Erasmus for Lithuanian Schools Enjoyed Successful Start at VMU Rasa Gymnasium
On the morning of 29 September, VMU Rasa Gymnasium’s pupils had a different kind of day at school with unusual classes and a commotion of voices speaking in foreign languages. This was because international students participating in the Erasmus Programme and the local ones from Vytautas Magnus University successfully started the project Erasmus for Lithuanian Schools.
The main idea of the project is to share experiences of intercultural learning, volunteering and mobility, also to increase the opportunities for incoming students to gain academic, professional and personal experience.
The classes of the “different kind of day” were attended by 23 schoolchildren from third and fourth form of the VMU Rasa Gymnasium. The whole day was divided into 9 classes in which the school’s pupils learned about international studies, travelled around the world in 45 minutes, took the merry-go-round of languages, danced and exercised their heads while tackling various exercises.
“These classes inspired me to volunteer. I also want to take various educational trips so that I can see various countries and their people up close. I also thoroughly enjoyed the games which we played together with foreign students”, one of the gymnasium’s pupils, Tadas, said.
In response as to what encouraged them to participate in the event, VMU Rasa Gymnasium schoolchildren Tadas (Form 2G) and Renata (Form 3E) joked that it was their educator. On a more serious note, both of them explained that they wanted to talk to foreigners, get to know the cultures of various countries.
The gymnasium’s student Renata said she enjoyed the atmosphere during classes very much. The day surpassed all expectations and talking to the Erasmus students will surely encourage the pupils themselves to participate in the student exchange program in the future.
According to the university’s foreign students – Togrul from Azerbaijan, Mariam from Georgia, Asami from Japan and Elisneis from Cuba – for them this was one of the best days in Lithuania. The visiting students told the schoolchildren about their countries, cultures, certain aspects of languages. They also informed the pupils about student exchange opportunities and gave encouragement to participate. Marlijn (the Netherlands) was so into the project that she felt as though she came back to the school of her childhood. The foreign student found it very interesting to teach the pupils her country’s language all the while Rasa Gymnasium schoolchildren themselves were teaching her to speak Lithuanian.
“The idea to visit schools is great indeed, we enjoyed the whole time we spent with the schoolchildren. They were very friendly and curious about everything”, the participants of the exchange programme said.
The event was a way to show the gymnasium’s pupils that being a university student is great. They also got to know the significance of learning foreign languages, taking part in exchange programs and travelling abroad, sharing the traditions and culture of one’s homeland with other people.
The organizers Justė Čečkauskaitė and Žymantė Jokūbauskaitė claim that the gymnasium’s schoolchildren gave high praise to the university and said they would not hesitate to take part in such an event many more times.
The odyssey of the VMU project Erasmus for Lithuanian Schools continues – meetings at other Lithuanian schools in Kaunas, Kuršėnai, Tauragė, Biržai and Kražiai are to take place.