The Comenius project allowed me to meet very different people. I met my partner with whom I got on well. My trip to Belgium showed me that all young Europeans have more or less the same adolescence, the same life punctuated by school, friends, pastimes... We all fill our free time in the same way and all that changes is the amount of time devoted to our free time, since it varies according to the country. During the trip I loved spending time with Marie-Astrid, my partner, who showed me her life and hobbies (theatre, rollerskating, her friends...) I was also lucky enough to taste typical dishes, like "boulets liégeois" (traditional meatballs). I will keep fond memories of this little trip.
MANON : (Germany)
During this exchange I met Lisa, a German highschool student. Thanks to this exchange, I was able to see that the pastimes of young Germans are similar to ours, however their lifestyle is a little different: the Germans have better transport facilities (trams, trains) and go out more (classes end at 3pm). They seem sportier and more concerned about the environment (they travel by bike) and mealtimes are very different to ours, given that they eat a sandwich every two hours and rarely "proper meals". What struck me as very different in Germany were the anti-smoking measures (minors are forbidden to smoke in public) whereas there are lots of advertisements for tobacco, which no longer exists in France. I also noticed during my trip to Germany that the Germans don't kiss each other hello or goodbye and this French custom astonishes them. Finally, I'll say that the Germans are very warm and welcoming.
SOLENNE : (Belgium)
MELODIE : (Germany)
NAEL : (Spain)
My trip to Spain, to Ourense, allowed me to discover the way of life of Spanish teens and those of other countries. Theirs is really less stressful than ours. Many stereotypes are true : the young have more freedom; parents are less strict than in France and so are the teachers; what's more they have fewer lessons a day which lets them do more extra-curricular activities or go out more often. I also met some Germans. They eat a lot compared to the French.
They live their teens differently to us. They are less stressed by their studies and more protected by their parents. By this I mean that they're free to go out a lot, knowing that their parents will come and pick them up in the middle of the night. Their classes are organized in such a way that they're able to do some sort of activity. Yet I don't know if they really take advantage of this.
My favourite moments were in the heated spas of Outaris. Being in a warm pool and feeling rain dropping on my face was really great. The atmosphere in the dance-bars is good, too. I remember that the first day I met my partner he left me with others from the Comenius group, telling me quickly that he was going to his piano lesson. When they decided to go home, my partner still hadn't come to get me. I panicked ans had to ask a Spanish girl to phone him to come and get me.
LEA : (Spain)
These exchanges have allowed me to open up to a new culture. I've got to know new people and Comenius has brought me friendship with my penfriend Sara who I talk to a lot.
Which character traits? The Spanish are ALWAYS tired. I must have heard the sentence: "I'm tired" 30 or so times a day. There's no denying that they eat a lot, party a lot and are really welcoming.
I think the Sapnish have a strange lifestyle (compared to us in France). They don't go to bed before one or two in the morning. Young people go out drinking and to see their friends on Thursdays and Fridays and get up early to go to school. On the other hand, they enjoy more free time for they can go out in the afternoons since lessons stop at 2.30pm.
As far as hobbies are concerned, my penfriend and the other Spanish partners didn't seem very sporty but were all passionate about music. They devote more time to it for they have fewer hours of lessons (even if technically they should use this time to work in). But this point of view is limited to the group I met in March.
What I liked best when I met my partner for the first time in France was her big smile. It relaxed me completely, as I was quite anxious about not knowing her. When I arrived in Spain, it was just great because she threw her arms round me and her mother was really welcoming.
Anecdotes : there's the shock (yes my partner was really shocked) of learning all that is forbidden in France, but not in Spain, like the hookah bars, the sale of spirits to kids under-18. I don't know how many times she said : "But it cant be true!" and it made me laugh.
AURORE : (Germany)
During the Comenius project, I was partnered with Sophie, who is Belgian, and I went to stay with her along with other partners who were German!
For me Comenius was a good experience thanks to the work on the survey and to my trip to Belgium. Going to my partner's in Belgium was enriching. I learnt that they lived the same way as we do; the only differences are the school system and the way boys and girls are separated in sport. Their leisure activities aren't different from ours. We have a lot in common. During my trip to Blegium I visited Brussels and went to the Comic Strip Museum, which I really liked. My partner's family was really great, ready to welcome everyone and all new experiences.
To begin, it was my first visit to Spain and I have fond memories of it. For me, the whole voyage was an anecdote between ultra-sporty times to avoid missing our transport and times spent with Sarah, Léa and Naël, where we had trouble making ourselves understood, and times when we had a few little problems, nothing serious indeed rather funny. Today we still talk about it and laugh!
SARAH : (Spain)
Thanks to the Comenius project, I had the opportunity of welcoming a Spanish partner here and of going to Spain. I thoroughly enjoyed these exchanges for, as well as practising the language, they allowed us discover our European neighbours' way of life, which isn't the same as ours. I noticed that, like many Spanish teens, my partner would regularly go out in the evenings with a few friends for a drink in a bar or to dance till 2 or 3am - sometimes even later - although she'd got school next day. It has to be said that the town of Orense offers more entertainment than Château-du-Loir and parents allow their children to stay out till all hours. At 10.30pm in the streets of Orense I remember seeing children of ten or so, with no parental supervision, which really surprised me; on the contrary, my partner found this quite normal. What's more, the Spanish students are frre in the afternoon - from 2pm - for leisure activities, walking, shopping or revising in the run-up to the exams. In comparison, I find it more difficult to do leisure activities while most students are in school all day, that's to say from 8am to 5.30pm. What's more, all the stereotypes we hear about aren't entirely untrue. For example, the Spanish are said to party a lot, which turns out to be true; my stay in Spain confirmed this. In any case, I've fond memories of this exchange which was full of surprises, laughter and encounters...
PAULINE : (Belgium)