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Making a Mark in Denmark

Single tent in the forest in the rain
Photo by Stephen Meszaros on Unsplash
Bill Page talking about his experience in cultural exchange and the benefits it brings. It's a light hearted and inspiring read.

Article submitted by Medway Youth Trust (MY Trust), Eurodesk UK Partner.

In 2015, I was invited on a youth exchange programme hosted in Demark by Erasmus+. Its purpose was to see if individuals from different European countries could work together in building a new civilisation, hence the project was called Civilisation Island. This was a great experience which assisted me with further work and volunteer opportunities. I have also joined EuroPeers, and am excited to share my experiences with you, and showcase the benefits that volunteering can bring about within your life. This is, in the hope that you will be inspired to take part, and find similar experiences catered to your desires.

Living in Lolland

Individuals from Italy, Turkey, Romania, Denmark, and the UK, packed their things because they were heading to Lolland in Demark for participation in Civilisation Island. The aim was to see if individuals with different backgrounds and abilities could survive a week on an island. We made shelters in teams out of tarp, sticks, and tent pegs. The teams also created their own communities with anthems, dances, and governing styles. The programme lasted ten days, the first half of the week was spent at a campsite, where we played ice breakers and learnt about Danish culture, and this included a visit to a medieval town. The second half of the week was spent on the island.

While for the most part all went well, I met great people who had interesting stories and games, there were occasional hardships. It rained. It rained so much my tent flooded. Our shelters were handmade and this was a problem for some, but not all; I remember one group braved the storms. Others stayed in a museum building overnight. All of us overcame the challenges and were better for it, for every hardship would be added to my growing collection of travel stories.  It was an amazing time for me, and I personally feel too many young people are not aware of these free opportunities. The trip to Demark helped increase my confidence and motivation; I have since travelled Europe and volunteered in Nepal for three months. Being taken away from everything I know gave me the chance to really get to know myself, and learn about others, this is an invaluable experience which I strongly recommend. So take some time in-between your exams to understand what’s important in your life; understand yourself outside of your comfort zone, and see how far you can go.

It’s Your Move

Recently, I have also engaged with EuroPeers, a network of young people who promote opportunities to young people. In exchange, we receive access to workshops, or training courses hosted across Europe. I received my training in Germany, and was able to run a session in a local school with my (new) friends from EuroPeers Germany. So if you’re not able to go long term volunteering with European Solidarity Corps, there is still so much you can do, from local Solidarity Projects to international training courses, which last less than 2 weeks. There is something for everyone, from study to work opportunities, countless experiences are coming and going, so don’t wait. Regardless of your grades, or economic situation, there will be something for you. I can say this from personal experience as I was home educated, and did not have many qualifications. You won’t regret it, you have something to contribute, and you will have amazing experiences to bring back with you.

 

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Published Mon, 28/10/2019 - 09:11
Last updated on Wed, 30/10/2019 - 13:40



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