A bridge to the future – youth exchange in Italy

bridge to the future

Ugnė and Gabija were two out of the 10-person team in Italy who had the chance to attend the youth exchange called “A Bridge to the Future”. 

Ugne shares: 
At the end of August and the start of September, I got an opportunity to participate in a project called “Bridge to the Future” in the small town of Castelsaraceno, Italy. We lived in a town surrounded by mountains, in a town full of warm, smiling people. During the project, we were exploring the beautiful sights of southern Italy: we visited Matera, which can be seen in famous movies, Maratea, which fascinated me with out-of-this-world views of the mountains and sky-blue sea. We hiked in the mountains, had a picnic in the forest, walked through the famous Tibetan bridge of Castelsaraceno. The best part of this Erasmus was socializing with the local Italian people, learning Italian culture and language, introducing Lithuanian language and culture to Italians. We were productive too: we created sustainable business ideas and presented them to the mayor of Castelsaraceno. I am grateful for all of the experiences: late-night walks, deep conversations, laughing till my stomach hurts, creating lifelong friends, taking photos with the local police – Carabinieri, every day waking up to fairytale views, and much more. This was truly an incredible experience for me where I met wonderful people, learned more about sustainability, and, also, learned more about myself.

Gabija also tells us her experience: 

“A BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE”, a youth exchange in Castelsaraceno, a small mountain village, had a multitude of objectives, all aimed at promoting intercultural understanding, personal development, and the acquisition of new skills. Through a
diverse range of activities, this project aimed to enhance participants’ understanding about globalization, sustainability, foster cultural empathy, and encourage collaboration among individuals from different backgrounds. This project sought to
promote active citizenship and social inclusion, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and cohesive society created by the participants and the Castelsaraceno community.
This youth exchange project offered an impressive array of activities designed to engage and challenge participants intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Workshops, and lectures were conducted to improve participants’ perception in
discussed topics, while also providing insights into the local culture and history. Various cultural and recreational activities, such as visits to historical sites, traditional festivals, and community engagement initiatives, allowed participants to immerse themselves in the vibrant local community and forge lasting connections.

This Erasmus+ project yielded numerous positive outcomes for the participants. They had the opportunity to experience personal growth by stepping out of their comfort zones, develop resilience, and broaden their horizons. This project provided them with a unique opportunity to acquire new skills, such as intercultural communication, adaptability, and problem-solving, which are highly sought after in today’s globalized world. Moreover, this project leaves a lasting legacy within everyone’s heart, as the connections forged during the project endure, leading to ongoing collaborations and mutual support. -by Gabija
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