afterabout only 4 hours of sleep we met at half past eight at school where our shuttle to the airport in Bari awaited us. After a tearful good-bye we headed off. Despite long waiting times the whole week was a success! Nevertheless, some of us girls were more than happy to come home to our families again. We had even missed our clean and modern school ;-)
(written by Laura Diebold & Lena Stadlmair)