Bulgarian Impressions and Adventures of Ukrainians: People, Cities, and Places

Youth exchanges are a very dangerous thing: once you visit, you will certainly want to repeat this experience. Just to see how it works in other settings and with other people 😉. Well, so is the addiction. The topic of the exchange, which took place in Bulgaria on September 8-14, was to counter people’s dependence on manipulative news and provocative headlines. In a word, we had the difficult task of learning to recognize fake news and information in a week, to understand the mechanisms of functioning of the media and their impact on people, to counter social networking and to create our own projects. And get to know the country and the locals, create a friendly and soulful international team of almost 40 people, swim in the waterfall and not get lost in Bulgarian cities and villages, try a bunch of flavors and drinks from 4 countries, dance a lot of dances and sing dozens of songs …
How we dealt with all this, read the reviews of Ukrainian participants

Danylo:

I visited the exchange of Media Manipulation – Youth Perception, that passed in Bulgaria in the village of  Mindya. All the time on a project I felt really comfortably without regard to that I was surrounded by unknown people, in short time we were really able to cotton to our Ukrainian command and foreigners. The special atmosphere of project was created by people that participated, that is why in mid air constantly winnowed good, tolerance and work Experience of intermingling with foreigners became for me really important, I liked to practice the English, hear about ideas and looks of people from different countries. It really very influences on a world view and compels to look under other corner on some things. Many of members of foreign commands became good friends for me, I value it really.

On a project every day I tried and knew something a new. I liked information that was given on a project, it wos so hard to understand , but at the same time was useful. I consider that a topic is really neat good and it is extraordinarily actual. Also I liked that on a project there were many discussions on a that or other theme, it gave large space for cognition new and offering opinions.

After a project I realized that trips it really that changes a man in the best side gives inspiration on motivation, helps to find itself. I simply recommend to visit similar projects, in fact it is invaluable experience.

Also I want to say thank my Ukrainian team. This was unforgettable time in my life and you did large payment in it ☺.

Vika:

This was my first Erasmus + project. I really hesitated whether to go, but very happy that I still decided to go.

I met with the Ukrainian team in Veliko Turnovo – they are wonderful people with incredible experience and great ideas. In addition to us, participants from Greece, Georgia and Bulgaria participated in the exchange.

      

We worked together, exchanged experiences, had fun and most importantly for me – became friends. Each team brought something in exchange and expanded the ideas of others about their country. We learned how to dance national dances, taste traditional food and invented future projects.

   

In exchange, I found friends and I can say that a particle of me went to Greece and Georgia,  a particle of me still stay in Bulgaria.

Thanks for this time together, I hope to meet you again in Ukraine or anywhere❤️❤️❤️

    

Anna:

You’re taken to a village in Bulgaria, left there for 7 days and during this time you live together with more than 30 people from Georgia, Greece, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Would you agree? If your answer is “no” you don’t know what you refuse. I have just described Erasmus+ youth exchange “Media Manipulations: perceptions and reality” I participated in this September.

It was an exchange where there was no difference where you are located as there was a truly peaceful atmosphere just because of the people I met there. I broke lots of cultural stereotypes, made friends from each participating country and our Ukrainian team became a real family. We lived in a nice village where you can escape bustle, eat fruit straight from the trees and live in a cozy guest house with the kindest cats.

The most important point of youth exchanges is that the participants prepare parts of the program by themselves, so they are responsible for the image of their countries. In my opinion, that was the best way to step out of your comfort zone and upgrade lots your skills.

So, keep calm and take part in Erasmus+ youth exchange. It is worth it!

Svitlana:

I hope my colleagues have already written impressions about the exchange program, communication within the Ukrainian team and with the other teams, sleepless nights and unusual working days. I’ll say my own) Youth Exchange “Media manipulations – Youth perception or reality?” in Mindya village was a discovery for me.

The discovery that in the villages people still greet each other and even strangers who do not understand any Bulgarian words. The discovery that in this village recently took place the 11th (!) Rock Festival and people we met on the streets wanted to help us with accurate and detailed information about it. The discovery that in a small village, people and buildings look surprisingly contrasting but coexist harmoniously.

