ERASMUS+ Budapest mobility 2022
The objective of the project is to develop, transfer and implement innovative practices in peer learning, and project-based learning with the help of cultural-related issues. We would like to discover our cities’ beauties and do research to learn about them. The project contributes to the development of cultural knowledge, foreign language skills, ICT skills, students’ self-confidence and open-mindedness.
16th of December
An online meeting to get acquainted was essential. Take a first peak at the new faces and learn some names. “We are so excited to meet you!” This was the sentiment shared by all. Sharing our goals and listening to others’ motivations cleared why the students were interested in this project. We also shared our experience with the Estonian school system and listened to what the others had to say about their own, the Hungarian one. Some topics discussed during the meeting were cultural differences, presentations, and of course planning the Budapest mobility. To conclude it all we played some kahoot! Some students stated that this was the most fun part of the meeting.
4th of April, Monday
The long-awaited first meeting, how exciting! We made our way to the airport and in just a few hours we were in Budapest, a new city for us to explore in the following week. We made our way to the school and were overjoyed with the warm reception. Our twin class had hung up banners and prepared snacks. Slowly, but surely the students started to interact with each other. The gaps caused by language barriers were filled with gestures and common efforts to listen to and understand each other. If someone did not know how to say something, someone else was sure to help. Overall, the students agreed that meeting new people was the most fulfilling part of the day and that they couldn’t wait to get to know the Hungarian students better.
5th of April, Tuesday
On the second day, we had an early start. Our students had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with Hungarian culture by participating in different language lessons in Teleki Blanka school. Namely, English and German with the addition of a mathematics class. It seems that both parties ended up learning a lot. The students also formed groups in which they would, later on, prepare presentations comparing different aspects of Estonian and Hungarian culture–the project. In our school we value open-mindedness thus, familiarizing the students with global thinking is of utmost importance.
After the lessons, we went sightseeing. The main object of interest was the Parliament which we were able to enter. We enjoyed a guided tour and got to know more about the Hungarian legal system. In the evening we got to partake in Hungarian traditional folk dance. First, we learnt some of the steps and then got to try them out for real. For this, we would like to give a big thanks to the student at the Hungarian Dance University who taught us this skill–Barna Frecot. This experience helped the Estonian students to truly empathize with what it is like to be a part of Hungarian culture. Dance is a universal language, and thus, can be understood by everyone. Dance overcomes all language barriers! This aspect defines dance as a vital part of the programme.
6th of April, Wednesday
One of the longest days was also one of the most packed with new knowledge. By this point, the students had already managed to get acquainted with the other students. They were more willing to listen to and be interested in the presentations of the Hungarian students about the sights we were seeing. This greatly enhanced the visiting experience as we got to learn things about Budapest and its history we would not know if we were visiting by ourselves. In the morning we visited the Castle District where the first object we visited was, of course, the Buda Castle. We took a funicular to get to the top of the hill as the children were tired from walking three days in a row. By doing this we also got to enjoy a great view and a fun ride!
In the castle we saw amazing architecture and learnt about the esteemed culture of Hungary. We also took a look at some other sights in the Castle region such as Matthias Church, the Bécsi Gate, Fisherman’s Bastion, and the Europe Park. We also walked past the residences of the President and the Prime Minister. All of these the students found very entertaining!
We continued our exploration of dance though, this time, through the contemporary lens. Namely, we visited the Palace of Arts and enjoyed a performance by the Recirquel company. This fusion of circus and dance left everyone watching in awe.
7th of April, Thursday
An educational trip means that some learning has to be done! This is exactly what our kids did on the 7th of April. The morning was dedicated to finishing up the presentations as by now the kids had learnt quite a lot about Hungarian culture. After lunch which we had at the Teleki school, we made our way to the Millennium Underground–an exhibition dedicated to Budapest’s first metro of great historical value. We also spent some time in the City Park, Heroes Square, and lastly visited the Vajdahunyad Castle.
In the afternoon we visited the House of Hungarian Music. A magnificent new venue showcasing the history of music. This was the highlight of the trip in many students’ opinions. There, the students were able to interact with the instruments used throughout different eras. The main emphasis was on Hungarian music and musical instruments.
8th of April, Friday
One of the last days, a culmination of all we had learnt during the trip. This was the theme for today. A final opportunity for the kids to interact with each other in a classroom environment. The Hungarian students had prepared some fun activities and we gladly partook in them. As guests, some Bulgarian teachers were also welcomed among our ranks. The teachers were in Budapest in regards to a different Erasmus+ project and decided to drop by the Teleki Blanka school for an entertaining morning. This added a third perspective to our discussion which was greatly appreciated. We discussed the three school systems and the value of Erasmus+ projects.
The students could finally make their presentations and conclude the project. It was clear that everyone had worked hard on their projects and learnt tons from this Erasmus+ experience. We proudly observed that many of the student’s English language skills had greatly improved. Especially those who had been too afraid to speak in English previously.