Category Archive : Allgemein

„Let’s go climbing!“

On October 1 st , 2020, youngsters who regularly visit the intercultural centre “Arcobaleno”, located in the Upper-Austrian capital city Linz, had the chance to visit the climbing gym “Kletterhalle Linz”. The event was part of “ChariTea-Time”, an ESC-project organized by wEUnite. Visiting the climbing gym was the wish of the young people, who were integrated into the planning process from the very beginning.

Initially, there were 10 teenagers registered, but some of them withdraw on short notice due to uncertainties about the COVID-19 situation. All the 5 participating youngsters face fewer opportunities, as they came to Austria as refugees. Together, they spent an exciting and funny afternoon. They all were highly motivated and had to face up with their anxieties to be successful as a team. As the teenagers did not have any experiences with climbing before, they were glad about the introduction and support by trainer Gernot Staltner.

At the end of the afternoon, the participants had a snack together, before they went back home. All the teenagers were very grateful about their possibility to visit the climbing gym. Moreover, also the Arcobaleno had the chance to deepen its relationship with the young people.

Written by Dominik Prüller who organized this event in cooperation with wEUnite, Arcobaleno and the climbing gym.

Youth Exchange „Can We Talk?“ – Grafenbach/Austria

From 22nd until 29th of August 2020 the youth exchange „Can We Talk?“ took place in Grafenbach/Carinthia. 24 young people from Austria, Hungary, Italy and Poland came together to explore the topic of communication and inclusion and learn about different cultures and much more. Covid-19 did challenge us, but we successfully implemented the project, with more regulations, but no problems after all!

Tobias, one of the Austrian participants, is sharing his experience. Enjoy reading!

Let´s be honest: If someone came to you and told you about a project where you can learn something about communication, what would you think? I would not be surprised if it was something like:“Yawn, boring!“

You got better things to do, right? What would change if you went to something like that for a week? And I’m totally serious by telling you: A LOT!

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„Re:Sound“ from another point of view

I met Nina during a training course in Czech Republic, after that I got to know her NGO, wEUnite, and seeing the great work they do with young people I decided that I really would have liked to cooperate with them, writing a youth exchange about personal expression through music and and free movement. When Nina accepted my proposal I was very happy and excited, and since then our cooperation started. I enjoyed the fact that everything went smooth thanks to Nina’s organizational skills and the great team Ari and Tommi. When finally we implemented our youth exchange in the amazing Austrian castle and we met the participants everything was different than my expectations, I felt overwhelmed by how much the group gave to the activity in terms of commitment, emotions, support and challenges. We held the space and people created the magic, I am really thankful to participants for sharing their unique creativity. Finally I am grateful to Nina, Tommi and Ari for being such a supportive team, always caring for each other and for sharing the same values that made this project so great. – Yours, Matte

I remember clearly the moment I arrived to the location of Re:Sound. A beautiful castle in the middle of the countryside. And I started imagining how it would be to deliver the project we had in our mind in that location: I pictured the group inside, the activities, the reflections. Meanwhile, my little, ordinary fears came up: will the group feel motivated and involved? Will they find the activities inspirational, as we pictured in our mind?

Well… As the group arrived, and I saw all the people together in the accommodation… these little thoughts vanished, and creation started.

Re:Sound made me understand how a project is created by participants, by the group itself. Even though I had my plans, my activity proposal in mind… It is incredible how they get shaped according to the people who are living it. I realized how the contribution of everyone leads to the creation of something unique and beautiful.

After this project, I am happy to say that Youth Exchanges are a beautiful opportunity of creation of space for exchange of ideas, thoughts, openness, personal and professional growth. I am amazed by the fact that, even though from a coordinating perspective, I lived the activities discovering new things of myself, that will guide me to create my path here back home.

Moreover, I am very thankful to the team, who taught me the importance of cooperation, mutual support and, most of all, care.

