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Live different - Learn different - Work different - Think different
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project is a two-year project that we as school submit entitled "Live – Learn – Work – Think different". The project runs over 2 years with a flow in May 2016 and May 2017. It concerns a project in which internship, socio-cultural development and language promotion are central. The students of the last year of the section “Reception and Communication” and “Logistics” of the Victor Hortaschool will follow a 10 days internship in a company, adapted to their training, in Crete. In the framework of equal educational opportunities we consciously choose not to select students but to convince them all of the added value of participating. As a result, all students of these sections are fully committed to participate in the project. This means 48 students are participating. This project is for us as a school, especially for our students, an added value during their training. The vision of our school focuses on assisting and supporting our students in terms of their (future) work career and having their place in society. Training and workplace learning are therefore of great importance. Not only within a known context, for the pupils, but also in a new and unfamiliar environment. It concerns not only the physical internship-activities abroad but also the preparation, orientation and reflection about this. Likewise, in the course of this project, a lot of attention is given to the language skills, socio-cultural development and personality formation of our students. The majority of our non-Dutch-speaking families come from disadvantaged and/or other language speaking families. As a result, they have not always been given the same opportunities as some other young people. As a school we explicitly want to compensate the missed opportunities from their home situation and education by them to give all possible opportunities in and around the school happening. To end up well in life it is important for our students to pay attention to their personality development in order to find a good job. As a school, we are convinced that taking part in an internship abroad is an absolute added value with regard to the personality development, work attitude, skills and acquired knowledge. From experience we know that students with a Europass get more opportunities to start in companies because they have gained experience in a foreign context. In order to give the project optimal chances of success we work together with our foreign partner ECTE. It is an educational Institute located in Rethymnon Crete specialized in providing training and updating professional skills. We have chosen them because their objectives match with those of our school. Our partner, as well as our school, attach great importance to an effective preparation of the actual training period. It is very important that students arrive at an internship relevant for their training, and they work on their own but also independently with our help if necessary on a preparatory project. This way they learn more about the culture, economy, history and geographical aspects of Greece. Learning Greek dances, Greek cooking workshops, Greek (Basic) language, ... are also offered to get to know these aspects of Greek society. We also pay attention to personality formation through a prior two-day team building, first aid training, a session interest and possible consequences of the signature, customer-oriented telephony, contractual obligations, dealing with difficult customers,... each one of them given by externals. With the intention improving the oral language skills of our pupils as well, they will follow 20 hours of English classes during the internship, given by an employee of ECTE. To determine whether the students obtained the expected objectives (improvement of language skills, work attitudes, competencies, personality formation, etc.) the teachers use the notes they have made during the briefing, activity and evaluation lists, their internship diary and the portfolio. The review and reflection of the actual internship abroad are an important part of the project. Students improve not only their subject competences and their (English) language skills but they also acquire many social skills. Self-reflection, objective estimation,... are also an important part of it. From past experiences we know that students’ self-esteem, social skills, self-reliance are strengthened so that their chances for a future job are optimized and that their gained experience help them to take their place in society.

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