Written by: Alexandra Misura
My experience in regard of the exchange was really mixed. It was my first time as a group leader and all the responsibilities it came with and an entirely new perspective of team work.
Before the exchange we have made a lot of preparations for the programs and arrival of the groups. In that few months I have learned a lot about the things involved in a youth exchange starting from the bookings to the materials and so on. I’m really grateful for all the help and patience we’ve received while at it, and it will shape my future workings as a team member.
The exchange itself included 40 girls: 20 somali-finnish and 20 hungarian, so as one can imagine it scared me a little bit in the preparation, because I couldn’t imagine hogy can we not argue with that many girls in one place and no guys to act as buffers with their more laid-back attitude. It turned out I was wrong, and I can’t be happier for it.
The first week of the exchange in Hungary was incredibly stressful, but at the same time really refreshing and energizing. It was really interesting to get to know an another culture like this, because all my previous experiences involved at least 5 countries at the same time. We have learned a lot about each other while we managed to become a team instead of a random group of people. We had ups and downs, and in the end it turned out alright, and we even got into the entrepreneur life a little bit with the help of some expert entrepreneurs, who made it to success.
The second week in Finland was a lot different than the first one. We were in the middle of a forest far away from any short of village and everyone except the group itself. As we had already known each other form the first part we were quick to get back to where we left off previously. We were mostly in the accomodating woodhouse learnig about entrepreneurship,(and basic survival skills like making fire) and when we ventured out to Helsinki by bus we have met a couple of entrepreneurs who shared their experiences with us, so we could see how it worked in ’real life’.
Written By : Nikolett Fábián,
First of all I’m happy to meet these awesome people I got to know during the programme. Everyone was such open-minded, it’s impressive to hear these opinions and views also in connection with the cultural differences we had. The youth exchange had the title empowering entrepreneurship, and as there were just women participants we had topics dealing with ordinary cases of a woman’s life. How to be a mother and an entrepreneur in the same time? How do these people manage their daily shedule? What were the pulling factors when they decided to begin a startup or a small company? So we met some entrepreneurs and listen to their stories and experencies. It’s a nice way to get inspiration and learn about the issues and also what you have to consider before getting into your own business. On the other hand we had workshops to think about our own ideas and how they can be developed. We played also a card game which leads you step by step to see what you’d like to achive and what should be the main points you need to reach or overcome. Anyway I definitely enjoyed our youth exchange and I’m glad to hear such new things which are not typical in everyday life. Thank you!
Written by: Bánsági Panna,
The hungarian week was super, but I didn’t really like the finnish week. My biggest problem was with the accommodation. In Veresegyház we stayed in a 3 star hotel, while in Finland we stayed in a barely heated wood chalet. In one bedroom we needed to fit 4 people with very little space. The mattresses were uncomfortable and dirty. For 40 girls there wear 4 earthth closets and there was no water for it. There weren’t any normal bathrooms, we needed to was ourself with basins full of water. It had itt charm but it wasn’t functional (because of the large amount of people). The sauna was pleasent as excepted. Because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger we survived even this. About the programs: I really enjoyed the programs organized by the hungarians. Clever games and intresting presentations were listed in our program table. This could be said about the finnish programs as well, because the programs were exactly the same. This meant to me that they didn’t really put a lot of effort in to organizing the programs.
I really enjoyed the company of my traveling companions. I got to knew kind, humorous, and creative people. I hope I can keep in touch with them. Even tough i had lots of issues, i would like to thank the opportunity because it was a great exprience, even with the flaws
Written by: Patrícia Tóth,
Empowering Entrepreneurship. 40 youth, 20 hungarian and 20 somali-finnish girls who will spend 1 week in Hungary, 1 week in Finland together to empower their entrepreneurship. Besides the professional development, we can imagine how many times will have to struggle with tantrums, gossips, etc.. However, these two weeks were so much different from our imaginatons.
