We have reached the end of our first training session of the year 2024. Committed and motivated participants from 10 countries, including Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, France, Poland, Spain, and Portugal, joined us to further develop the skills they will apply as future teachers and trainers in educating the next generations.

Unlike the usual location in the center of Cristuru Secuiesc, this time we held our program in a more spacious environment thanks to the Sóskút Hostel with unexpected but warmly welcomed guests in the form of two deer and a fox.

Our first day focused on getting to know each other, exploring each other’s and the project’s background. After team-building games and naming our hopes, fears, and rules, participants went for a city tour, which was unfortunately shortened by the weather. However, this did not deter the group, and they returned to their exploratory tour in the following days. As a conclusion to the day, we organized the now-traditional intercultural evening, where everyone brought typical snacks and drinks from their own countries.

On the second day, we delved into learning methods, different educational systems, trainer responsibilities, as well as communication and body language, through various group and individual tasks. At the end of the day, among various non-formal methods, role-playing and the Coffee Chain Game resonated most with the participants.

The focus of the next day was primarily on group dynamics and conflict resolution, followed by individual development targeting active listening, our own behavioral patterns, and the study and practice of vocal elements of speech. The day ended with exploring individual learning styles and completing a personality test.

Our training’s fourth day was also intensive for our participants. They learned how to give feedback properly, presented theater performances on various mistakes a trainer can make during a session, and delved into exploring SMART goals. Alongside the wealth of useful information and work, entertainment was not neglected. Some participants organized a game night, welcoming fellow participants with poker, jungle speed, uno, and many other interesting games.

On the fifth day, participants finally reached the practical point of the training when they began preparing their own plan. Of course, after a long week of hard work, they deserved some brief cultural leisure time. Therefore, we changed the location of the activities to the beautiful streets of Sighisoara, where participants discovered the beauty of the city, tasted traditional foods, and admired the colorful and atmospheric buildings. Last but not least, they also visited Dracula’s birthplace, a must-seen part of Transylvania.

Approaching the end of the project, on the sixth day, roles were reversed, and the participants became the trainers. We heard 8 sessions on various topics, chosen and developed by the groups themselves. The short trainings were related to the following topics:

  • Gypsy Culture
  • Aphrodite’s complex
  • Stress management
  • Gender equality
  • How to teach ADHD students successfully
  • The risks of the internet
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Subjectivity of truth

To ease the excitement and nerves, participants organized a Guessing Game Party in the evening, where eventually forming one big team, they played for the ultimate secret prize.

We couldn’t spend the last day any other way than by immersing ourselves in the labyrinth of memories and bringing forth the knowledge and emotions accumulated throughout the week. After participants wrote their YouthPass, which certifies the competencies developed during the training, we jointly evaluated the week with a good conversation and started bidding farewell with “sometime, somewhere in Europe, we will meet again” sentences.

Summing up the results of the 7-day training, we have a successful project behind us, which dealt with useful and much-needed topics, as judged from the pictures and feedback. We are grateful to the Erasmus+ program for the funding, to the partners for their assistance in selecting and preparing the participants, to the trainers for their selfless and persistent presence and help, and finally, to the members of the teams for their unwavering dedication and interest in our training.