This is the story of 9 youngsters exploring Spain and gathering with other youngsters in Hondarribia, Basque country to talk about the most underrated topic, ethnic minorities. Sit back because we have a story that will inspire you for sure.
I am Hayk, the leader of the Armenian delegation. This trip was important not only because it was about learning and getting acquainted with minority problems but also about learning the most important lesson, how to be a good leader. Overall, the project gave not only me but each member of our delegation something unique. Gave an opportunity to come out of our comfort zone and experience something new, share everything with friends, and be ready to help others. Also, the main part of exploring the minority problem was fascinating as well. You live with them but never pay attention to them and their problems. After this project, we are ready like never to share our knowledge and make our community more educated, so stay tuned!
Hi! I am Milena Mirumyan and recently I got an opportunity to participate in the “Let’s Speak the Same Language” Erasmus+ Youth Exchange program in Hondarribia, Spain. It was an incredible project in a beautiful country like Spain and surrounded by wonderful people from all over the world. For a few days, we forgot about our borders and created a safe place where we applied various activities to learn more about other cultures, mindsets, languages, and communication styles. Erasmus has brought so many intellectuals, brightness, and light to my life for which I will always be grateful. It expanded my horizon and helped me improve my communication skills, which is a priceless gift for my whole life. This program taught me that nothing matters when you find great people that fill your life. I got to know all these bright people in ten days, and they truly mean a lot to me. I am very thankful to the “Future in Our Hands” NGO and Erasmus+ for such an amazing and life-changing opportunity. I believe the best is yet to come.
You’ve just ended up in Spain because of coincidences and you don’t believe it yourself. Over time, you adapt to the environment and the idea that dreams do come true: you’re in the land of your dreams alongside your adventurous coevals, with whom you’ve connected more in a week than with many others in years.
During the program, everything goes perfectly. You get out of the reality that had become a comfort zone for you and learn to enjoy every second. You learn to appreciate the people around you and be thankful for the present moment. You meet young people from different parts of the world, get to know them, overcome all your fears, and give a speech in front of them. With them you fall in love and understand that the world knows no space—and you’re a part of this world, living on a borderless planet. You love them, they love you, and here there are no more wars, conflicts, and problems that separate you all from each other. There are no religious or political disputes. Here you are with like-minded enthusiastic young people, who are here because, like you, they dream of living without borders, in a common country without divisions.
Little by little, towards the end of the program, you begin to experience reality and believe that everything that happened is, in fact, reality, and through Erasmus, you understood perhaps one of the most important lessons for you.
In the end, the farewell is the most painful part. Nonetheless, no matter how much you cry, you are still not sad, because you already know that there are no borders on this planet; while you may be parting now, your connection will never end. Thanks to Erasmus, you now have the people you have become a part of, the people whom you will keep with you throughout your life.
Nowadays, many at least once in their lives have heard or encountered the phrase “comfort zone”. And sometimes when you start to feel your comfort zone, you start to suffocate in it. Also, when I started to choke, I realized that it was time to take a step that was scary to think about. Apply for the Erasmus+ exchange program. And now, having returned home, I can say that I am grateful to myself for this courage.
After I was approved, I went through many preparatory stages and studied the topics that will be discussed during the week of the exchange program.
And from the minute I got on the plane, I realized that this is all reality, they were just dreaming or plans, this is reality, now I’m flying with people unknown to me, you know the direction to me, and I was scared. Well, it was a fleeting fear that precedes any important event.
Just one day your life turns upside down and you start to be surrounded by completely unfamiliar people, but so magical and unusual and unique that you want to consider them and listen to them for hours.
Meeting local people is one of the best things that can happen to you. Being abroad as a tourist is completely different from being abroad as an exchange student, and once you get immersed in the local lifestyle, everything immediately becomes easier. You start making closer friends, more intimate relationships, better food, and wonderful memories. After all: making young Europeans fall in love with each other’s countries and people, day after day, is one of the Erasmus wonders.