Our exchange program began on 8th of August on one of the hottest week of the year in Veresegyház. The feeling of introvert could be touched in the first moments and days from both finnish and hungarian side. Common programmes, evaluations, writing down our expectations and fears, talking about them in connaction with this two exchange weeks, inner feelings drew us close together and our walls were broken down by these actions. From the middle of the week due to these steps we asked each other about a lot of topics, such as personal things, differences in our religions and cultures and shorthly realized we are similar in a million ways. That was so good to see how these girls open up to us and leave behind their inhibitions and fears which were with them when they came to our little country. The happiest day was the exploring day in Budapest. Despite the heat and limited time that day is unforgettable for me. Under our city guiding we would liked to show the heart of our capital city and I guess we succeeded. True happiness and gratefulness appeared on their faces at the end of that day. It was more than we could expect. On Sunday before the saying-goodbye we have glued a paper to each other’s back and been writing some nice thoughts to take home as a good memory.
Two month later, on 16th of October we went to our second journey to one of the beautiful Scandinavian areas, Finland. Our plane has landed around p.m. half past and nine. While we were waiting at the airport for girls, we went outside to check feeling of the north weather. The frosty cold was touched our faces while we left behind 23 Celsius in Budapest. It was like a big slap. When we arrived at our accomodation in Espoo, my ideas about this area came true one by one. Like chalets in the middle of the forest, smelling smoke of the fireplace, the fresh, freezing north air and silence the endless silence. Besides these, some shocking situations also came, such as tight rooms without doors, no flush toilets and taking shower from wood tubs. One-two days later this kind of showering with sauna turned to an unforgettable and fantastic memory. I loved the forest, the nearby lake, our short trips to there while we were discovering nature of wild tajga. I loved our common eatings, going to sauna in the evenings, playing board games and I loved Helsinki, too. Architecture and streets of this capital city was similar to Budapest’s. It was calm, clear and nice to me. We have been exploring a lot of things in the city while we have completed some missions in little mixed groups. We visited a lot of points from Helsinki Cathedral, to nearby mini archipelago, to the biggest university library of the city. At the end of the day, we could make our hungry tummies full in a panoramic moroccan restaurant. I was completly impressed by this authentic place, foods and sweets. Some hours later we had fun and closed our fantastic day in a periodic amusement park named Light Festival. Both in Veresegyház and Helsinki the professional side of this programme included to talk with successful women about their life, the way how they reached their dreams, ups and downs and gave us useful advices for the future. To be honest I wasn’t been so impressed by that women, much more by these young somali-finnish girls whom need to fight, study and work with a huge effort, doing more like the average to reach their goals.
Before the project I wouldn’t have thought that I will like these girls so much and learn a lot of tolerance and patience from them. Thank you for having us in Finland, especially for Idman, Aisha F., Afifa, Shuhda, Fatima, Khadija, Khadra, Kauthar and Marian I., I closed you to my heart and I hope one day we’ll see each other again.