Finally, after Re:Sound I am even more in love with what I do, my job and my personal live. I am looking forward to creating new opportunities for inspiring self-expression and self-consciousness through music. – Yours, Ari

Some months ago Matteo asked if we should do a project together, a youth exchange all around music, and he didn’t need a long time to convince me. We had video conferences with Tommi, Arianna, Matteo and me discussing how to do what, when, where…
When the project was approved we got excited and started preparing everything right away. And I remember checking out the castle, our project venue. Immediately I started to imagine a group of people coming there, working together, exchanging ideas and creating something together.

Arriving in Neumarkt a day before the project started the building was already filled with laughs and ideas by an amazing team – who put a lot of thoughts, passion and positive vibes into the project. We finalized flipcharts, timetables, and had the chance to get to know each other in real life. Time went by too fast and I started to think whether everything is prepared or not. „Do we have a rough outline and plan? When do we pick up the luggage? Will everyone arrive safely? What if someone misses their train? Are there enough snacks for the arrival and welcoming of our participants? How should I ever remember so many new names? Did we plan enough activities? Will they like the project?“ – these where just some of the questions that stuck in my mind for the last hours before Re:Sound started.

Looking back I am glad how smooth everything went and I am glad that Matteo convinced me to host this amazing youth exchange. 35 people from 7 different countries created 5 songs in only 1 day. Many new ideas for future projects were shared and new cooperations were established. Throughout the few days I gained new knowledge, experienced a lovely learning atmosphere, improved some skills and made new friends. It is incredible that it is already a month ago that we met, and I am glad that so many applied for this project and decided to take part in it!

Thank you Matteo for writing and implementing the project with Arianna, thank you Tommi for catching all the moments with your camera and creating daily videos for us 🙂  Once again I realized that this kind of work is fulfilling, joyful and worth it! THANK YOU to everyone who was part of Re:Sound. – Yours, Nina

Re:Sound has been to me the first time I’ve found myself immersed in a new and yet so smooth working team. Since the first hours we spent all together preparing the material and adjusting the activities for the upcoming participants, I felt immediately surprised by how easy we understood each other and how fast we connected. I believe this is the core of the Erasmus+ experience, building immediately strong bonds with people across Europe, even though you might have nothing in common at first, you know you definitely share the same inclusive, open and curios Europian values. And that, at Re:Sound, has been to me the beautiful starting point for a new, powerful and meaningful relationship, in which I’ve found a professional coworker, and a dear dear friend. Thank you Nina. – Yours, Tommi

Youth Exchange „imPRO“ – Palmse/Estonia

From “impro” to “I’m pro” – that was the motto of the Erasmus plus Youth exchange project in Palmse, Estonia. From 1st till the 8th of December 30 young people from Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Turkey gathered to explore impro theatre, different cultures and more about themselves.

Throughout the week were challenged with different activities which helped us to expand our comfort zone and to think out the box. We started with team building activities in order to build trust and to improve our cooperation in the group. Every day we could prove ourselves in impro theatre activities which got more and more challenging. We spend the evenings discovering our cultural differences and similarities. We presented our countries in groups and we also organised the “Eurovision Night Palmse” in which we performed songs from each other’s countries.

In our free time, we discovered beautiful Palmse and especially plenty of snow which covered the Lahemaa National Park. Moreover, we had the opportunity to enjoy the typical Estonian sauna.

Performing Estonia’s “Nukuke” at the Eurovision Songcontest 

The whole programme was preparing us for the “TEDx Palmse” which took place at the end of the week. Each of us could deliver a short speech about a topic of our choice in front of the whole group and could receive helpful feedback. Throughout the week, our learning process was supported by daily reflection groups. We also receive input about the key competencies and the Youthpass which we could complete at the end of this week. We also learned a lot about the Erasmus plus and opportunities in Europe and even proved our knowledge in a quiz.

All told, the time passed so quickly and it was time to go home again. We left with a lot of wonderful experiences, reflections, memories, new friends and even some presents from Santa.

