Strategic partnerships. Kristjan Karu has been the Edu-Action 2.0 participant who has done his job shadowing in Spain. For a month, he has had the chance to get to know and participate in different educational initiatives that in different ways are related to non-formal education and early school leaving (ESL). During the month he has spent in Barcelona, he has written a diary about what he has done and how he has felt. Don't miss it!
Diary of my job shadowing in Spain
My first week in Barcelona was quite chaotic because so much new information, people and places. I was very excited when I met with Mundus colleagues due to all of them were very polite, helpful and inspiring. As well meeting with some of the volunteers was interesting moment for me because I had a change to hear their experience in Spain and also I had a change to share my voluntary activity experience in Murcia. I gave them some good advice because they are still in the beginning in their voluntary experience.
First half of week I got to know about Mundus association more deeply, for example what kind of programs they are running at the moment and in which projects they are working besides Erasmus+ programme. Meanwhile I had an opportunity to learn more about different departments in organization and people who are involved within. It was interesting for me because in estonian organizations tasks and duties are not so clearly divided in departments as project development, accounting or communication.
After that when I received general information about association was time to meet with my project schedule and activities during my job shadowing project. First week I went with Clara to Girona to promote and introduce TLN Practiq'EU internship program to local youngsters in youth center in Girona. As well I met with people who are working there and who explained me how youth center functioning and what they have offer to youth. Next day we went in Adult Education Center where we had a meeting with teachers and some students. Besides this I had during this week meetings with other people whom I am going to work in upcoming weeks. In general I met so many lovely and interesting people and discovered many new things about local culture and traditions in my first week in Spain.
New week started with brief video shooting where I introduced Edu-Action project here, what I am doing during my job shadowing period and how do I like to be part Mundus team for a while. Meanwhile we took also some pictures together with Mundus volunteers and shared some good messages and stories about our lives. Later in the evening I went with Luís to Mataró to introduce Erasmus+ opportunities to study abroad one or many semesters. We had two different lessons. One was only for youngster who are interested to study in another country and another was addressed more to the parents to make them understand what this programme is and what it is offers to their children.
Next morning we took a ride to Tarragona to do the same as day before. This time was purpose to show another opportunity to go abroad and study. We introduced to people who came to listen us what is Practiq'EU and how they can participate if they are interested about this option. Unfortunately not so many people showed up, but those who were there, where very interested about opportunity. After this presentation we turned back to Barcelona. This day I did not have anymore activities with Mundus, so I had a bit more free time and I decided to discover surrounding areas in Santa Coloma.
Last days I met with Nagore and we went to different schools to take part in Calidoscopi project which is a programme for youngsters who are faced with early school leaving. Doring these day we observed how Filipe and Laura organizing activities and workshop for several students. All children where from different schools and backgrounds.
We met some people from Morocco and from Latin-American countries like Venezuela. Main activity was basket beat where youngsters had to train their attention, coordination and communication. Besides this they did a iceberg activity where they had to find to causes why they dropped out of school and how they can learn from mistakes or failures. I think this exercise was really good for them to understand and become aware their situation and learn from this that all what is happening with you is a lesson.
Third week was the most intense because I went to another city where I visited a vocational school in Sabadell. The teachers from school introduced me the building and different classrooms. First day we met with a students who came to participate to understand how works car engine. The project where they are involved takes part until next year. Every week they experience different jobs for example: woodworking, cooking or mechanics. I think this kind of workshops for testing different fields are very good opportunity for youngsters to find their interest and calling in job market.This program is mainly for the students who are dropped out of school because of different reasons.
Next days we went as well to Sabadell to see different high schools and the programs or activities what are mean to be for early school leavers. Unfortunately these classes I visited that day I saw only empty chairs and tables. In this school teachers face with massive students absences. For example the workshops about radio and motor engine attracted only few participants. During these activities students had a change to learn more about communication, dictation or active listening which was useful to know how the radio and a microphone works. As well they observed and imitated how to use the tools and fix engines and machines.
Besides this I had to introduced who I am and explained what I am doing here. Lot of students were interested to experience something familiar in their future like going abroad in new environment to study or work for some time. After explanation we organized dynamic activity how to understand social integration. Whole group was divided in two teams and they had to learned different rules, behaviors and ethics about another team. Later both groups came together to share opinions and give some feedback about activity. Most of them liked it a lot because it gave them an opportunity to feel and understand what might be communicational and cultural obstacles if you move to new environment.
End of week we took a train to Mataró to vist Pia Santa Anna school where we met Jordi who is the teacher and headmaster in that school. He introduced us the school with short excursion inside of the building. We saw different classrooms for studies and the places where they have an opportunity for and sportive and leisure time. This institute includes students from primary, secondary and vocational education systems. I think this school operates very well and they have a clear vision for future. Also they offer many possibilities for the youngsters who already finished their studies. For example graduates can be involved innovative and entrepreneurial projects.
In the last week of the job shadow period, I went to another Mundus office, which is located in Zaragoza. First day in the city I met with Mundus organization team and I became more aware what they are doing and how much it is different from Mundus association in Barcelona. Also I met with three european volunteers who just came there some weeks ago and I shared my experience with them how to be an international volunteer in a foreign country. After getting know people and places I went to see my accommodation while my stay in Zaragoza. I spend my night in the flat what I shared with two other Erasmus students.
Second day in Zaragoza was one of the most memorable during my job shadow because I met group of students from Poland. They came to Zaragoza due to a VET program what Mundus association develop and promote. Under this project many international youngsters coming to Spain to do internship and as well lot of spanish young people go abroad to experience the same. For all the participants all the costs are covered like a place where to stay, a money for living, preparation trainings and transport to the venue and back. Also this Polish group came to Zaragoza with these opportunities to learn and experience new skills. What made these youngsters very unique was their hearing disability. Many of them were totally deaf-mute and only way to communication with them was a polish sign language.
Next day I went with these people in a city tour to get to know more about this historical and cultural city. We were walking in Zaragoza city center for some hours. For me personally it was interesting to see how deaf people communicate with those who do not understand sign language. After seeing sightseeings I went to San Pablo youth center to meet with youth workers there and see what kind of activities they are organizing. This evening all of them were busy with Halloween preparations because for next day night they were planning to open thematic room with some scary attraction. Unfortunately I was not able to participate because I had my train to Barcelona already booked and the event started at the same time as I had departure.
Last day before going back to Barcelona we went to Zaragoza Activa where also joined with us Marta from Mundus Barcelona. During the visit in Zaragoza Activa we saw many places and she took lot of pictures about the classrooms, seminar places and also about me how I do my job shadowing project. Briefly Zaragoza Activa is a space where youngsters with a creative ideas and critical thinking can implement their plans to the actions and results. Also it is a place where students can share their knowledge and competencies with other peers. This place reminded me my home because in Estonia we have many buildings with this environment where young people can go and create something together by themself. In general I am very satisfied that I had a chance to see other places and meet more interesting people in Zaragoza. This week in Aragón’s capital was so far the most memorable experience during my job shadowing project here in Spain and I will remember this for a long time.
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KA2 | non formal education | youth work | edu-action | Spain |