Written by: Tari Dora,
We spent two weeks with Somalin-Finnish girls, one week was in Hungary the other one was in Finland. In Hungary we lived in a hotel in Veresegyház. In the beginning of the week we played several games to learn each other’s names. We did a lot of projects, did brainstorming how to start your own business and what kind of business and some entrepreneurs e.g lawyer, judge, mother visited us to tell their stories. There were a lot of group works where we could know each other better. I really enjoyed the morning energizers because they were fun. There was a cultural night when we introduced our interesting culture, thought Hungarian dance them and gave Hungarian foods. We went to Budapest in groups and showed the sights of our beautiful city. One day we went to the Bear Home of Veresegyház and that was a really good idea to go there, we saw a lot of bears, wolves and other rare animals. That week was a very good week and we made good relationships there. The second part of our project was in Finland. We lived in a bungalow in the middle of a forest, which was an amazing experience and to cut the woods and to make the fire to be able to have a shower was fun. We had a typical Finnish bath and sauna. It was wonderful to be so close the nature which is completely different than ours. This was very special when we had a short break I could go out just for a short walk and it was never boring. In the mornings there were interesting energizers outside where there was really cold so we moved a lot to not to have a cold. In the first days there were some name games too so we could learn everybody’s name again. We had very interesting projects and discussions, team-building games. The food was very delicious and in the cultural night we got Somali foods and they were very tasty. The girls showed us the typical dance and it was very exciting to realise that how much our cultures different. We were in Helsinki two times, in the first day we had projects there, in the morning a half Hungarian entrepreneur did a performance of her business which was very interesting for me. In the afternoon we could design our bag and later visited another entrepreneur. In the other day when we were in Helsinki the girls showed us Helsinki and in the evening we went to a festival. That week was a wonderful week too. To sum up these two weeks were an amazing experience, I could make a lot of friends and I learnt a lot about our topic which can be very useful for my future. I improved my language, technical and social skills.
Written by: Tauber Kinga,
During the 2 weeks in Veresegyház and Helsinki, I learned a lot of new things, I had a lot of experience. I think that I have not only developed professionally, but also humanly. In addition to many interesting presentations and workshops, we were able to take part in team-building tasks and entertainments during the project, which brought the team together very well.
Among the professional programs I really liked the lectures of entrepreneurial women, we heard about the story of a fashion designer, a café owner, a judge, a natural therapist, how they built up their careers. It was good to see each of them how talked about their work with kindness, dedication, and love. After it we could try out how to work in a team, to get a business idea out of an idea, and how to present it to the “investors”.
In both Veresegyház and Helsinki, we participated in many team building games and role-playing games that helped us to get to know each other, the other’s thinking and culture. In order to get to know culture, we also had a cultural evening at both week, where we sampled the food of the country, we got to know their music, dances and traditions. And of course, there were more relaxed programs: sightseeing in Budapest, Helsinki, visiting a bear park, confectionery in Veresegyház, going to theater, hiking to the lake.
For me this projekt, this the 2 weeks, provided unforgettable experiences, experiences and knowledge.
Written by: Zsofia Kovacs,
We spent two beautiful and eventful weeks with Finnish students. We collected many experiences and many memories. I am so glad that I know these people. In the first part of the program we spent a week in a beautiful and awesome city, in Veresegyháza. We had an accommodation in a very good hotel, we had the opportunity for sauna. We always started the day with energizers, they always were funny and everybody enjoyed them. We did the usual Erasmus things (the Youthpass), for example we practiced the 8 competence in the form of a Mandala.
In the first days we had many name games and teambuilding games. We learned about how to accept other cultures and other’s rules we learned it through different games. We spent an afternoon in Budapest with sightseeing. We were divided into mixed groups and we had to show every famous places and we had a treasure hunting game too.
The program’ s bottom line was to empowering entrepreneurship so we had the opportunity to meet women entrepreneurs, they talked about their life and about their job. We had a Hungarian night where we taught the Finnish girls some Hungarian folksongs and we ate Hungarian sweets. In the last day we went to the Medve park it was very fanny and a good end of the week. In the second part of the program we were near to Helsinki. We were in the middle in the forest in a wooden house. We had a traditional Finnish bath first it seemed very unhygienic but it was a lot of fun.
We played games and tripped in the forest in our free time. We went to Helsinki twice. First we met some entrepreneurs who already have their own business. It was very interesting and motivating. Secondly we had sightseeing and we had a ship trip too. We were divided in mixed groups. At the and of the trip we had many free time and than we went to a carnival where we had the opportunity to play some games and win toys. One of the last nights we had a Somali night, we ate traditional food and danced traditional dance. And at the last night we had relaxing time with face masks, marshmallow, chips and sweets. All in all it was a very good experience we really enjoyed both parts of the program we are really thankful for the possibility.