Friends and loved ones were the most difficult to leave behind and especially Denisa (I met her in this program and liked her so much).
And what makes you happy after coming home after the project?
Right! Nothing. For the first couple of weeks.
After that, you’ll start adapting to the post-Erasmus reality.
I will bring something special back at the end of this project.
Memories, first, according to all of the members. But also, your heart is filled with feelings established with your new peers during your time abroad.
And I’m especially thankful to all of them who stayed with me during the project.
That’s the team of Armenia!
I love all of you guys’ XO
Impossible is nothing; this sentence is my life motivation. That’s why I never stop believing in my dreams because they always come true. One of my childhood dreams was to be in Spain but not only be there, also take part in something important and learn new things. On my way I met the ‘’Future in our hands’’ organization and its incredible team such as Tigranuhi, Irina, Hayk, and others and they gave me an opportunity to take part in the ‘’Let’s speak the same language’’ program. I want to say thank you to all of you for your professionalism, kindness, and support otherwise nothing can be possible. Grateful thanks to Tigranuhi, for accepting me, Irina for organizing all documental processes, and of course our group leader Hayk for his amazing job during this project. The project topic was good, but the organizational process was not as much as the topic. Food was in bed and most of the time we didn’t eat it and bought something from the market. Also, I didn’t feel me free like other Erasmus projects, because they hosted us with other people like children or football players. We always had to be quiet to not disturb others, that’s why we couldn’t make parties at night or play some interesting games with other members. But I liked city tours, energizing games, intercultural nights, understanding minorities’ problems in different countries, and trying to find some salvation for them. After the project, I became more motivated and wanted to change something in our country. And at the end of the day, I want to say thank you to everyone who played a role in this project.
Participating in an exchange program had been a dream of mine ever since I learned about Erasmus+. By participating in the “Let’s speak the same language” exchange youth program, I was able to learn more about other cultures and understand that being diverse and a minority amongst a bigger group of people can have positive effects.
In addition to learning more about different cultures from Spain, Greece, and Romania, I was able to meet new people, with whom I was able to share some of my best memories in life. These people did everything they could to educate us more about their culture – by teaching us their traditions, some words in their native language, and familiarizing us with their cuisine.
However, the most important thing that I gained from this program is the lifelong friends I made along the way. Traveling with the Armenian group, I was able to make genuine friends, who became some of the most important people in my life in just a couple of days. We faced some obstacles and shared some of the best memories in Spain and France, for which I will forever be grateful for this project.
Now that I’m back in Armenia, I’m having a hard time adjusting to my old lifestyle. Findings on that I’m finding it difficult that I have changed and grown as a person due to this project, and I strive to become better.
Even though we were only abroad for almost ten days, the memories that we made as a group will last for a lifetime.
Now I can confidently say that my life was divided into two parts: before Erasmus and after Erasmus.
After applying for this program, I could not even imagine what I was doing and what days await me.
First, the program gave me the opportunity to live in an international atmosphere, where every day you learn a lot about other nations, their culture, traditions, and customs, which the books would never have given. Also, an opportunity was created to present the culture of Armenia, which at the same time was a great honor. The program developed my ability to work in a team, there was no separate “I”, there was only “we”.
Today, I look back to the Erasmus days and feel extremely happy, because I am already a member of that strong family. Thank you for giving bright colors to my life.
This was my first participation in the Erasmus+ program. It was exceptional for me both in terms of the host country and the participating countries and the program topic. The experience I gained during those 10 days is invaluable for me.
First, it was a great experience to communicate with active and creative young people from other countries who shared their experiences, culture, habits, characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. It was a great opportunity to improve my English and Spanish and get to know the cultural individuality of Spain and the Basque Country. In addition, I have made many international friends, which is also an invaluable achievement for me.
Thank you for this great opportunity and I will always remember and use this great skill that I gained during this time.