Welcome to Lund

Now is the time for our fourth meeting with our project partners in this Erasmus collaboration: Inspired by health. And we are in my hometown: Lund. Here we will focus on non-profit engagement and volunteering: We rise by lifting others. We are going to meet people who work as volunteers. We will study how the non-profit engagement has changed over time and discuss how it may look in the future. We will see the films the students have prepared at their respective schools about how the non-profit engagement looks in their home towns. And a lot more…. Why don’t you join us and reach out to people near you and ask if they need help with something? Or just give them a smile and wish them a ”Good day”?

”We rise by lifthing others” and Musikhjälpen

This year’s Musikhjälpen is launched! Thus our students have started preparing for the next transnational meeting in Lund which is all about ”We rise by lifting others”. Musikhjälpen is the Swedish version of the Serious Request radio and television format, which has been broadcast annually since 2008. The original program Serious Request was created in 2004 by the Dutch radio station 3FM. The purpose of Muiskhjälpen is to raise funds for a project. This is done by closing three program leaders into a house called ”glass cages” for six days without solid food. Meanwhile, they broadcast radio and television 24 hours a day throughout the period, while listeners and viewers may want to wish songs to donate money. You can also start your own collections or auctions to collect money. All money will then go unpaid to young people who have some kind of function variation. This year’s theme of Musikhjälpen is ”Everyone is entitled to work differently”. You can also start your own collections or auctions to raise money. We have created a calendar for 2019 with pictures from our trips to Finland, Spain and Austria.

Here’s our contribution: Musikhjälpen

If you want to join you can also donate money to people around the world. Click here.

Our work can save lives.

Thanks for a great week in Valencia

A few weeks ago we came home to a rainy Lund from sunny Valencia, where we had been at our third transnational meeting. The focus this time was on mental health and we really feel uplifted and well-being.  Valencia proved from his best side.

We have learned Spanish, eaten churros and been guided in the old part of the city. We have had a try on laughing yoga, tai chi, samba, mindfulness and pilates. We have stressed down by working with crafts, played games, watched short stories, told stories for each other and managed to get out of Escape Room. We have cycled through the city and walked through parks. Vi have visited the science museum and oceanografic. We have competed in Crazy Olympic Games.  And, of course, we have eaten paella. Some of us took a swim in the ocean while others wondered if we were really healthy. We laughed at ourselves when we watched the movies we recorded about the pre-conceived notion that exist about us.

When it was time for the closing ceremony and the award of the diploma, both the school principal and the local politician emphasized that projects like ours are important for the future: our young people are not likely to start war and conflicts with their friends in others countries in EU. And if they return to Valencia, they always have a hospitable family to visit.

And we think they will return…

Muchas gracias to our host families! Muchas gracias to the team of teachers: Dany, Nacho, Pilar, Pablo, Jitka, Nacho, Rosa, Salva och Irene! Muchas gracias to the rest of the school, school administrations and principal! Kiitjos paljon to Annukka, Tarja och Elina! Vielen dank to Gabriele and Günther!

We long for May when you are coming to our university town Lund and were ”We rise by lifting others”. Here´s a small taste of what´s waiting for you.

Best regards,
Åsa and Tina

2nd Metting in Graz – ”A rolling stone gather no moss”

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While the first transnational meeting took place in Helsinki, Finland, the second one was hosted by the Bischöfliche Gymnasium in Graz, Austria. This time the focus was on the impact of sports and exercise on physical and mental well-being.

The programme of the week was manifold: On the one hand, it consisted of lectures, presentations and workshops at school in the mornings, on the other hand, students had the chance to try out various sports and compete against each other in the afternoons. A third emphasis was on getting to know some aspects of Austrian culture.

Every morning the programme started with a substantial breakfast of students and teachers. Monday morning’s breakfast was followed by a brief introduction into the history and structure of our school and a warm welcome to all guests by our principal Ms. Renate Höck, and the CEO of Augustinum, Mr. Peter Jirak.

Afterwards one group of Austrian students provided an overview of the Austrian school system, which sparked a brief discussion on differences between the education systems of  our countries. This was followed by a viewing of the “Our city/Our school” videos, that had already been prepared for the first meeting in Helsinki, but might not have been seen by all participating students. Finally, our guests were given a tour through the school, the whole building and the school grounds in order to familiarize everybody with the surroundings they would find themselves in this week.

