||  Home  | About project  |  Transnational Meetings |   Exchange of Pupils |  Staff Trainings  |   Results & Outcomes  |  Photo  ||



C3 Learning/teaching/training activity  (Arad, Romenia  ~  March 03 – 10,  2018)

   Secondary Medical School Ante Kuzmanić from Zadar set its foot on the fifth step of the Erasmus+ project NAIS. Four teachers (project coordinator Edin Kadić, Ivana Lučić, Ante Ražnjević and Ivan Raspović) started the journey full steam ahead towards Technological High School "Francisc Neuman" in Arad, Romania. Beside our team, other NAIS teams that joined us there were from the Secondary School of Tukums in Latvia and Sint-Jozefinstituut Buso from Antwerp in Belgium. This exchange lasted from March 3 to March 10 and our hands were full with work and pleasant obligations. The emphasis was still on examples of good practice when it comes to the inclusion of students in the general education system, regardless if they are special needs students or come from various socially vulnerable groups.

 Saturday, 3 March

   Our adventure started in the morning when we drove from Čakovec where we spent the night due to extreme coldness, snow, and sleet on the road. However, not even the heavy snowfall nor rain that followed us all the way from Čakovec managed to ruin our spirit that was still high during our drive through Hungary. Since we were traveling by car we took it easy at our own pace, with frequent stops for refreshments while we were travelling through sunny Hungary.
     We finally arrived in Arad around 13. Hero of the day was definitely our driver, the coordinator Kadić, and the younger ones were resting and saving their energy for the upcoming week.
   We settled in a hotel in the city centre and set out to explore landmarks, culture, history, and gastronomy of this interesting city on the Mureș River.
   To replenish our energy we decided to sit in one of the numerous cafes in the main street of Arad. After a few moments we saw familiar faces, our dear friends from Antwerp. Belgian team had just arrived and immediately set out to “explore” the city, just like we did. What this cheerful gang was missing was the Latvian team that arrived with a later flight and joined us later.
   When the clock struck 19, it was time for the first informal get together and dinner. Coordinator from Arad, Mrs. Adina, warmly welcomed us and guided us through the plan for the upcoming week. Even though there was a long road behind us and the day seemed to never end, we continued chatting for a long time. Suddenly, we were filled with energy and kept talking about the project, goals, plans, and our experience of implementation of practices we learned through our joint project. We talked until small hours of the night since the next day was reserved for sightseeing.

 Sunday, 4 March

  On our first working day (Sunday) we set out to get to know Romania, especially this region, and we went on a sightseeing tour of Temišvar. It is a city that is 60 km away from Arad and is known for the uprising of the people against the Communist government. It is also the first city to get electrical lights in Europe, and there are many hidden cultural and historical monuments that represent different religions.
   Despite the extreme cold (-11 C), we’ve seen many landmarks, some of them being the three main city squares, a beautiful cathedral, magnificent opera, the national theatre, a 300 years old brewery…

    Since we were really cold, we couldn’t wait to sit down and have a hot drink. We decided to warm ourselves in a café, and later we had lunch in a restaurant with rustical interior that, besides great beer, offered even better food.

   It was time to return to Arad in the freezing cold! We exchanged our impressions during the drive in the minibus and we used to hour-long drive to talk about events from Temišvar.
   We concluded this exciting day with a welcoming dinner that everybody enjoyed.

   Our spirits were still high so we continued hanging out in the hotel rooms, with loads of music and laughter.

 Monday, 5 March

  The first real working day.
   Right after breakfast we went to the school where we would all meet at 9am for the whole week. The principal, the coordinator and other teachers wished us a warm welcome. Our coordinator Adina presented the weekly programme and we gave her some gifts. Technological High School "Francisc Neuman” is a school where future hairdressers, beauticians, and seamstresses are educated. This is the only school in Arad that was awarded the VET mobility charter. It is located in the historical part of the city, next to an old Jewish park… After a tour of the school, the coordinator introduced us to the director of the “Rainbow” center. Children (usually from economically disadvantaged families) go there after kindergarten or school to spend their free time. Teachers help them with homework, they organise interesting activities, and children can also use the services of a psychologist. It is interesting that it is finances by the government and children also have free lunch. Students can also stay in the centre during holidays.

   We continued with a visit to another school where both elementary and grammar school are located. The whole building was recently renovated and we especially liked the well-ordered classrooms. It was especially interesting to meet Romani children and to attend Romani language classes. The goal of those classes is to preserve Romani tradition, but also to ensure that all students work on the same terms and same possibilities. They pointed out that Romani children also had to know Romanian language, but we also noticed that many students also study English and French.