Our restless company from 4 countries (including Turkish ESC-volunteers) in addition to the Bulgarian team has added variety and opportunities to practice making uncertainty. People were the biggest success and the biggest surprise of this youth meeting. Different people: our participants, a hearty organizing team, hospitable and colorfuls. Bulgarian Cultural Evening gave us an opportunity to feel in Kusturica’s films. The difference is that everything is real, without actors and viewers. Live music, bright emotions, active communication despite all language and age barriers …

Lovelly bonus for me was traveling to Veliko Tarnovo and Sofia. Old cities with many ancient monuments, where you can see ancient buildings near the modern inventions, find something very Bulgarian authentic near the game club “Poltava” or hotel “Kiev”. This is probably the case when reflections about the real impact of cultural diversity on self-development will take a long time. The main thing is the desire to go to youth exchanges again and again

Ivanna:

It was the first exchange of my life.  Memories are ambiguous: on the one hand, I met good people. On the other hand,  I didn’t receive  new information. It happened  because the purpose of the exchange was to get acquainted with different nationalities, not to study, like on the training.

I also think that the best period to take part in such a program is when you are a student. When there is no work and you have a lot of free time and a spirit of adventure.  Therefore, you should apply as soon as possible.

Would I continue to participate in such projects?

Yes.  But I would consider the following points:

– it is necessary to figure out what do you want get from this project: new acquaintances or new knowledge. So that you can apply to exchange or training

– I would be more picky about the venue of the project: the same project may be dramatically different depending on the location.

– the more developed the country, the better the timetable and menu for the program period.

– the participants are the most important in the program. Therefore, it is necessary to know where are another participants from.

And the most important thing of any program is that you will have new acquaintances and broaden your mind.  So explore this world and enjoy every day!

Nikita:

In September, I was fortunate enough to take part in the Erasmus + youth exchange on the topic “Media Manipulations: Youth Perception or Reality ?!”, which took place in the village of Mindya, Bulgaria. On the project, we became real friends with participants from countries such as Georgia, Greece, Bulgaria and, in fact, Ukraine. We spent all time together and I learned more about the culture of these countries. Through this exchange, I learned about how to avoid media manipulation, what is untrue news and how to deal with bullying on the Internet. But we did not only attend daily sessions. Besides the place where we lived, we also managed to see the picturesque town of Veliko Tarnovo and swim in a beautiful waterfall.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in such a project! Travel and discover the world with Erasmus +!

Volodymyr:

It was my first participated in programs with the support of Erasmus + and similar international exchanges. I have always been interested in learning about non-formal learning abroad.

The NGO Kremenchuk European Club Information and Education Center gave me the opportunity to try myself in this. So I don’t think for a long time I decided to go and I was not wrong!

Everything was amazing.

The subject of the exchange was media manipulation. We did a lot of extraordinary and interesting tasks. It help us to understand the subject more deeply. The project was in the village of Mindya, but during the project we visited the former capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo. We had the opportunity to stroll through the city and go to the fort. In addition, we went to the waterfall, where we were able to swim.

At the end of each day we had different activities. Most remembered was the intercultural evening. Each country served different national flavors and drinks. A separate evening was set aside for the host party. We were greeted by an orchestra and a folk ensemble. We tried many Bulgarian dishes and even racia – national alcohol. Bulgaria has shown itself best way.

The exchange was multicultural. We were able to get acquainted with the culture and traditions of the host country and the participating countries. Communication with foreigners made it possible to broaden my outlook, to learn a lot of new things. The people I met here always answered the questions and helped me to understand the details of life in other countries. I still communicate with many participants. This is a great opportunity to test your communication skills, your level of English and of course learn a lot about media manipulation.

I am grateful to Erasmus + and the European Club for the unforgettable experiences and knowledge I received in Bulgaria. I recommend everyone to try their hand at such programs.

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