Between 22nd and 28th May 2022, I, Melissa, participated in my very first Erasmus+ project organised by JEF Steiermark in the Europaburg, in the Austrian town of Neumarkt in der Steiermark. During five day, 25 young people (18-35 years old) from eight EU countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Lithuania and Poland) met in the Forchenstein Castle to learn about communication and wellbeing during the Erasmus+ training course “It’s a kind of magic”.
Guided by the trainer Fabrizio Gallo from the New Wellness Education association in Italy, we focused each day on the specific part of communication: the sender, the receiver, the context, the (internal and external) noise and finally the message, while learning to cooperate with a diverse group and to acknowledge our and the other participants’ thoughts and emotions. The week was spent doing trust and sharing exercises, group projects and introspective moments. We also spent an afternoon into town, mixing with local people and spreading the word about the benefits of Erasmus and the EU in general. In the evenings, we could chose to do some meditation exercises, had one very fun bingo night and often met up after the official end of the programme to chat, play games or dance.
I applied to this project with the idea of gaining some useful skills on communication and meeting new people from all over Europe, but this experience ended up a lot more powerful and enriching than I expected. As a group, we all bonded on a deep level and I am still impressed by the trust we all put into each other when we were sharing our personal stories and experiences. Saying goodbye was pretty difficult and extremely emotional for all of us but we left with cherished new friends and memories, already thinking about the next Erasmus+ project!
If you want even more reasons to join the next project from JEF Steiermark, check out the video above of our incredible experience made by another participant, Nina.
This project is funded by Erasmus+: Youth, Jugendreferat – Land Kärnten and Land Steiermark – Bildung, Gesellschaft, Gesundheit und Pflege.