   In the afternoon we got to know the staff and the work of the “Teacher training center” where psychologists, pedagogues, school counsellors and speech therapists provide their services to employees in kindergarten, middle schools and high schools.
   Beside psychological support, the centre offers professional counselling and professional development of teachers. Minor teambuilding took place because we learned traditional Romanian dance “alunelu” and we also worked on our social skills through different activities of introducing ourselves and getting to know each other.

   Our Hosts took diligent care our meals so every day we had lunch in a restaurant near the host school (so we wouldn’t waste any time!), and during workshops, presentations and seminars the breaks were filled with Romanian coffee (?!), cakes and chocolate. The evening was reserved for Romanian gastronomy and exploration of less known neighbourhoods.

    It is important to note that our Erasmus family got really close during informal gatherings, both in personal and professional life. It is in those moments that we exchange useful information on our profession, guided by the main idea of our project: how to secure better conditions for students with special needs and those who come from various socially vulnerable groups.

    We rounded off the first working day with a magnificent two-hour long tour of Arad. Our young guide made an effort to present important sights of her city in detail: city hall and fortress, theatre, the palace of culture, Catholic cathedral, Orthodox churches and cathedrals, a synagogue, and numerous small details of this interesting Romanian city.

 Tuesday, 6 March


Teachers from Latvia, Belgium, and Croatia gave interesting lectures on the particularities and methods of the guiding system in their schools. Teacher Edin Kadić presented our school, projects we engage in and particularities of work methods. After him, the pedagogue Ivana Lučić presented educational programs for children with special needs in Croatia, examples of good practice from the work of our school with children with disabilities, and areas of work that could be improved. After all presentations we came to a conclusion that it is of great importance to share experience and knowledge because by doing so, we are creating new ideas and recommendations for the future. After a comparative analysis of all the lectures, we clearly presented the booming interest for new perspectives when it comes to good practices in the inclusion of all students. This was followed by various problem-solving activities we all engaged in.
   The rest of the day was filled with interesting lectures.
   The first lecture was held by the representatives of the “County Agency for Employment” who introduced us to their activities that include sharing information and professional counselling of their citizens, the system of financial aid while job searching, labour market information, assistance in the development of skills and self-initiative, connecting workers and employers, and their programs for the development of required skills. After citizens complete their formal education, they sign up at the Agency and receive a 100 € bonus check. Because of that, the idea of equal chances of everyone finding a job is being propagated.
   We concluded the day with an interesting lecture and a workshop on the topic of “Career Planning”. We discussed the meaning of the word “career”, different ways of individual development and the importance of continuous improvement and lifelong learning.

 Wednesday, 7 March

   No pain, no gain, so Wednesday went by in the same manner. School counsellor presented their Erasmus+ project that places emphasis on the development of competences and skills of young people that are about to enter the labour market. We have also watched videos of students talking about the university they would like to apply to and steps they’re taking to achieve that goal.

   Guys from the team took part in workshops “Learning how to learn” and “Time management”, the pedagogue Ivana was present in French class (since she’s a French teacher by her profession), while Edin Kadić visited the School of Higher Medical School Arad. He was introduced with the way the school works, students and teachers and during his one-hour visit and talk he presented some possible guidelines for the future cooperation of that school and the Medical School in Zadar.

   It was followed by a visit to the district school that also offers education for hairdressers and seamstresses, school workshops. In the meantime, the coordinators held a meeting and analyzing the cooperation and activities of the participating school in the NAIS project. They have planned future activities and preparations for the final meeting in Zadar.

  In the afternoon we have visited “Integra” association (for people with intellectual disabilities) that made quite an impression.
   This visit was something special. The association attended a dozen children with Down syndrome and was founded by the mother of one of these children. On her initiative other people whose children have disabilities joined here.
   The goal of the association is to socialise and integrate children with Down syndrome into society through various workshops (acting, dancing, singing…).
   We really felt special when the children performed a small show (“Raindrops”) just for us. They captured our hearts and during that time we were really looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses.
    Before we left, all the ladies from the team got flowers and a number of warm hugs from the attendees!


 Thursday, 8 March

   We were still in action so we started with workshops and lectures at 9:30 sharp.

   School counsellor introduced us to various pedagogically-psychological questionnaires they give to their students in order for them to become aware of their own personality, self-worth and skills, and to direct them in their future careers. Some of the types were: multiple intelligences test, attitude questionnaire, learning style questionnaire...
   We decided to catch up, accept the positive examples we’ve been introduced to and soon enough we will conduct a similar workshop in our school as wellu.

   We had dinner together and in a pleasant company marked the International Women's Day“.

 Friday, 9 Marc