You’ve never been to Erasmus+ project and you always wondered how does it look in practice? Or you already attended some of them, but you want to know do some things always stay the same? If your answer on any of the questions is positive (or even if it’s not, but you just want to read a really cool article 🙂 ), this is the place for you!
When organizations are creating Erasmus+ projects, there are a couple of things they should pay attention to if they want to implement it successfully. Of course it is in everyones’ interest to have a group of participants that function and work well together, that there is a good group dynamic and atmosphere. Moreover, although there is not much free time on projects (but don’t take this as a bad thing, as even working time is really, really fun), there are already some elements established by participants themselves on how to use their free time (especially evenings). It’s such a shame to go to sleep when there is so many new people to meet 🙂
Of course, basic elements of projects are workshops, but here we are going to talk about other stuff around workshops that make Erasmus+ projects so much fun 🙂
Here is a list of 10 basic elements of every Erasmus+ project:
(1) ICE BREAKERS
Ice breakers usually appear on the beginning of the activities (first day). They are games designed to “break the ice”, and are used when people who do not usually work together, or don’t know each other at all, meet for a specific, common purpose (in this case to work on the project topic). Sometimes they can be uncomfortable, but that is the point, to get closer to people with whom you’ll spend the next week or so. At Erasmus+ projects you usually do this for first two or three days, after that there is no point because you already had a number of chit-chat coffee breaks begind you & few drinking nights together and (you think) there’s nothing you can do to make you, or others feel uncomfortable 🙂
“Human knot” – participants stand in a circle, hold both of their hands in front of them, come closer and need to catch 2 random hands of other participants (except for the hands of people standing directly next to them). After they do it and make a big “human knot”, their task is to untie themselves back again into a perfect circle, without letting go other peoples’ hands.
Physical contact with people who you don’t know is always hard, but in the end makes you feel so much more comfortable to work together. Trust us, it can get really sweatty, but it’s totally worth the fun 🙂
Quick, easy and fun ways to boost the group energy. They are usually implemented on the beginning of the day, on the beginning of afternoon sessions or even on the beginning of every session. On your first Erasmus+ project you will probably think it is silly, and you won’t do half of the energizers because of it, but later you’ll realize that it’s really fun and it gets you into a better mood 🙂 Plus, nobody cares how it looks, because all of you look like a group of happy idiots anyway 🙂
“Who is the leader?” – participants stand in a circle and one person volunteers to leave the group. The rest of the group chooses “the leader” who must perform different actions (such as clapping, tapping etc.) that are copied by the whole group. The volunteer comes back in the group and stands in the middle of the circle while other participants start walking around him. The volunteer needs to guess who is starting the movements – who is the leader!
(3.) INTERCULTURAL DINNER
Intercultural dinner can be implemented on one or more evenings, depending on the number of countries in the project and the concept of making it. Sometimes it’s all countries in one evening, sometimes it’s one country per evening. It’s the evening where national groups present their country with the video, song or anything else you can think of; and most importantly, with food and drinks! So at every Erasmus+ project you will get a chance to try at least five different traditional cuisines. Also, this is the time when you put your nice outfit (not a suit!) on and feel very special in it because until then everybody already saw how you look in the morning so you want to show them you can look decent too!
In Erasmus+ community it is really a skill & will to present your country in a creative way. That’s because you go on projects where you participate with same countries (but usually other people) again, and some materials constantly repeat. It encourages people to invent new methods of presentation, but we can for sure say that interactive ones are the best! For example, sometimes national groups introduce a quiz with rewards, sing, teach how to dance on traditional music or how to play a traditional game.
Intercultural evenings are a great opportunity to present yourself, your team and your country in the best light to other people. And a great opportunity to be sick after trying out so many different types of food and alcohol, so take care 🙂
(4.) TEAMBUILDING GAMES
They make you work better in a team, and that is kinda important here, since you’ll be spending the whole week (or more) with these people, so you should learn how to function together – on the fun way, of course!
There is a whole philosophy behind teambuilding and so many different courses you can attend to learn to be a better team player – but Erasmus+ projects are the best teacher! Not only during these team building games & tasks, usually implemented on the first working day of the project, but for the whole project duration by working in different international teams and adapting to different working environments.
“Cross the line”
(5.) SECRET FRIEND
The nicest “game” ever. All of the participant’s names are put into a bag. Each person pulls out one name from the bag and you’ll become a secret friend to the person you got. It means you should do nice things to that person during the project, without them knowing it’s you. For example, you can ask someone to give a massage to your secret friend (you can tell that person to say that it is from their secret friend), or you can buy them a chocolate, or whatever you can think of that will make your friend feel better 🙂 Or you can just leave him weird messages that you’re stalking him all around the project venue 🙂
Usually on the projects, on the last day, we reveal our secret friends.
(6.) DRINKING GAMES
It’s something you can’t avoid on projects. They are, of course, not official part of the program, but are the one of participants’ social life 🙂 And there are few that we always play, but we will tell you more about them in a special post (they really deserve more space) 🙂
(7.) MORNING WITH A HANGOVER
Or at least a sleepless night. No special explanation needed, it is just a normal consequence of stage number 6. So many things to do and such a little amount of time, it just has to happen 🙂
(8.) THAT GUY
We wanted to mention this because, so far, on every project we went, there was always “that guy”. This guy acts like a bee around the flowers, trying to pollinate as much as he can. Basically, his one and only goal of comming to the project is, well, to cum! We have to mention here – we’re all about gender equality, and we’ve heard about girls like this, but so far, they are a myth for us 🙂
(9.) NEW THING YOU DISCOVER ABOUT YOURSELF
Erasmus+ projects are quite often life changing experiences (check it in our project reviews). You just have the opportunity to live in a small parallel world and leave everything else behind. You talk to different kind of people, with different background and knowledge, and sometimes you find that very revealing for yourself. Some projects are even dedicated to you diving into yourself personally and discovering new things you didn’t know before, in order to make improvements and grow in personal or professional way.
New thing you will discover can be something deep and emotional, or you can maybe realize that you prefer brunettes over blondes, but there will be something new for sure 🙂
(10.) NEW FRIENDSHIP or RELATIONSHIP
Erasmus+ connects people from all around Europe and broader. And sometimes it means that you have a chance to meet your soulmate (in friendship or relationship sense), a chance you would never have without Erasmus+. And by that we don’t mean that it will always happen to you (or maybe it will, you can never know 🙂 ), but that on every project there are people who will bond, stay in touch after they go back to their homes and see each other again. And that’s in our oppinion one of the biggest values of Erasmus+.
And don’t forget one important thing guys, although Erasmus+ projects are really, really fun, you still need to:
Tena & Romina