This year too, several teachers took part in the Erasmus+ program, which allowed them to visit different European countries, where they got to know the culture and the local education system. I interviewed teachers Ms Éva Kis and Ms Edina Iványiné Török whose accounts tell us what it’s like to take part in such a journey and what kind of experiences can be obtained from the Erasmus+ program.
My first question would be whether was this the first opportunity for you to travel abroad by the Erasmus+ training program?
Ms Éva Kis: This was the third time that I took part in the Erasmus+ program. 2016 was my first trip then 2017. Last year my project failed but I would have loved to take part in that.
Ms Edina Iványiné Török: Yes, It was the first time I have ever been abroad with an Erasmus program.
What aroused your interest towards the Erasmus+ program?
Ms Éva Kis: In 2015, I had colleagues specialized in English who took part in the Erasmus+ project abroad, and when they returned in the beginning of September, they had an informant in the staffroom, where they talked about what beautiful places they had visited and how much they enjoyed the time they spent there. Their report immediately aroused my interest for the program, and the next year I applied, too.
Ms Edina Iványiné Török: I believe that it is an outstanding opportunity which lets us put ourselves to the test and we can broaden our horizons as well. We can get an insight view of foreign cultures and can see the differences in the daily routines between the English and Hungarian citizens.
Which city did you visit? Why exactly did you choose that city?
Ms Éva Kis: On my first try I visited Florance, the second time I went to Otranto in South-Italy. Now I once again travelled to Florance since I really love the Italian culture, language, dishes and wines so I’m a big lover of all things Italian. This year’s course also perfectly fitted my interest which this year was in English while the earlier occasion I participated in was an Italian course.
Ms Edina Iványiné Török: I was in Brighton, England owing to the fact, that I assumed that the best and the most efficient decision is to travel to an English speaking area. I chose this city by accident, on account of the fact that I had had no idea about the exact destination. I considered the city of Brighton as a proper target because it lies on the coast and it is not far from London.
Could you briefly tell us in which activities did you take part during your stay?
Ms Éva Kis: During the program, classes were held alternately in the afternoon and in the morning. We had 6-hour-long study sessions a day in international groups of 12-14. During the first half of the training I had regular classes, in the second half, I got the chance to participate in interactive tasks. Besides our studies, I visited museums and different restaurants at night. On the weekend I took a trip near Florence. I visited Siena, San Gimignano, and Peruggia too.
Ms Edina Iványiné Török: My weekdays were mostly about going to the course at 9 am, where I had 4 language lessons. After the classes we had approximately 1-hour lunch break, then I attended to 2 other lessons, so I finished at 3 pm. I got to know an Italian colleague, who came from Udine for the training program. I spent my free hours mostly with her: went on sightseeing or to the coast, where one day the weather was so nice, we even dipped in the water. The language school also organised programs for the participants: visited the Devil’s Dyke, which is a nearby Valley, and they also took us to the Seven Sisters, which are famous rocks at the coast of the La Manche. Even on weekends, I participated in events organised by the travel agency, for example, sightseeing in Cambridge and in London, and we visited the Stonehenge as well with the group.
What beneficial skills did you obtain during your stay?
Ms Éva Kis: First of all, I got to know a whole new world and culture, second of all, I got to know myself better as well. Since I was all alone in a foreign language speaking environment, I had to do various sorts of tasks where I could only rely on myself. Moreover my language skills improved as well. Since, the whole point of further training was to master digital teaching methods such as the use of ICT devices. Thanks to this program I enriched my knowledge in the use of these devices.
Ms Edina Iványiné Török: Primarily I acquired courage in using the language since throughout my career of teaching, English language wasn’t imperative and this has taken its toll on my knowledge. My familiarity with the English language has definitely improved thanks to the Erasmus+ program.
By any chance was there anything that got you by surprise or caused any difficulties?
Ms Éva Kis: I can’t remember any occasion where I had any difficulty, not during this training or the previous ones. The whole training went flawlessly, and this played a huge part in making this whole experience memorable. I thought it would be harder and more complex, but fortunately, I could easily adapt to the foreign environment
Ms Edina Iványiné Török: Luckily I can’t recall anything like that, everything went fine along the trip. First I didn’t know how am I going to find the host family, or even what they would be like, but at the end, I had no problem with this either, everything was perfect about the trip.
Do you think you would participate in a training program like this in the future?
Ms Éva Kis: Of course, I am planning on applying for next year’s Erasmus program. I recommend this program to all of my colleagues, especially for those who’s willing to take this opportunity in order to improve both themselves and their professional skills.
Ms Edina Iványiné Török: I would definitely want to take part in the Erasmus project at other times as well since I consider it profoundly useful that such chances emerge for us, and it’s worth taking advantage of it.