Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our visit to Amay -Liege (Bourtsoukli foreign language school)

Our visit to Amay -Liege was a thrilling experience.The places and sights we saw were breathtaking and the people we met were warm,kind-hearted and very friendly.The COF was an utterly new concept for us since it does not offer the same services in our country.By observing courses and talking with the students we understood straightaway the major impact COF has on their lives.

We stayed in Liege and we had the time to visit sights and walk around the city.Every corner of the city was clean,picturesque and there were everywhere trees ,parks and flowers.

We visited the COF for two days.The first day we got the chance to get introduced to all the teachers and students.Our students loved the multicultural atmosphere and met many lovely people from all around the world.The questions the students had prepared were amusing and we were really touched.
On the same day the COF had prepared a wonderful surprise...a river boat cruise!!! with a boat that the students had built.The weather was sunny and warm and the river cruise was magical.We saw beautiful landscapes,took photos and our students had the chance to stir the boat themselves.

On the second day we attended classes and learnt the various techniques the teachers use.All of the techniques were meaningful ,yet entertaining and stimulating.The bond of the teacher with the students was obvious and strong.During the workshops we participated in various activities and exchanged common everyday language with the other schools.Our students loved it.Later that day we had a tour around the premises and then we attended a very creative and moving ceremony.The COF invited us to plant an apple tree at their back yard as a symbol of friendship and co-operation.All schools representatives were given a beautiful flower shaped award.Our workshop team organised a surprise flash mob which the whole school joined.We danced and laughed all together and it was the best way to say goodbye.

It was a memorable trip that both our teachers and students appreciated and enjoyed.We would like to thank COF deeply for their warm welcome and everything they offered!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mobility in Belgium 24-25 APRIL 2014

Dear all,

When we entered the Grundtvig Communitek project and had the first discussion about the mobility in Belgium we had no idea it would be one of the best days of the year. The trainers and trainees were also a bit nervous about welcoming people from Spain, Finland, Greece and UK as they didn't know how friendly and kind they are!

The purpose of this 2 days journey was to give the opportunity to discover another country, another culture and other people.
And that's what we exactly did during these 2 crazy days.
As I told Oriol at the end of the day, this mobility was like a wedding : "you prepare it during weeks and finally it goes like a flash! But what a day!".

We, coordinators and teachers,  and our trainees will never forget the wonderful moments we spent together.
Thank you all for your involvement in this project.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Impressions from our visit to COF, Amay

Hello everyone!

After reading your posts about our visit to COF, the Belgian partner, I would like to leave a message with my impressions about this trip.

For me, this was the first time I was going to meet all the partners and I was very excited about putting real faces to names, pictures and work. I must confess that at the beginning I was a bit overwhelmed with all the names, trying to remember them and match them with the real person, but I got it at the end... I just needed a bit of time!
The best part for me was to see how they work at COF and meet the students there. Their profile is very different to my students; as Riitta mentioned in her post, the language students at COF have the goal of learning a language to help them to find a job, whereas the students I work with are already working and they learn the language for pleasure, so they can use it when they go to Spain on holidays or because they would like to move to Spain when they retire. This visit made me realise that the picture is much wider and I was very touched about that. Seeing the students so enthusiastic about being able to communicate in a different language and work with people from other cultures and nationalities with a big smile on their faces was my highlight of the trip. We also met other trainees and the job they do at COF, such as repairing/building a boat, gardening or even converting a container into a house!! They made us feel welcome and be part of it for two days. Excellent job!

The organisation of the visit was also a big part of the success of this trip. Everything was spotless, the centre, the activities, the tours, the social gatherings, etc. That created a wonderful atmosphere, everybody was involved in all the activities and we were able to meet and work with each other properly. I must say, it was so well organised that I feel pressured for the visit to Chester! I must start thinking and getting it organised so it is up to level!!! 

Finally I would like to mention that the visit to the Belgian partner fully succeeded on achieving the goal of these mobilities. Students and teachers were working together, learning from each other at different levels and bringing parts of Europe and its cultural differences to just one place, melted in just one group. What else can we ask for??!! 

Marta Marquez - Chester  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Photos and text by Jorma Taini

 Jenni, Riitta, Johanna, Tiina and Tamara traveled early in the morning by plane from Vaasa to Brussels

 The Students and the teachers arrived happily at the Amay station. 

 The students discussed with local students, before gathering together. 

We sat and waited together until the opening ceremonies began.

The head of the institution and his deputy spoke warmly about the international project, and also the guests told about their own countries.

 Jenni, Tamara, Brenda, Riitta and Johanna enjoyed the weather and the boat ride.

For a while I steered the river boat built at the COF institution.

When the Spanish group came on Saturday, the opening ceremony was outdoors. 

We studied English together with the Belgians and the Greeks.

In this picture Finns, Belgians, Spaníards and Greeks. 

Lunch went well in the cafeteria of the football stadium. 

Riitta and Tamara discussed eagerly with the Spanish student.

 Welding was a very important phase, when the students remodeled a sunken ship.
The planted apple tree symbolised the friendship between the five countries.