Summer is almost finished its mean this is a time to tell you about one more youth exchange which happen in Spanish capital, Madrid, from 21st till 28th of June.

The project “Youth Re-Action- DevelOping MedIa Literacy” collect together 29 participants from Spain, Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia. Main topic of exchange was media literacy and critical thinking. It was hot, for sure! Impressions from our participants in more details you can find below:

Daria Tarasova:

If I should sum up in a word the trip to Madrid, it would most likely be “ingenuity”. Fortunately exchanges of experience are rarely predictable, which leads to unpredictable romanticism and easy adventurism. There was a lot of extraordinary in Madrid,. First of all, people. Light, intelligent, and this is important, and bright. Entertainment. In some moments it seemed absurd, but having taken the ease of being you quickly get used to it and start to enjoy it. If everything is treated with an easy fraction of sarcasm, it is generally easy to become one’s own and to find international conтусе. A bit short of direct stories on the topic for which we all went there, since the few that were, really brought a lot of fun and fans. But, probably, the principle has worked here do not overdo it, that, in general, is also good. It was fun, informative and interesting. Back in Ukraine, I caught myself missing. And this is the brightest indicator that trip was more than good.

Iryna Hornieva

Improve your media literacy by going to Madrid and comparing knowledge and experience with how it works in Spain, Georgia and Lithuania – this opportunity for me has become a reality thanks to the Youth exchanges Erasmus+.

The importance of such events will be understood by anyone who wants to receive experience of travelling abroad, communication with peers from different countries, studying culture, customs and even traditions of countries different from Ukraine.

How to distinguish between fake news from the real ones and to create both the one and the other independently, to invent the future of the media and to imagine the world without social networks – all this is not only incredibly easy to learn, but also dynamically fits into the exchange program.

Thanks to Erasmus + and the exchange program, plans for future journeys become more precise and realistic, as you understand that there are at least a few people waiting for you in Georgia and Lithuania, you can invite Spanish to visit Ukraine, start learning Spanish and improve English.

The exchange program in Spain is the case when you begin to envy yourself, because your Madrid guides are not audiogids, but the Spaniards themselves, the Georgians themselves are acquainted with the Georgian cuisine, and the Lithuanians tell their shakotis and apple! cheese.

The biggest disadvantage of such events and programs is that you no longer own yourself; you want to have such a dialogue even more, and life is divided into “before” and “after”. And in that “after the project” you like yourself much more and feel the power to act much more efficiently and more progressively, again and again, interrupts the Internet in search of new and new opportunities and will certainly find them.

Vladyslav Adamovych:

My youth exchange to Madr:id was completely interesting and important. It was depend from people, that I met there and from experience that I get.

This trip was full of bright emotions. Each activities and excursions carried in themselves a lot of useful things.

I really happy, that have spent a week in great country with great people. It was fun, informative and interesting. Cultural exchange was at a high level. I have learned a lot of new things about Georgia, Estonia and Lithuania. Furthermore, I get friends from these countries.

By returning home, I realized that this week was filled with an important experience!

Anastasiia Sydorova:

I was lucky to be the part of the youth exchange in my dream country, Spain. Seven days have passed in an eye blink but all emotions and experience…..will be enough for the rest of my life. 28 people interested in “Media literacy and critical thinking” were working together and I was pleasantly amazed how different cultures and mentalities interacted with each other. Every country prepared extremely creative tasks, like “making video about media for future generation” or “sensational news in El Escorial”, which were not boring, but educative. In my opinion, this is the point that makes difference between such exchanges and simple lectures. One more thing which excited me was the initiative from every participant and the desire to make a project of the high quality. It’s not a secret that visualization is the way for a person to accept information. That’s why we made many performances and now it is a pleasure for me to review them and share with others. However, except educational part, organizers of the exchange took care of intercultural learning and entertainment which, for me, was incredible. As Spain is my dream country, I was hitting the roof, seeing new places in San Lorenzo de El Escorial: streets full of flowers, mountains, restaurants, shops, supermarkets. The greatest place I’ve seen in my life was The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Huge area and royal luxury inside frightens and inspires at the same time. The history seems to be unbelievable and each room proves that wonders exist.

