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Erasmus+ Exchange Visit to Graz, Austria

Evolving Patterns of Diversity is an Erasmus+ School Exchange Partnership project. Seventeen Year 10 students from different classes and tracks had the opportunity to visit Graz and build new friendship ties.

The first week of March gave start to their experience and throughout this week they experienced  an Austrian scholastic week at Modellschule, Graz. They had the opportunity to get to know each other through Drama games and activities. They spent quality time at the school, enabling them to  get involved in their system; they got to learn about their music traditions, culinary culture and language, to practice egg painting and to visit a traditional food market and an Eco Farm. Moreover, they had the opportunity to visit Graz’s two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the old town in the city centre and the castle of Eggenberg. The climax of the visit was the trip to Dachstein, the highest mountain of the region. For most of these students, the visit to the Dachstein mountain and its picturesque views, was a first-time experience; they had the unique opportunity to play and sledge in the snow.

This was a truly unique educational experience for all teachers and students involved. They had the opportunity to experience the diversity between the two countries in all its forms and to shape it into a memorable educational experience that will keep on evolving in the hearts of all those involved!

The following video highlights certain activities carried out during the 5-day exchange visit:

The following is a quote one of our students, Sofia Bombardiere, wrote:

It was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change anything about it !!
We got to bond in a way that we’ll never forget and we’re so thankful to all the teachers and everyone that made this happen!
We did so many activities that made us understand the Austrian traditions and culture .
We made a lot of new friends and we can’t wait till we see the Austrian people again ❤️
Thank you so much for this !

The following are two other experiences written by Kelsey Micallef and Graziella Micallef:

Thanks to this important project I made new friends outside my usual class. This helped me feel more accepted and part of the school. I worked  a lot on computers and on projecs,  in group work, and for the first time I saw the snow as I travelled to Austria. (Kelsy Micallef)

Joining the Erasmus club during breaks gave me the opportunity to feel loved and accepted by other students my age. We became one big family. I enjoyed doing power points, posters and postcards as we had time to work on the computers. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Austria and see, feel and play in the snow. I was lucky to enjoy all this with my best friend Kelsey and I would like to thank Kelsey’s mum for taking care of me as we had some pyjama parties too. (Graziella Micallef)

Mrs Zammit, Kelsey’s mum, had the opportunity to join the trip due to her daughter’s medical conditions. The following are her views about the Erasmus project and opportunities:

Thanks to the Erasmus Project and to St Theresa Secondary School, my daughter and I were given the opportunity to travel together and I managed to see her taking part in games and activities and talking to other students she didn’t know.  I realised that she could cope well, both with the Austrian students and with the work they were asked to do.  It was important for me to attend this visit with Kelsey because of her medical conditions. I was there to take care of her, to ensure she could enjoy and take part in all the planned activities. 

Some of Kelsey’s wishes came true – like snow ball fights, seeing another country, being abroad with her mother and her best friend Graziella, and using all kinds of transport we don’t have in Malta. 

As for me – I got to see a different side to my daughter’s life:  I was relieved to notice that she can be a little independent if she tried and very social with others. It made me feel proud and happy that I was given this opportunity.

As the days went by, I noticed that all the students were getting closer to each other and all worked as a team; Each one of them was accepted as part of the team and I think that it was the best result one could hope for.

It was a beautiful experience and something to really appreciate. I would like to thank all involved for a very well organised exchange visit to Graz, Austria.

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