by Annabell Werner
From Wednesday, 22nd to Friday, 26th of March, ASW took part in the first Beyond Bilingual Conference, in Oradea, Romania.
The conference was held by the Colegiul National Emanuil Godju, a public school in Oradea. The trip was mostly about integration and interaction between students from different schools and offered many activities such as biking, swimming, horse riding, sightseeing, and a video making workshop.
According to Ye C., an ASW 10th grader, “All the events we held were amazing and I love them.”
The trip was organized by Josh Skjold, Anca Mile, Raluca Mica, Camelia Porumb, Ligita Stawarz, Toby Brunt, and Stephen Miele, who met in previous collaborative projects between the 2 schools, to help students develop language and to collaborate.
According to Mr. Skjold, “The power and value of European projects is the underlying focus on intercultural and interpersonal understanding – the politics of collaboration, not separation.”
Several students said that they loved the way it was organized, in a way that it was not only based on the conference, but also on exchanging experience. “It was an exchange about culture, knowledge and ideas between two different worlds,” said Shaojun C. (10).
Many students also experienced it as a great chance to socialize and make new friends from a different country. “I believe this trip helped us to get out of our comfort zone and socialize with people on your own,” said Sania Z. (10).
While ASW students had to sign up for the trip, Godju students were asked by their English teacher if they want to take part and host two ASW students.
Diana S., a Godju student, said “There was no hesitation when our English teacher proposed me and my classmates entering in this project.”
Most of the students accepted or sign up, because of similar reasons, some wanted to find new friends and connect to new people, while others also wanted to know more about the different culture and school system. According to Gia D., a Junior at Godju, “I didn’t really expect something from this exchange but the fact that I wanted to find out more about your educational system. All in all, I wanted to meet new people and have fun.”
New friendships did not only grow between students from the two schools, but also between students from the same school. “I also managed to forge some real strong bounds with new people that now I find close to me, and not only from Poland!” said Viktor A., a student of Godju.