Going abroad to grow up
Picture of this precise moment: an unusual February sun sticks out while I’m sitting on a marble staircase. I can’t help wondering how I did end up amongst twenty-six young European people. Next to me, two nice Polish girls have a conversation in English to make me feel part of the group. Right at this time, I start thinking how lucky I am.
Honestly, I can’t understand why the Erasmus + program is not so popular. On one hand, it’s not properly advertised in the traditional way, therefore the only way to promote it is the mouth-to-mouth one. However, it should be enough to create a huge competition amongst young people all over Europe. Whoever tries, repeats.
Coming back to the marble staircase, this new project I’m involved in is a Training Course about entrepreneurship in the vast Barcelona. One week surrounded by European young people from nine different countries. In addition, I have to point out the members of the organizing team: the Spanish girl, Ana, in charged of the complex logistic, and Pavel and Lukas in the role of teachers (but don’t call them like that). They are experts in handling an unpredictable audience like us…
The course, held in English, is quite interesting from the pedagogical point of view. Instead of traditional academic methods, non-formal education techniques are used in this kind of projects. The goal is to work with, think about and question some malleable teaching techniques; clues to develop our skills and knowledge by our own and with the necessary help of our exotic partners. For the most skeptics –like me-, I have to say that not only I have not only learned, but also grown up.
Even though the project and its program are worth it, what makes this and other Erasmus + projects really fantastic is being mixed up with the people. It’s an opportunity to share moments with several young people from other countries with similar interests. After the first conversation, stereotypes about their countries vanish. After the last one, you find yourself trying to figure out your next adventure abroad with your new friends. And the word ‘foreigner’ loses all its negative connotations to become a necessary relic for your personal developing.
“Let’s networking”, said Pavel right before going out and after a long working day. It was kind of an ironic way to put our principal subject, the entrepreneurship, into practice, the field of the social relations and free time. We have to be aware of the fact that the boundary between professional contacts and friendship is more and more weak and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, in this sunny marble staircase I think neither about work, nor entrepreneurship. I just enjoy the circumstances, the new knowledge that I’m getting every second and the humanity that this great company shares with me.
So at this moment, the last idea that comes to my absent mind is: “after all, I’m glad to be growing up in Europe”.
Alejandro Moreno Ortíz
Participant of “Creative Entrepreneur: The Power of Imagination in Business”