Personal experiences from PRAXIS’ participants:
This project aims to contribute to raising the quality of life of young people with entrepreneurship potential, many with low opportunities (unemployed, poverty, isolation). The high unemployment in the rural countries and the small percentage of entrepreneurial initiatives doubled by lack of skills are the main needs of young people in the communities involved.
Τhe aim of the project is to develop entrepreneurial spirit in rural areas by strengthening the entrepreneurial skills of young people
I would describe this program as a life changing experience. As something that comes only once in your life. I really enjoyed my days in Sarata Monteoru and now that I am back in Athens I tend to hark back to these days. Thanks to this program I evolved in a more dynamic and independent person. I became more confident and more assertive. I never expected that just 10 days in Romania can have such a positive impact in my life. I also realised that every goal, even starting my own business, is achievable if I put effort on it and make a realistic business plan. Now I have the basic knowledge and the boost to make my dreams come true.
Last but not least I should mention the intercultural aspect of this project. Participants from 5 different countries had to live together and cooperate. And I have to say that they all succeed! I think that we all got rid of prejudices and realised that if we cooperate, we can achieve anything! Also, I got a deeper understanding of the others’ cultures and habits and met amazing people that I wouldn’t have got to know without this program.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience, I am very grateful about this and I would definitely suggest to others to take every opportunity they have and participate in life changing Erasmus+ programs.
If you are thinking of going to an Erasmus+ program, don’t overthink it, just do it! The experience I had in Romania is unforgettable. Getting to know new people from different countries and their culture really opens up your horizons. Especially having native youngsters in the group helps you see the country not like a tourist but like a native and you get to learn about their history. The host of this project was very experienced and was an amazing leader through all the workshops. We were bound with each other quickly and we had a very good and productive cooperation. As for the outcome of our business plans, they were really well made and we had a lot of fun while making them. My first Erasmus+ experience has a special place in my heart and I’ll never forget it and the people that I got to meet there and call my friends. Katerina Chatziathanasiou
Curiosity. This particular feeling is the secret ingredient necessary to live life to the fullest. Remember when you were a child, and everything in this world seemed new. You were constantly asking questions to your parents, or anyone around you. And that's how you eventually learned about yourself, discovered your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, made friendships, and bitter rivalries with your classmates, cried and laughed, and learned valuable life lessons. Curiosity is not just a feeling. It is the pinnacle expression of human lust for life. And it was also the "thing" that made me apply for this "Youth Exchange" program in Romania. My curiosity about other countries, cultures, and learning new ideas and skills. But I never expected what was about to happen. 10 days in paradise, among some great people that I'll remember forever. My trip to Romania was more than an experience. Through the teachings, from the appointed instructors or others, and the much missing deep mental connection with others, we all grew into a different person from the one that clicked that "Apply" button. A wiser one. An independent. A thinker. A renegade. A person, that not just watches life pass them by, but actively shapes the environment and the psyches of those around them. Thanks to this program my life might have turned around. Because, in the end of the day, this experience was not about the good food, the nice scenery, and the comfortable living. It is all more about thinking for yourself and others. Because you have to be willing to cut against the grain and get the distance from the common. The everyday routine. And not only that, but you have to have a habitual vision of greatness. Valianos Kefallinos
I have never felt more privileged to know English and be a citizen of the European Union.
Privilege is for me the chance I was given to come close, not as a tourist but as a co-participant, with people from other countries I wouldn't have otherwise. Be a member of a project in which everyone signed up for their own personal reasons.
Turns out I am not the only young adult dreaming of making their own way in life or feeling ‘’not good enough’’ to succeed in the business field. I met a lot of visionary people, full of light and ideas wondering what life is about. All the doubts in my mind were silenced due to the validation I got for my work’s worth in these projects, due to my participation in the tasks that made me acknowledge my useful business skills and through the advice I got from the trainers.
I loved being around these people sharing the common vision of bringing the change we want to see in the world. This project helped me clarify a lot of things of how I could make my own small business in Greece and what for, all of my unlimited options.
All in all, it made me realize that not everyone who wander are lost.
This Erasmus+ project was a totally new experience for me, and I am thankful that I had the chance to be a part of it. It was great to be part of groups with people from many different countries and find ways to work together. The most fascinating part about this experience was the so many common things we discovered we have as cultures along the way. It really dropped many barriers and made us realise that we are much closer that we thought we were. This awareness could not have been raised if we were simple tourists in one of these countries. The other reason I am thankful to this project, is the many things it made me realise about myself. Being a member of many teams with different people had us all working in different roles, depending on our dynamic. As I am usually a quiet person who prefers to listen first (a “Reflector” as we learned during one of our workshops in which we took the Honey & Mumford learning quiz), it took me by surprise when I managed to easily take the leadership when needed. It was so fulfilling to actually be able to create a full business plan with my team, and combine many great ideas into one. This project brought me close to many people, and I made new friends along the way, whilst also discovering new parts about myself. It was a one-in-a-lifetime experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I really wish I have the chance to join similar projects in the future and I encourage anyone who might be reading this to give it a try, because it will change you for the better. Elleftheria Tsipitori
Being a participant of this project was an amazing experience and a unique opportunity to grow into a better person than before and earn new skills not only concerning the topic but also language and intellectual skills. It was also pretty nice to explore a new country and learn about their culture not as a tourist but as a co-participant. This project helped me build confidence and made me stronger in business skills not only from the knowledge that we earned but also from this unique way of learning and from the advices of the trainer. Lastly, I met a lot of amazing people full of hope and new ideas from all over the Balkans and we all together had built an amazing team. I am really happy that I was part of this lifechanging experience! Orfeas Koutras
There are no words to accurately describe how much this project affected me not only as a potential entrepreneur, but also as a person. It all started with lots of social anxiety and stress, since meeting a lot of new people in short periods of time, was never my thing. Soon after the first ice-breaking activities and the socializing evenings, my anxiety had completely transformed into warm feelings of joy... compassion.. empathy. I felt like home in a place I have never been, with people I have never met. That's the power of Erasmus+. I always wanted to travel abroad and experience the different, the uncommon. And now, I have lots of friends around Europe that are waiting for me to visit them. In this project, I got the chance to connect deeply with many unique people and get a small taste of their cultures and mindsets. Got the chance to discover and challenge parts of me that I would have never met otherwise. And because of all of that, I am now richer. In conclusion, taking part in this Erasmus+ project was at least a life-changing experience. I would highly recommend anyone who has a desire for new outstanding adventures, to definitely participate in one. They will come back a different person. Dimitris Alekopoulos