Youth Exchange Blog: SOLIDEU in Villalar de los Comuneros, Spain, by Maria

I participated in this project quite spontaneously, because one person decided not to come, and it gave me an opportunity to take part of it myself. I have once participated in an Erasmus project through my university, so I was expecting to have a lot to do and to have a great time with great people around Europe.

There were no tasks to do before the project, except for doing your own research about the place and the theme of the project.

During the exchange, my contribution to this project was to learn and teach others about solidarity, take part of activities and projects, create something interesting for the guests and introduce them to Villalar de los Comuneros. While taking part of this project, and any other project including different nationalities, it is also important to introduce others to my own culture, which is Estonian.

During youth exchange I learned a lot about how different people and their views about life are, especially when it comes to the political situation of their home countries. I did also learn a lot about solidarity as a team, a working group. I learned to be flexible, yet concrete with my teammates, to give freedom to be creative, but still fit within the frames of the theme. I also learned to accept others’ preferences, to be more understanding and try out new and different ideas, way out of my comfort zone.

For next exchanges, I would like to have all activities prepared well in advance, because in this exchange many things felt a little rushed and disorganised. Overall, it was a really great experience, which made me look at things in a different perspective. It made me reflect on myself a lot more and I feel like I have grown after this.

I also would like to mention, that despite the location being quite remote, it was made possible, that everyone feels safe and well taken care of. The project coordinator organised us a trip to a nearby town, which was very refreshing and made us connect with each other even more.

I would definitely recommend these kinds of exchanges to my friends, and I will.

My favourite moments from this trip are hanging out and playing games during breaks; organising a treasure hunt for the guest students; and most importantly – culture nights, all of them. Getting to know all the cultures, playing their games, listening to their music. Dancing their national dances. It was all very exciting, and I made friends I will forever cherish and remember for a lifetime.

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