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The Faces of Europe
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Since 1957 and the ratification of the Treaty of Rome, we have grown to the sound of words and concepts such as "Europe", "European Community ", "European Citizenship". All along the years, many countries have manifested their will to join an ever-growing community of nations and peoples. Still, ignorance, prejudices and misconceptions about our neighbors haven't vanished. What do Germans, French or Norwegians have in common? And what about Turkish people ? What aspects of our life do we all share without even knowing it? What can participating students gain from jumping onboard the Erasmus+ train? During our previous Comenius projects, we had noticed that our students are always very impressed by the differences they notice between their and their partners’ lives. Some adapt very quickly and try to understand these differences while others react very strongly and find faults with everything they see or are proposed to do (not trying the local food or not trying to fit in). It shows that they only see the visible part of what the cultures’ icebergs are and are likely to become prejudiced; that’s why we aim for them to investigate their own culture and compare it to that of others. One of our main goals is for students to overcome prejudices about foreigners and foreign customs. We think they will learn more about their own culture and that of others by means of comparison and investigation on everyday life topics. We wish them to understand that despite differences, because they are European, they all belong to the same community and should see their differences as an asset rather than an obstacle. We think that this project will help them realize that, without neglecting their roots, they belong to a European community that exists beyond frontiers. Investigating their own culture and discovering the results of their partners’ investigations about the same topics will give them a better insight on their and other European countries' ways-of-life, cultures and traditions through exchanges and travels. Which in turn will help them to become more open-minded and less prejudiced about the different “Faces of Europe”. We also wish to create, strengthen and expand links between today's teenagers, the next generation of European citizens and leaders. Another aspect of our project is the use and practice of our common language: English. When communicating online before and after the visits or face to face during the visits, this will highlight the importance of English as a bridging tool with non- native speakers. Throughout the project, our students will realize that their practice will be a major asset for their schoolwork and their future career. By writing and preparing their presentation as well as communicating in English, they will improve their mastery of the language. The visits will involve speaking in public, assessing their presentations in small groups, speaking with their partners and partners' family. These situations will undoubtedly allow them to improve their oral skills as recommended by the C.E.F.R. Through the activities of the partnership, the students will visit local companies both at home and in their partners’ country. This will enable them to get a real experience of the European working world as they will interview the companies’ workers and managers, thus making them think about their future study plans, work plans and future careers. Contact with the local business involved in the project will certainly facilitate our students’ applications for internships. The project will also help these companies to see the new “Faces of Europe” and see beyond barriers. Throughout the project, our students will create tools that were easy to use and be used by others (surveys, calendars, schedules, recipe, sample menus.....) in the form of a website that will be visible on their favourite means of communication - the Worldwide Web.

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