Where to start…
First of all, I am radiant, for having lived an unforgettable experience in my life, where I felt totally happy! It was a week full of adrenaline, with lots of adventures, emotions, moments of laughter, learning and socializing. With this project, I was able to test my knowledges, my ability to communicate with people who are totally different from me, experience new traditions, gastronomy and of course, get out of my comfort zone. The Erasmus+ project is an excellent opportunity in a student’s life. In my opinion, I think that students should be more and more interested in this type of project, because there are no words to sum up the feeling of everything you come up with. It really has to be lived! (Beatriz)
Beatriz’s words reflect the team’s spirit that was experienced during the days spent in Istanbul, from the 11th to the 18th December 2022.
Three students, two accompanying teachers, two jobshadowing teachers and a non-teaching technician – social worker – made up the group. From classroom observation to workshops and meetings to share teaching and learning practices, to higher education and business institutions with innovation and sustainable projects, visits to emblematic places of cultural heritage value, like the Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, where Christian and Muslim religions merge, to contact with students, teachers, parents and others from the local community that welcomed us so well.
Erasmus is, undoubtly, a very well organized and fun project, there is always something to do during the trip, we are always interacting with people. If I could describe this experience in one word it would be, Unique, and remember if you have the opportunity to enrol, take advantage of it, it is an amazing experience. (Diogo)
I think this trip was a unique opportunity. I got to know a new culture, new food, new dance. The regime there is very different from ours, the schools seem more liberal. I really enjoyed being there, it was an amazing and fun trip. (Sara)
The Erasmus+ program is an initiative of the European Union that promotes the mobility of students and teachers between member countries. The school with which we had the opportunity to participate in this initiative was the Sehit Mehmet Yilmaz School in Istanbul, Turkey. An elementary school with inclusive, digital and culturally immersive practices.
The school mobility experience in Istanbul was extremely enriching, both for students and teachers. The exchange of teaching and learning experiences was one of the main advantages of this initiative. We were able to share our pedagogical practices with our Turkish colleagues and at the same time learn from them about their teaching approaches and methodologies. We were able to attend StoryTelling sessions, both in the classroom and at the Storytelling school, where students actively participated in storytelling, thus developing their creativity and drama expression and reading skills. In the classroom, they also use games to consolidate learning in various curricular areas. (Fatima Morais)
Another important advantage of school mobility in Istanbul was the cultural exchange. We had the opportunity to get to know Turkish culture, its history, its gastronomy, its customs and traditions. It was a unique experience that allowed us to broaden cultural horizons and better understand the world we live in – multiculturalism at its best.
In addition, school mobility in Istanbul allowed us to improve language skills, namely the use of English main communication language, not forgetting to practice a little Turkish to learn more about the Turkish language and culture.
In summary, the school mobility in Istanbul was a very important and enriching experience for all of us. The exchange of teaching and learning experiences, cultural exchange and knowledge of linguistic particularities were some of the main benefits of this initiative. Participation in the Erasmus+ program and similar initiatives are unique opportunities for the personal and professional growth of students and teachers. (Prof. Mário Lima)
“Novels will never be wholly imaginary nor wholly real. To read a novel is to confront both the author’s imagination and the real world which surface we scratch with such restless curiosity”. (Source: https://citacoes.in/autores/orhan-pamuk/ )
May we end up with the words of the reknowned turkish author Irhan Pamuk: may our minds always be restless for knowledge and our actions satisfy our needs, eager to promote a much better personal and social growth!