The next topic on the agenda was an attempt of a group of Austrian students to teach a bit of German to our guests. Acompanying a presentation on “Die Deutsche Sprache”, students were asked to work in groups and try out simple dialogues in German in situations like

  • You have just arrived at your host family’s home and they want you to introduce yourself. They will ask you some questions about yourself, which you will have to answer. Use the words and phrases you have just learned.

Each group of guests was, of course, supported by their Austrian cronies. Finally, they could revise some everyday words and phrases in a Kahoot Quiz.

Learning German

The last point on this first morning was a presentation by some students on “Austrian History”. Naturally, only the most fundamental happenings and eras could be mentioned.

After lunch the first active sports session took place. Students could choose between different activities:

  • football training with Mr. Standfest, who is the trainer of a successful Graz football team
  • bouldering
  • workshop with members of a “circus school”, where you could learn how to juggle or try out aerial fabric acrobatics
  • workout at the Augustinum gym

Unfortunately, parts of the project were hampered by massive rain which forced us to change some activities, e.g. on the first day, the intention had originally been for one group to try out golfing. This, however, was not possible so they worked out at the gym instead.

On Tuesday morning all countries first presented their results of the sports survey, which they had carried out at their schools, before heading on to interesting and partly hilarious presentations of the typical/favourite/unique sports of each country.

This was followed by an “Amazing Race” through Graz with “Actionbound”, an app on our mobiles. Unfortunately, it was still pouring so we were all pretty soaked by the time we got back to school. After lunch we returned to the city centre for a visit to the town hall and a reception by the mayor of Graz, followed by a buffet of delicious sandwiches and drinks.

Wednesday started with a highly sophisticated lecture by Prof. Peter Hofmann from the Department of Sport Science at the University of Graz, entitled “Sports, exercise, physical activity and health”. Students learned about the effects of exercise on aging, arteriosclerosis and the musculo-skeletal system, on osteoporosis and even mental health. Many of us had to admit that until then we had been largely oblivious to the plethora of positive effects that physical exercise exerts on the human body and mind.

That exercising together can be a whole lot of fun became obvious in our next activity: a dancing class in a dancing school, where we learned the waltz and the polka, two typically Austrian dances. Hesitant, shy efforts at the beginning were soon followed by vivacious and joyful hopping and spinning, which will surely stick in our memories for quite a while.

The next and last programme of the day was yet another sports event: the different countries competed in three games: handball, volleyball and basketball. Even though the rules practised in the different countries might be slightly different, one thing seems to be universal: Everybody wants to win. All teams fought really hard and at times emotions ran high, but, fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt.

In the evening some students visited a shisha bar called Beyti, and caught a scent of the Balkans and of the students’ nightlife in Graz.

Originally, the plan for Thursday had been to visit the Dachstein, the highest mountain in Styria, and to do some hiking there – hiking being one of the most popular sports in Austria. However, the weather was again changeable and unfavourable for going up to nearly 3000 metres, so we visited the Zotter chocolate factory and a thermal bath instead.

The Zotter chocolate factory at Riegersburg may well produce one of the best chocolates in the world, so it was, of course, a must to taste all kinds of delicious chocolate. Apart from that, we were allowed to view the manufacturing process and received an interesting introduction into organic cocoa growth in South America and sustainable chocolate production.

One of the highlights of this week was the visit to a thermal bath, called Loipersdorf. Hot springs have always been an attraction since Roman times, not only for their healing properties, but simply as places to enjoy complete relaxation. The participants of the Erasmus + project thus experienced a favourite Austrian pastime and had a lot of fun as well.

What was left for us to do on Friday was to write glossaries on sports words and phrases. Afterwards we took a final walk through the town centre and visited a typical local farmers’ market. After lunch the victorious teams of the “Amazing race” and the sports competitions received their certificates and prizes and some final words were spoken to conclude the programme.

Last walk through Graz

The last evening, of course, was devoted to party at a local club called Motion. It was an evening with open end, a lot of fun and party, for many until dawn.

On Saturday, it was time to say good-bye to Graz, to an exciting week and to new-found friends. We believe that all participants profited from this week, one way or the other. We hope that you all enjoyed this week as much as we did and we look forward to our own stay in another country within the framework of the project, our next meeting taking place in Valencia this November.