The visit to Madrid took my breath away and I was just enjoying every moment spent there. If I’m asked what I liked the most, with no hesitation I will say – people. They are so different but so open-hearted, polite and helpful, even to foreigners who don’t know the language. Their honesty shocked me in a good sense. There was a man sitting on the street and asking people to give him money for wine, tobacco and things like that and respecting the truthiness, men and women were giving him some euros. I think it worth one time to see because no words can explain that feelings. But I wrote about my expressions in a tiny poem.

My corazon belongs to you,

You showed the greatness, people, view,

You were the first that mane impression,

Became my one and only passion.

I fell in love just like a kid

Will see you soon, the dream…. Madrid.

Oh, and now I know Spanish a little bit, so with a big motivation I continue to develop my skills.

It is not necessary to think whether I liked this youth exchange or not after everything mentioned above but the most important and valuable was left for the end.  I’ve made new friends from Spain, Lithuania, Georgia and even my native Ukraine. I’m so thankful that each day and night I was finding out something new about them and their lifestyle, so they changed mine. These people were the reason why I will never forget those 7 days.

Masha Kutsyna:

Already for quite a long period of time I really wanted to go to travel somewhere not in Ukraine. But besides this, I am also incredibly fond of learning, especially non-formal learning.

And finally I was lucky enough to get on the youth exchange on issues of media literacy in Spain. Earlier, when I saw projects from Erasmus+ program in Facebook, I was very afraid to apply due to the fact that I considered my English to be not enough. Even if  5 years ago I took part in such projects.

But!!! What do I want to say to you? Never fear to do anything. After all, if you do not succeed, you will not lose anything, but if it turns out well – so well 🙂

Let’s go back to study. I finally decided to apply for this exchange, because its topic is very closely linked to my professional activity, journalism.

As for the exchange itself. It was one of the most incredible and most productive travels in recent years. Although my colleagues journalists were only from Ukraine, I managed to share media experienceJ

All organized activities were extremely interesting and useful. Thanks to them, all participants in the exchange were able to understand the peculiarities of media work in different countries. Especially helps the mixing of international teams.

I hope that once I again will have the opportunity to get to such an exchange in order to improve my skills in journalism, in English and in international relations.

Vladyslav Kiorsak:

Project «Youth Re-Action- Developing Media Literacy» was my second international project of Erasmus + program. It was somewhat different from the previous, but was no less cool. During the previous trainings, I talked with people who participated in more than twenty international projects. They called it «Erasmus Dependence». I could not fully understand them, because all the activities, one way or the other, are repeated – the same workshops, games, teaching methods. But now I understand that every project is special. These are different countries, different circumstances and most importantly different people. People create a space that you do not want to leave.

Seven days in a cozy mountain town near Madrid were very fast. Therefore, our program contained not only regular classes, but also trips, excursions and many other interesting activities. It is important that we study such an urgent topic as critical thinking through informal methods of education. At first glance, we receive too little theoretical information, since we did not have many traditional lectures, but much more important are exercises aimed at developing creative thinking. Through such creative practical tasks, you better understand the meaning of media literacy and develop important skills, such as the ability to communicate, make non-standard decisions, and more.

Thanks to the narrow streets of the small town of San Lorenzo del Escorial, I felt the atmosphere of authentic Europe, understood the mentality of these people and just enjoyed this wonderful place. Most importantly, such projects give many new thoughts and change the way of thinking, you begin to think about what you have not noticed before and you are returning home a little bit another person. A lot of new experiences, expansion of outlook, numerous adventures, acquaintance with new cultures and people. I hope to continue my non-formal education with Erasmus projects.

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