Monday - project start
The first day in Romania started at 8:30 am with an assembly in the auditorium of the Liceul Tehnologic 1Mai school. Ice-breaker games, such as "I pack my suitcase" helped us to remember each other's names.
After that, we listened to a presentation about Europe Day and its significance, as the first day of the Erasmus project happened to be on the ninth of May. This was followed by more presentations by impressive women from each country represented. Each group presented 3 women from their country. Around 11 am there was a break before we met women working in fields that are actually associated with men. There was a policewoman, a judge, a surgeon and other women who told us about their way into professional life and the hurdles they faced. There were many questions, which were answered warmly and openly, and many different experiences were told. Before lunch we got a tour of the school. We got to know the school from the basketball court to the technical rooms and afterwards there was a surprise that the Romanians had already planned a year before. A play about the role of women in Romania and how it changed over time. The day ended at 5:30 pm with a tour back to the hotel.
Tuesday - the sky is the limit
After getting to know the other participants of the student exchange on the first day, the project work continued on Tuesday.
At around 10 am, we visited the well-known Gas University, Ploieşti, where you can study numerous areas of the oil industry.
There we were given a comprehensive tour of the university's premises and were then warmly welcomed by the director himself.
We continued to the local airport Strejnic Airfield. After a very interesting talk with three female pilots about their experiences as women in the aviation industry, we were shown an excellent, fascinating, great air show. Small aircraft were flown in circles over the airport, among other things, but impressive loops in the air were not left out either.
The day was rounded off with a visit to the Nicolae Simache Clock Museum in Ploieşti, which is famous throughout Romania.
The clock museum displays French, British and German clocks from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The school day ended after a small meal at 17:30 at the school.
Wednesday - getting around Romania
On the third day, we had to get up very early because the meeting point at the school was already at 7:30 am. When everyone had arrived at the school, we took a bus from there that the school had hired for the excursions.
We took the bus for about 1.5 hours until we arrived in Sinaia. It is a town in a rather rural area and a natural environment. There we visited a beautiful castle, which was set up like a kind of museum. We took many pictures to remember this event. In the castle we got a good insight of traditional fighting equipment and weapons, like swords. There were also a lot of oil paintings showing old kings and queens.
After the visit, we also went directly by bus to the Dracula Castle in Transylvania. When we arrived there, we had time to visit the market and buy souvenirs. When we arrived at the castle, we were told about the history of Dracula. We then had time to walk around the castle on our own.
After the tour we went by bus to Brasov. There we had lunch in a restaurant and got to know typical Romanian food. Afterwards we had time to explore the city of Brasov in smaller groups, take photos and go shopping.
We arrived in Ploiești at around 7 pm, after driving back for about 2 hours. Afterwards, some of us used our free time to go to the mall for dinner.
Thursday - off to Bucharest
On Thursday, we met at the school at 8 am. From there we went directly by bus to Bucharest, a journey that took about an hour. Once there, we visited the Parliament, we were given a tour of the rooms open to visitors, where we were allowed to admire the different styles and features, while a member of staff explained a lot about the details and features of the building. At the end of the tour, we took a final photo on the giant balcony. After leaving the Parliament, we went to lunch, but first we had some free time, which many of us used to buy souvenirs. After lunch we went to the Village Museum, where we learned how the Romanians used to live. After we returned to Ploieşti in the evening, we all had free time, which we used in different ways. The students in the host families spent it with their families, while the students in the hotel spent it with the students from the other countries who were also staying in the hotel.
Friday - presentation, graduation and farewell
On Friday, we met at 8 am and worked on our presentations on the topic "Famous Women in Europe". After these were presented, it became clear that each group implemented this task differently. For example, a play was performed, a PowerPoint presentation was given, a poster was made or a text was presented in which the persons presented were painted. Afterwards, the Romanians showed us a video with the pictures of the week. It was nice to see all these impressions summarised and what we experienced in this short time.
The kindergarten and upper school choir gave us a very sweet insight into the Romanian music world with a performance. Afterwards, a teacher from E-Twinning told us about his job and the Erasmus project. We then received our certificate of participation and a memory stick.
Afterwards we had lunch, which was great. We had a small buffet and could try many great dishes. After lunch, traditional Romanian dances were shown by the pupils of the school and everyone joined in. This was really a lot of fun. This led to the point that at some point different traditional dances from Belgium, Turkey etc. were danced together. It was very funny. Afterwards we all said goodbye, as we assumed that we would not see each other again on Saturday. However, we were able to say goodbye again on Saturday. After the dancing, the programme was over and everyone had their own afternoon programme. Some went to the mall or the park again. Unfortunately, our Erasmus exchange was as good as over. It was a wonderful experience that I think each of the participants would do again.