On the 1st of April, we had our real first-hand experience with working and spending time with some of the Zagorje youngsters at the Srednja Šola Zagorje. Our team prepared some fun activities and spend two interactive hours with two classes of energetic and fun young people. The main aim of our visit was to exchange our cultures with the students through non-formal education methods and most importantly to have some fun!
The morning started with 10 foreigners entering for the first time a Slovenian school. We felt relaxed and comfortable immediately though a warm welcome from the school’s headmaster and with the positive attitude of the students, who were really curious to learn more about us and our countries. We started with an energizer that made everyone feel more comfortable and broke the ice between us, then the students were divided into teams through learning how to say hello in each of our languages. Each team had to go through six different stations, where they learned through non-formal education methods, more specifically games, information about our countries, new skills and also they had the chance to share with us their own culture. At the first station, the students matched famous people and inventions with our countries, in the second one they learned how to juggle, in the third, they listened to songs from our countries and they had to guess from which country the song was, in the fourth, they matched our traditional foods with our countries and at the last station they gave us information about Slovenia. At the end of the activity, they won presents from our countries through a lottery. The students seemed to have really enjoyed this experience and showed a lot of interest in our countries and our cultures. While going through the stations the students became more and more eager and excited to see what is next! We left the school filled with energy and excitement and at least 10 new friends on Facebook!
Non-formal education is a very powerful method that is quite underestimated in many countries. The European Commission and similar bodies place high value on this type of education and consider it to be of high importance. But what is this non-formal education? It is to learn through interactive and fun activities, learning by doing, that actually allows everyone to take control of their own learning and to learn at a pace that is suitable for them. This is why it is a very important learning method. The Erasmus+ programme, and the EVS project “Spice Up Your Life” is fully based on non-formal education, and we, the participants, have the chance to gain a wide variety of knowledge and skills through being active. There are many similar opportunities in Slovenia, in Europe and worldwide so why not try learning through non-formal education yourself? It’s free and it’s fun!
Denisa and Marisa, participants (Spice up your life)