Social Innovators in Serbia
10 Days of Transformational Exchange
Imagine having the chance to explore a different country, make new friends and work on projects that matter to you? Well, that is exactly what six lucky students from Terence McSwiney College in Co. Cork got to experience this October, all thanks to the Erasmus+ programme! In October, a team of Young Social Innovation students travelled all the way to Serbia for a serious adventure and some fantastic social innovation!
What is Erasmus +?
Erasmus+ is a brilliant European Union programme that is all about supporting education, training, youth and sports. Erasmus+ has great opportunities for young people and has a huge budget of €26.2 billion to support programmes throughout the European Union from 2021-2027. The National agency in Ireland for youth opportunities within Erasmus+ is Léargas. You can find out more here.
The Adventure Begins
Six Irish students representing Young Social Innovators set off from Cork Airport and flew to Belgrade in Serbia and then travelled to a place called Bečej and embarked on a 10 day exchange programme. On arrival they met their fellow adventurers a variety from Serbia, Israel, Luxembourg, Romania and Spain.
In the beginning it was all about breaking the ice. Everyone got to know each other and learn about the different countries that were taking part. It was a great way to begin the program and made everyone excited for what was to come.
As the days went on there was a fantastic idea on how to get the students interacting with each other. Each student received a potato and was tasked with bartering with it for other items around ‘town’. It probably sounds strange but this really helped the students interact, even without a shared language! After this exercise everyone felt much more comfortable and confident, the organisers then delved into media literacy and the importance of knowing your audience.
The fun continued with a night of intercultural exchanges. Everyone was treated to presentations from Poland, Romania and Serbia. There was local dancing and a taste of traditional Serbian cuisine.
The students got to create pitches and advertisements - but with a twist! They were given abstract ideas and had to capture them through photography, a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
The Power of Digital Storytelling
The heart of the programme revolved around digital storytelling. The students collaborated in groups, capturing their experiences, from their best moments to their biggest challenges. They had the opportunity to attend the ‘Design for Change’ showcase where they learned about the social issues that matter most to Serbian students.
This trip was a chance to make friends, learn about other cultures and use the power of digital media to make a positive impact. Well done to these brilliant students for taking the plunge and exploring the world and for representing Ireland as Young Social Innovators. We can’t wait to see the stories they create and share with the world!! ✈️