Take a look at the experiences shared by our Austrian team: 



My expectations before the project:
Before I came to this project I had no idea what is improvisation about. We had some funny exercises, where we had to do spontaneous role plays with fictional speeches. I really enjoyed it, because I never had this kind of improvising in my life before. After the project I was more comfortable with things like improvising, getting out of my comfort zone and my public speaking skills increased!

Kathi S.

What I have learned:
Before we started with improvisation and the main part of this project, we first focused on getting to know each other and strengthening our group with different team building exercises and games. Because there were people of different ages from five different nations I learned more about them, their dreams and important things in life, which was really inspiring and could let me see life from other perspectives. During these days I also learned more about traditions and behaviour of people from other countries, to be more open for other peoples stories and their way of thinking. Another great experience was that this project showed me again, that culture and language are no barrier to making friends and how easy and beautiful it can be to connect with people who are from different countries. Therefore a big part for me was improving my cultural awareness. To be able to spend a week with many people together in harmony, I noticed how important it is to be respectful and selfless and to go through the day with a collective consciousness and its associated actions.

The improvisation exercises gave the opportunity to leave the personal comfort zone and to notice that there is nothing wrong with what a person can contribute. Improvisation lets you be creative in a wilder form where you have the chance to impress your thoughts and feelings. Although I didn’t feel as comfortable as I wished with these exercises, in the beginning, it became easier for me over time and I felt more self-confident as well. I learned the importance of being able to think and act spontaneous – no matter if it is during these exercises or in normal life. I experienced how great it can be to not overthink something and to just go with the flow.

Furthermore, I became more relaxed when I had to present myself in front of a group of other people in what way I could improve my presentation skills as well.

The most important thing is that during this whole week I have learned more about my strengths but also weaknesses and my dreams and goals I want to achieve in life – and not to forget, that you shouldn’t take life too seriously!


My magical moment:
There were so many special moments during the whole week that it is hard to decide on one. However, I think the final TEDx-speeches we did on a second-to-last evening were definitely a magic moment for everyone. The whole week led up to that moment: day by day and step by step we increased our self-confidence so that eventually speaking in front of the whole group was not as scary anymore as it seemed to us the moment we heard about the fact that we had to do such a speech at the beginning of the week. Of course, I was still nervous but the atmosphere in the group was very welcoming and encouraging and making mistakes was okay.

I was the first one to speak (it was decided by drawing a card who would have to speak when). At first, I didn’t like the idea but eventually, it was great because then I could listen to what all the others had to say with full attention and without worrying about my own speech. It was a great experience! Everyone did it differently: Some people told very personal stories, others were very creative or showed their knowledge in certain areas. After the speeches, I was so proud of myself and all the others. The reflection we did as a group afterwards was very moving: you could see that they felt the same way. Everyone grew not only as an individual but also as a member of the group.

Kathi B.

How I will apply the things I have learned:
As we learned a lot of things during this amazing week, I can apply various skills to my life. Because of all the activities and exercises we did, I am more comfortable with my public appearance. Now I know that I can handle unfamiliar and unplanned situations a lot better than before. I am more comfortable because of the feedback I received in Estonia. Not only this, but I am also more self-confident. I know that I can trust myself and my abilities, no matter what situation will come. I am a student at the University of Graz and I had to do a presentation the week after the Youth Exchange and I already could see that I developed new skills. I think that we cannot see the progress we made in Palmse to its full extent now, but I am pretty sure that with some time we will see that we learned even more than we had thought and that we can apply a lot of it or all of it in our daily and professional life.

I know for me personally that I can apply a lot to my life. I am going to be a teacher and I am sure that I need a lot of improvisation skills during my working life. The team who organised everything had some amazing activities I would like to implement in my teaching one day. Most of them are excellent for language teaching or team building, which is important for a classroom. But I can also apply these skills into my daily life. No matter what situation we get into, we always need improvisation. I cannot wait to see the full extent of what I learned during this week, but I already can see a lot of it.

Already excited to learn more about Erasmus+ and Improvisation?
Be prepared for our follow-up in Graz!