Robert Gasser & Gabi Neugebauer

Unity, adventure, challenge and hilarity – sports in Graz

A rolling stone gathers no moss

May is fast approaching and so is our next multinational meeting – this time in Graz.

What can you expect?

First and foremost, a very active week in which you’ll be doing loads of sports, e.g. running, climbing, hiking, swimming etc., much of which will depend on the weather. So, make sure you bring enough sports clothing and footwear with you. You’ll also need some light summer clothes – it can get pretty warm in Graz in May – as well as a jacket for cooler days – if the weather permits, we’ll visit the Dachstein, Styria’s highest mountain (2995 m) and the Ice Palace inside the Dachstein Glacier.

We hope you have already conducted the sport survey in your schools. Please analyse it (e.g. are there any differences between different age groups or genders) and present it during your stay in Graz.

We are also looking forward to your presentations on the most popular/typical/unique sports in your countries. Make sure you have them ready when you come.

We are already busy planning the programme for the week and are sure that we will spend an interesting, challenging and especially fun time together. We can hardly wait to meet you in Graz.

P.S.: Graz, together with Schladming and Ramsau (Dachstein) hosted the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2017. If you’d like to take a look, go to http://austria2017.org/de/.

The same locations have also made a bid for the Olympic Winter Games 2026. See e.g. http://olympics.nbcsports.com/2018/03/30/austria-2026-winter-olympic-bid-graz-schladming/ , or: https://www.sportbusiness.com/sport-news/austrian-2026-olympics-bid-proceeds-graz-gives-green-light, etc.

Greetings from Cyprus!

The second quarter of our project has started at the beginning of this year. With everything that we learned in the Helsinki meeting in mind, we are now heading towards Graz and the sports topic. While the Austrian teachers are planning and organizing the meeting, the Finnish coordinators Annukka and Elina decided to learn more about the administrative duties in European projects by attending a one-week course ” Efficient and Effective Project Management for EU funded projects” in Cyprus. During this week we have not only been evaluating and planning the project further, but also been thinking back to the meeting in Helsinki and smiling back to those delightful memories we got there – thanks to all the wonderful participants. With this in mind, we are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and also making new acquintances in Graz.

Just like last autumn, the real work for each of us will start soon with the preliminary tasks for the topic sports. Be prepared to write sports diaries and shoot sports videos.

Best regards,

Annukka and Elina from Finland

Thanks for the great meeting

Bye-Bye Helsinki!

We’re leaving today, heading homewards to Graz. We’re looking back on a wonderful week here in this beautiful city where we

·         experienced true hospitality,

·         met inspiring partners,

·         got to know the Finnish school system and the Finnish language,

·         learned a lot about healthy food and

·         about how digital media can be used for communication inside and outside of school,

·         cooked and enjoyed delicious meals and lovely chocolates

       and a whole lot more.

Kiitos! Kitos! To our host families, to the team of teachers in Alpillan, first and foremost, to Elina, Annukka and Tarja and to our friends and partners in Sweden and Spain. Tack, Tina and Göran! Gracias, Dany and Nacho!

We very much look forward to your visit to Graz next May and to our meetings in Valencia and Lund.

Meeting in Helsinki only a month away!

Our Erasmus+ KA 219 project Inspired by Health was officially launched at the beginning of September 2017. During this project we will take a closer look at health from different perspectives – starting with healthy nutrition in our first multilateral meeting in Helsinki.

We are truly excited about the meeting and are really looking forward to meeting everyone in Helsinki 13.-18.10.2017! We have enthusiastic students and a great program waiting for you. Since the theme is healthy nutrition, be prepared for plenty of cooking, working in multinational groups, getting to know new people and learning from one another – and even learning a little bit Finnish.

The fact that we have four different countries in this project will give each of us excellent chances to get to know new countries, habits and the possibility to practise our language skills. So not only do we hope to enhance the well-being of students, we also wish for everyone to get acquainted with new people making new friends around Europe.

We are especially happy about having you here in Helsinki in 2017 since this year we celebrate our 100 years of independence.

Welcome to Helsinki – Nähdään pian! Bis bald! Hasta luego!I Vi ses snart!

Best regards,

Annukka, Tarja and Elina + students from Alppila