Published: 03.07.2019

Before the end of the school year, the first international exchange of leaders within the Erasmus+ project Non-formal Learning in the Formal Education took place in Bulgaria. Czech coordinators from three local centres had the opportunity to meet their colleagues from Bulgaria, Lithuania and the Netherlands. 

International exchange through the eyes of Czech participants

"The five days spent together in Sofia with colleagues from the DofE with international participation was an unforgettable experience for me. Sharing ideas with people who literally breathe for this programme, the workshops and debates, the exchanges and the endless flow of inspiration that came from them, energised me with ideas and energy for a long time to come. I came back from Bulgaria with the feeling that thanks to DofE I belong to a great group of passionate and hardworking people who want to change the world for the better and know how a little better."
Marcel Kukuczka, School of Automotive and Informatics, Prague

"Our school only joined the DofE programme this school year, which made me appreciate all the more the opportunity to attend the international seminar in Sofia. It was a great opportunity to get the necessary information, valuable advice and experience from coordinators from schools where the programme has been running successfully for more than 10 years. I take all this, including the newly acquired contacts and friends, as a great stepping stone to continue the DofE programme. It's a great feeling to be part of the DofE family." 
Olga Klimentová, SŠHS and Vocational School, Opava

Not only do the participants come from four different countries, they also work in different types of schools and each of them has different lengths of experience with the programme. Some have only been involved with the programme for a short time, others for more than 10 years. The days in Bulgaria were packed with sharing ideas, discussions with foreign colleagues and interesting workshops. Finally, each coordinator prepared a plan for the DofE programme in their institution for the next year.

During the carefully prepared program we also had the privilege to be guests of the bronze ceremonies held at one of the local centers -American College of Sofia. As a bonus, a local teacher gave us a tour of the school and the adjacent campus. 

All participants found that we face the same pitfalls in our work and use very different ways to overcome them. We enriched each other in many ways and took back ideas that we can implement in our work with young people, parents or other DofE leaders and expeditioners.

"As part of the exchange, I had the opportunity to meet DofE coordinators and leaders from other countries. It was the first international meeting for me, which gave me a different perspective on the programme, how it works within Europe and also motivated me to improve the DofE activities at my local centre. Last but not least, I gained many new contacts that I will use in the future. Thanks to the discussions and direct contact with other leaders, I was very surprised by the excellent reputation of the Czech DofE among other countries, especially in terms of organisation, hierarchy based on mutual trust, freedom and responsibility between the local centres and the DofE National Centre."
Martina Strnadová, Jan Kepler Gymnasium, Prague


The next Erasmus+ exchange will be for all DofE programme leaders working in state primary and secondary schools and will take place in Lithuania in November. It will be called "Communicate" and will help leaders to improve their presentation and communication skills.


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