Ploiesti Impressions



Barriers exist only as long as we want them to exist, this is the conclusion we came to after the project meeting held in Ploiesti, Romania from 25th September to 2nd October 2014, as part of the Gruntvig Learning Partnership "Promoting English as Means of Communication in European Adult Education" in which Liceul Tehnologic de Servicii “Sfantul Apostol Andrei” is one of the partners (2013 - 2015).
 Four groups consisting of teachers and students from Italy, Spain (Catalonia), Turkey and Romania have shared their experience with a clear conclusion: once you arrive in a European foreign country, you are no longer Romanian, Spanish, Italian or Turkish, but European citizens, open-minded people willing to share the best from their countries while exploring the best of the visited one. The English language has fulfilled its initial purpose as means of communication facilitating not only knowledge accumulation, cultural exchange and linguistic skills development, but also creating bonds between people which could undoubtedly pass the test of time.
It was a great opportunity for us, the Romanian students, to get to know better our own country, and all of us (Dragulin Loredana, Necula Adina, Ivanoiu Madalina, Stoica Daniela and Toma Robert Florin) were happy for being chosen to be part of the Romanian committee assembled for the purpose of interacting with foreign students, hosting them, taking part in activities, guiding the guests during the project meeting etc.
Romania is a country with landscapes that can easily take your breath away and with warm and hospitable people. No matter what place we visited that week, our European guests enjoyed some of the most beautiful parts of Romania and their feedback was definitely a positive one regarding not only the places, but also the people they met.
The activities planned by the Romanian project coordinator were a pleasant surprise for everyone and that's because they were not only creative, but funny at the same time and because each activity turned out to be even better with a touch of spontaneity. For example, the pizza making activity ended up to be a lunch with pizza and traditional Spanish and Turkish food improvised with pizza dough and joy. Or the visit to Salina Prahova, which turned out to be a quest to find not only means of transport, but also the perfect salt pieces, with the help of some of the mine employees. Also the statues of Caragiale and some representative characters from one of his plays, located in the centre of Ploiesti, came to life as we made a summary of the play to our guests and so they seemed to understand perfectly Caragiale’s ironic spirit. All activities were organized with the known purpose of providing adult students real contexts in which they could use English in order to communicate each other, share culture and traditions, perform tasks, develop tolerance and active European citizenship and develop friendship which would last many years.
Another important aspect of this cultural exchange was the fact that the students came from Spain, Italy and Turkey, they were of different ages and had different professions and perspectives of life. Although there are many things that separate people such as beliefs, culture, traditions and it's hard to create unity, especially when there are 4 countries involved, that week was about things in common or creating ones through communication in English and all students got involved openly and willingly to work together and cooperate to achieve the required tasks. We all actively got involved in the English lessons delivered by European teachers no matter our level and we did our best to improve our linguistic skills.
Everyone who was part of this project tried to make things as good as possible, we were involved 100% sharing ideas, joy and hard work, not to mention having open minds and being tolerant. Surely at the end of the project meeting, the conclusion was that everything went as planned, maybe even better than it was anticipated because all guest teachers and students expressed their gratitude for spending a wonderful week in Romania and for having amazing experiences here.

Necula Adina



On my first day in Romania, I was very nervous while we were going to school.
But my nerves vanished as soon as we arrived at school. We were received by Romanian students with their traditional costumes, who offered us delicious and savoury pie. They had prepared many surprises for us! Dances, music, songs ... We were offered handmade bracelets, flags and chocolates. All of them were willing to please us and they succeeded! There was a classroom full of Spanish food: paella, sandwiches, puddings ... We were well fed up! I do not know who was happier, they for giving or we for receiving. Yolanda and Rafael made a presentation of Tarragona where we also participated. In those classrooms we shared English classes with Romanian, Italian and Turkish students.
At break time, teachers let us use their room where we were invited to coffee and cakes ... and we were allowed to smoke! In those moments we asked each other about everyday life: how we felt, if we had had a good rest... We spoke as much English as we could and helped each other to understand and be understood.
The excursions were great fun. We visited castles, museums, cities ... and one day we climbed to a mountain top. I had ever seen such a spectacular view. And, as a Spanish saying says “el reoce hace el cariño”, therefore we tried harder and harder to understand each other, we looked for verbs, adjectives and complete sentences to better express our feelings.
The international project has become part of each of us and we are a great team.
Sometimes life is hard and you need to fight, but from time to time you need a gift that tells you, you are doing well. On this occasion, this gift has given to me by this school: CFA Josepa Massanés and Dalmau. Thanks a lot! Thanks also to Yolanda and Rafael because they were good company for the trip and, especially, for their translations, which helped me to speak better English.

Esther Andreu (CFA Josepa Massanés)