Getting to know each other in Skopje

Getting to know each other in Skopje

Written by Maria Nighbert

Our first “Find-your-balance”- Meeting took place in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. The students and teachers from Germany arrived first at the airport in Skopje, where they were picked up by the teachers Frosina and Maja and the lovely host-families, who were waiting with signs for their guests. It was the middle of the night (Saturday to Sunday) when the German students and teachers arrived, so everyone was happy when they got to go to bed and sleep in the next morning. All German students had the advantage of having a nice relaxing Sunday in Skopje. The host-families went with their student on trips and introduced them to traditional Macedonian food. The students and teachers from Estonia and Poland arrived a little after midnight on Monday. Their host-families waited for them at the airport as well and gave them a warm welcome. After traveling for so long the students and teachers from Poland and Estonia were happy to fall into their beds.

Monday morning the whole group met for the first time at school. All students were curious about what the week will bring. The project “Find your balance” was introduced to all students by Maja and Frosina. After the children introduced themselves they got to use their phones and play a QR-Code-Quiz in teams.

It was well organized that the teams always had three Macedonian students, one Polish student, one Estonian student and one student from Germany. That way the students had to speak English to work well as a team. The students had a lot of fun and enjoyed their teamwork. After lunch, which we had together at the school cafeteria the students got to know a new way of using electronics in class. For that Maja had developed a Kahoot-quiz, which the students got to play in their teams again. All students agreed that the way of using electronics in school is nice and they wished they had all these electronics included in their daily school life.

On Tuesday we focused on the second part of our project, the physical activity. After meeting at school, we took a bus to the mountain Vodno, where we all walked for a while before we took cable cars all the way up to the top of the mountain. Once we got to the top, we saw the huge cross, which we have seen every day from the city. It was impressive to have such a nice view over the city, we stayed up there for approximately 30 minutes, so everyone could enjoy the sun and get a hot cocoa. The cable cars took us back to the bus but before we left for our next destination we had our lunch in a little park. It was amazing how well everything was organized for us. Even in the middle of the nature we got to eat a delicious sandwich, a salad and a sweet snack afterwards. Our final destination for that day was a big sports center, where everyone played table tennis and bowling.

The Faculty of Computer Science & Engineering welcomed us on Wednesday. A group of students and PhD students organized an interesting day for us. After a little introduction the international students helped students from the faculty by answering a survey about a computer game, which is currently developed. Then the students from Macedonia, Estonia, Poland and Germany were divided into four groups. In their groups they went to 3 stations. The most interesting station was the “Programming a robot” station. It was impressive to see how quick the students learn and how much they already know about electronics and programming. Every group had fun with the robot, especially when they made the robot dance.

On Thursday we met back at school to work on some presentations about our week as well as playing a game called “Scottie Go”. That day was really exciting for all students because a local TV channel visited the school and made a report about our project.

The last day of the project was Friday. The students gave their presentations about the week and afterwards we all went to the city, where we did an amazing sightseeing tour. It was interesting to find out more about the history of Macedonia. While most of the students were getting to know more about the sights, a few students went with the Macedonian teacher Maja and the Polish teacher and head of the project Karolina to the studio of the TV channel which filmed the students on Thursday. There they had the opportunity to talk about our Erasmus+ project. That was an exceptional experience for everyone. Afterwards the students were excited to get some free time, so they could spend their last pocket money on souvenirs. On Friday we had a late lunch at a restaurant. After a nice meal we had to say good bye to our new friends and the Macedonian teachers and principal had presents for everyone. It was a great end to an even greater week.

The students and teachers from Poland were the first to leave on Saturday. The German group left on Saturday as well, only the group from Estonia got to stay until Sunday.

Our first week of the Erasmus+ project “Find your balance” was a great success.