Today is 85th day of the war, May 19 (day of ethnic embroidered Ukrainian clothes called vyshyvanka. Ukrainian version was published one day earlier on a day of remembrance of the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people). And we finally gathered our strength to share feedback on the participation of Ukrainian young people in the youth exchange at the end of March 2022.

A little bit of context. On February 24, 2022, we’re supposed to close our application form for applicants for the international youth exchange “STEP 2 Think Green”, which took place between March 23 and April 1 in the Georgian town of Kobuleti. But with the beginning of the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, we simply forgot about it. After some time, our partners began to clarify whether the Ukrainian group will participate in exchange. And we decided to give the opportunity to participate to those who can and need this jump out from war. Participants were young people who were already in Europe at that time, studying in European universities or leaving before the full-scale invasion began.

And here in one and a half months after the end of an exchange we share with you impressions of young people about their participation. For all of them, this was their first experience of participating in an international youth exchange. Congratulations with the beginning!


It was my first time participating in such Erasmus+ Youth Exchange. I am so excited and inspired to take part in activities like this because this experience shows me that there is a huge potential in changing something around you and globally if you are surrounded by people who are motivated to do so. Furthermore, I feel more confident in my interpersonal, public speaking, and teamwork skills. I am so glad that I had such an opportunity to meet a lot of great people and just wonderfully spend time there.


This year was quite unexpected and stressful, with the beginning of the war I forgot about applying for a youth exchange in Georgia. However, I am very glad that I was accepted and I was able to get such a cool life experience. This was my first project and I didn’t expect everything to be so cool. In those ten days, we became one family.

Everyone was extremely open and friendly, respected each other and always encouraged. I especially enjoyed working in teams and coming up with creative solutions to environmental problems that can be applied in everyday life.

And I’m wonder about the beautiful views and delicious Georgian food.

I am very grateful to all the organizers, coaches and participants. It was one of the best journeys of my life, where I learned a lot about other countries, the environment and learned to be more open. Georgia, I’ll be back!


Spring, cold, Georgia. The war in Ukraine. Peculiar circumstances for the first youth exchange and the first visit to a new country. Was it worth it? Getting to know beautiful Georgia, its cities, the people who supported us is an incredible feeling.

Participants from many countries, whose culture is amazing, and everyday habits and stories make you look anew at other countries and yourself. And these are constant activities and presentations, in which creativity and communication are the main elements for the transfer of information. This is something that will always be needed, and the project personally brought me closer to understanding the line between curiosity and information, plan and improvisation. In addition to the main topic, which was environmental for this exchange, the project provided an opportunity to share information about what worries Ukrainians and the world, the Russian invasion – and bring something new to young people from other countries, learn their views and show what is happening it already has and will have for the world. Such opportunities should be used, youth exchanges and created to talk about things that excite and affect the world around us. Undoubtedly, I do not regret the trip, new experiences, people, knowledge and additional opportunities to accept the new reality – it was worth it. And there was the sea))


It was my first youth exchange project and I had no expectations. My first thought — oh, Georgia, it’s warm there. Second thought — ecological project?

We came to the hotel first, so we had an opportunity to meet everyone gradually. My not very social brain was happy about that, so it had time to adapt for the amount of future communication. But within a day or two I was the person, that was coming up to everybody to meet them and chat. The atmosphere of the project and participants’ attitude helped it a lot. I had a feeling that we’re in a kindergarten for adults — we are taken care of, fed, and we’re only responsible for having fun, becoming better people and doing something important for the environment. In such a mood, no-one was ever against a conversation. The saddest part, which I was talking about more and more with each participant as the project was coming to an end, — that it’s a very rare occurrence to have 30 incredible, funny, witty and extremely kind people, each one of which inspires you in a different way, in the same place, and that’s another reason to go for the next Erasmus! 🙂


This was not my first Erasmus+ experience. Before, I already went on short-term volunteering from the European Club – Prostir Idey to Poland, where I spent one of the best months of my life and met real friends who help out even during the war (you can read about my adventures in Gdansk here).

However, this was my first youth exchange (training), especially on the topic of ecology. Together with us – five Ukrainians, there were volunteers from Poland, Slovakia, Jordan, Turkey and Georgia. Our day looked like this: breakfast, session, snack, session, lunch, session, dinner, cultural evening. What is a session, you ask? This is a squeeze of the environmental problems of other countries (which you don’t even know about), solving the problems of lack of drinking water, all kinds of pollution and human stubbornness; energizers that prepared you for brainstorms and real stories from your intercultural colleagues; lectures and information on how to really help the environment, not pretending that you are a goddamn titan Elon Musk, but only the result of your work. The other part of the day is crazy parties, Slovak palinkas and Georgian wine and cheese. An unobtrusive sunny morning over coffee and a cigarette, discussing last night and where Masha disappeared)) Slight hangover, but a fresh head to create and act!!! And most importantly – again, gratitude for the experience, people and opportunities from the EU and the European club – Prostir Idey.

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By alena

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European Solidarity Corps    Eastern Europe & Caucasus Resource Centre    Громадські ініціативи України