Stories from the project:
Comenius project was amazing experience in my life. I Don’t never forget this project. I remember this project forever.
All started on autumn year 2012. We got money, actually about 14,000€ for this large project by Europe Union.
Then our teachers, Mari and Virpi kept Comenius club every Thursday after school. It was fun club but sometimes I was tired because we had long school day every Thursday. Every Thursdays I go home absoluteluy shattered.
Many times one young man named Manuel who comes from Germany kept for us Comenius club. He told many intresting things of Germany. It was wey useful information.
German students come to Finland on the 7th of May in 2013. They lived in their host families. My family didn’t took anyone in our home because we didn’t have big house 🙁
I met all German students next day. I liked them so much. They were nice and lovely people :). I Got many new friends for example Anna, Franzi, Leah, Natasha, Janica, Sabrina and Tamara etc. And I mis them so much!
I enjoyed whole time in this project. I also saw some differently between in Germany and Finland culture. For example children and teenagers honored their parents or teachers in Germany more than Children of Finland do.
I also saw taht families do many things together every day. I wonder this because it was weid at first but then I understood taht they appreciate time with family.
I took a part of the comenius club, by first hosting two of the Germans when they came to Finland, and then by going to Germany. I was expecting to have a lot of fun, which I did, and learn more about Germany and it’s culture. In fact, that is one of the things I enjoyed most: learning more about Germany and it’s culture. One of the main things I learned is how open to people Germans can be and the way that their school system worked. For example: they had to take a packed lunch to school and they have shorter schooling than here in Finland. Something that I found a bit of a challenge, was that when I was in the school in Germany, the lessons were in German, so I didn’t really understand much of them. It wasn’t so bad tho, because I had some other things I could do during the classes. My favourite experience was the trip to the Alps. We first travelled to the hotel in the Alps, first by walking and then by a cable car. Then we spent the night in the hotel, which was very nice, and the next day we hiked up to the mountain. The view was very beautiful and I enjoyed it a lot. I think this project relates to the theme of ” Culture Of Honor” quite well, because we got to know each other’s culture and appreciate that.
I was a member of the Comenius club from the beginning to the end. Before the German people came I sent e-mails to them. And whem they vame to Finland, two girls came to my family. I ateented the camp what was in Finland. That was great. The whole time with German people was amazing and I got new friends. But it was too short time what they were here. And after that they went back to Germany I send many e-mails to my new friends and I attented to Comenius club again. And it was so great to see those German friends again when we went to Germany. It was great when we went to the Alps. Everything was so great. The saddest thing was that when we had to go back to Finland. And 10 days was too short time.
The difference beetween Finnish and German culture is that in the German culture people respect others more their in Finnish culture. German people are also more polite to others, epecially to older people. That’s a thing what we Finnish people could learn from them.
Something I will never forget
This is actually a bad memory. A memory that taught me a lesson. It happened last fall, when I was on a class trip to Germany.
It was a warm, sunny day in Munich, and I was talking to a friend, in a streetcar. We were just about to get out, to tour Munich’s movie studios. Finally we arrived at our station, and got out. I was in a very good mood at that moment and was going to make the best of that day in the company of my friends, and well, family. You see, my mom was there as a supervisor and my brother was also there with his classmates. It wasn’t exactly a typical class trip.
When everyone had walked to the studios and the tickets were bought, I had to use the bathroom, so me and my friend headed towards them. When we were ready and just about to join the others, Jasmin said: ”Can I have some water? I’m really thirsty”. Now, I knew that I had a nice, cold bottle of water in my backpack, and so I headed towards that. In that split second panic overcame me. Where was my backpack? Now, if that green backpack only would have held food, I wouldn’t have felt as bad in that moment as I did. That innocent, little backpack had my most valuable things inside of it. It was completely full, with my camera, phone and iPod, which was actually my sister’s. It also had my library book in it. A book I had borrowed from the library in Finland.
Now where could I have left it? It took me a while to figure that out. But soon enough it came to me. The streetcar. I was so focused on my conversation with my friend, that I had forgotten my backpack there. And I knew exactly where I had left it. At the beginning of the ride, I, being stupid, took my backpack off because it was so heavy, and set it behind my back. It was probably still there.
Anyway, I was suddenly mad and sad at the same time and didn’t know what to do. I remember everyone looking at me pitifully and my mom trying to calm me down. The other supervisors started making calls and trying to get my backpack back. It would take a while though, so I decided to try and make the best of that day. If someone looked at the videos or photos of that day, they’d think nothing was wrong, judging by my face and tone of voice. I actually had a lot of fun at the movie studios and almost forgot about the incident.
Later that day, on our way back with a streetcar, one of the German supervisors talked to the driver and called some people. Finally she found out that my backpack was safe. I was so happy, and very thankful. I thanked her and she said that I would get my backpack the next day. So that story ended well. But I don’t think I’m still ever going to forget it.
I took part in the project by visiting the Comenius club. I was also in the ”Culture Of Honor” – camp and in Germany in autumn. Comenius was a good project, because we learned a lot of the German culture, and we also got visited there, and it was a good experience. Sometimes it was hard to communicate with the German students, because they spoke so differently. When the students were in Finland, I couldn’t be anoyone’s host family, because I had too many dance lessons at the week. But when we visited Germany, I had really nice host family.
The best experience of the Comenius project was the sunday in Germany. We all spent the Sunday with our host familys. My host family took me to the Oktoberfest. It’s a big German tradition party. It goes on for many many days and there are so many people from different countries. The weather was too cold, but I really liked the rides and the souvenier booths. In Oktoberfest, I also tasted for the first time a German sausage. (I didn’t like it, but the amusement park was still amazing.)
After that we also visited one famous church in German and Finnish cultures are a bit different. In Germany, they drink a lot beer, and they have the traditional suits (as in Oktoberfest everyone had one), but some of them don’t even know what is sauna. They also have different kinds of food and music of course. I think people in Germany respect more old people and even teachers. The students can’t call their teachers in first names. But still, even if we are a little different cultures, we can still work together and be friends.
“I think that our trip to Finland was a great experience. I learned so much about Finland´s inhabitants and culture. Finland is a great country. I loved its nice inhabitants, its beautiful landscape, its big, clear lakes and its delicious food. But the thing I liked most was the camp with the Morning Sport, the funny games and the canoeing.
Besides, the visit of the Fins in Germany was a great success. I loved the theatre we did together and the trip to Allgäu was also very cool, even though the hikes on the mountains were really exhausting and tiring.
What I learned from that exchange is that such a project can be really hard, but also very funny and valuable. It can give you losses and profits. But I surely made more positive experiences. And so I think that everyone should keep that exchange in good memory.”
Ruth Fähnle, 14.07.14