From 24 January to 28 January, we welcomed our four partner schools as part of the Erasmus+ project "I am happy with myself".
After we had opened the Erasmus+ project with a visit to Adana (Turkey) in 2019 and the second visit to Izegem (Belgium) in spring 2020, the cooperation was severely slowed down by Corona. In January, the time had finally come and the new start was celebrated in Düsseldorf - due to the strong Corona restrictions, many programme points had to be carried out differently than planned, but the week was still a success. Together with our partner schools from Adana (Turkey), Izegem (Belgium), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Ploesti (Romania) we dealt with the topic "Challenges and obstacles for women in the professional world". Below you will get a closer look at the project work during this exciting week - in English, so that you can also understand the flair of the project a little bit. :-)
Monday - project start and interview day
On the first official day of our Erasmus+ program we all met in school. We got to know each other better and after a few complications the exchange could really start. Together with the teachers, the students had breakfast and got divided into groups afterwards. Every group had to prepare interview questions for a specific woman. Those women are either very successful in their job or work in a typical male dominated job, which is why many of our questions dealt with sexism in their everyday life. Our interview partners are from different working fields like the CEO of a AI company, managers working at Bayer or BASF, women working for the UN or professors from different universities.
After the preparation time, every group interviewed one of those women in a video call. We took some notes and started preparing a digital poster about each of them.
Later on, we decided to use our free time to show our guests around the city. :)
Tuesday - workshop day and sightseeing
On Tuesday we went to school at 10 am. There, we continued working on our digital posters about the women we interviewed on Monday. We prepared our presentation and took some group pictures.
After that, a member from the cultural center "Zakk" delivered a speech about feminism and its importance. In that context she also motivated us to explain why we personally need feminism nowadays. After the talk we created some posters with our thoughts about feminism and its importance.
Before leaving school, we got some presents which also included our project t-shirt and a pencil with the Erasmus+ logo and the design with the motto of the week #iamhappywithmyself.
For the rest of the day, we decided to do a city trip. We visited famous sights as well as some churches and ultimately, went to a restaurant and had dinner. It definitely was an enjoyable day.
Wednesday - presentation and city trip
On Wednesday we presented our posters about the women we had interviewed. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we made a virtue of necessity and did our presentation in a video conference, reflecting on the pros and cons of this way of communication.
It was interesting to get an overview of the impressive and so different women. Despite the different fields of work, parallels became clear again and again and partly we were very surprised with which obstacles women have to fight in a supposedly progressive country like Germany.
Afterwards we went on an excursion. We took the train to Cologne. There some of us visited the Käthe Kollwitz Museum before we had some free time in the city. In the evening we went back to Düsseldorf after an eventful day.
Thursday - digital exchange and city challenge
We used Thursday morning for a more in-depth discussion of the interviews and reflection on the work we had done together. On the "digital morning" we worked in the international groups before we went to the rainy city center.
While the teachers visited the memorial site, we tried to successfully complete the City Challenge in our groups. We had to find well-known Düsseldorf locations as well as research information about women from Düsseldorf. Unfortunately, the weather did not really cooperate - nevertheless, some funny photos were taken.
Friday - art project and graduation
We kicked off our last day with our international gang day in a creative way by designing street name plates named after strong women. Another group of students created a giant version of the mobility's logo. Then we decided to explore aquazoo before the certificate ceremony. The place combines the best of a zoo and a museum and was definitely worth the visit. We made it just in time to the K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. In front of the building we received our Erasmus+ certificates and a personalised reward in the form of donuts. After that we could explore the surreal landscape of the' in orbit'- installation. This was an amazing and once in a lifetime experience. What a way to end this week!