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Back to basic 2018

Utrinki z mladinske izmenjave Back to basic 2018:

This August more than 50 youngsters from 11 different countries came to Olde Vechte, in the Netherlands, to improve together their communication and teamwork skills. 
It sounds very exciting, but it's still a challenge. We're all from different countries and we all have different backgrounds, so getting along and understanding each other is not as easy as it seems. Imagine a Lithuanian, a Portuguese and a Dutch living all together: well, that happens in Olde Vechte. All of a sudden, you start talking in English, singing in Spanish and gesticulating as an Italian. Then you'll begin to eat bread with chocolate sprinkles, pizza with pineapple and sausages for breakfast. It's not only that though, you'll realize that you're so much more then your village or your country, you're part of a much bigger comunity that is Europe.
That's why our main goal was challenging ourselves and trying to overpass our inner fears. 
The first fear that we dealt with was meeting new people from all around Europe, exchange our thoughts and ideas with them using foreign language. The next big challenge was to work in different teams each day and to deal with different personalities and different ways of thinking. We had to learn to put our pride away and work for the team, to accept and support other ideas and to combine them. An example of activity in which we had to do this was creating a shared vision of the world with four different people in only one picture. 

Day after day, we managed to overpass every problem and to enjoy the exchange.

Everyday we went through different activities and games, with the purpose of improving our communication and teamwork skills in order to understand that taking initiative is necessary in our daily life. After a week in the safety of the Olde Vechte “bubble” we went to put all the theory and the outcomes of the first week in practice.
If “Back 2 Basics“ program could be described and summed up in two words, those would be ‘outdoor experience’ (OE). For years now, this exchange has been pushing boundaries of what its participants can do and will do when put to test.
OE started of as a very simple idea of putting participants in a survival-like atmosphere in which they are forced to earn money, food and a place to sleep with nothing to begin with. The idea behind the project was to prepare the participants for different life challenges and situations since OE is, lightly put, a simulation of life itself.
The outdoor experience this year consisted of 4 consecutive days during which none of the participants were allowed to carry their phones or wallet. Using only what they've learned and their minds, the youngsters earned money, food and shelter whilst having fun along the way.

 

Besides the survival aspect of OE, this kind of experience helps with the development of various entrepreneurial skills such as working as a team, second language development, productivity, planning carefully and much more.
This year was no exception to the other years as OE turned out to be a great success where everyone learned something and earned memories that will sure last for life.
During the Outdoor the participans went through the Netherlands and this gave them the opportunity to approach Dutch people and understand the differencies with their own countries.
One of the biggest differences between the life some may see is that the system in the Netherlands makes people feel safe and confident, not only because of the numerous opportunities offered but also because of the infrastructures. Travelling by bicycle is more accessibile and lets everyone enjoy the beauty of Dutch wilderness. The cities are liveable and history plays a great role too: you cannot go through a single street in The Hague or Amsterdam without knowing about who it is named after. All in all: the Dutch way of life helps young people like us to see the world in a more conscious way.

During the exchange everyone one gained lots of new experiences. We developed our communication skills by finding common interests and subjects to talk about with everyone. By doing that, we got to know many different cultures. We also had the chance to learn new traditional dances from all over Europe!

Slovenski udeleženci:

This experience inspired us and all the other participants to take initiative. The feedback the participants receive inspires not only them but also all the people that they got to know. All of this leads to a vicious cycle of improving ourselves and our entrepreneurial skills. 
As a matter of fact, as we were aproaching the end of the youth exchange, we realised the importance of teamwork, friendship and breaking down prejudices which were the most important values of the youth exchange.

Novice