Hi, I'm Elisa! I'm here in Maribor for Erasmus+ work practice at Elderly home Tezno four weeks ago. In Italy the social and health-care system is really different. I had the opportunity to challenge myself and I experienced a lot of methods that I have never done in my life. In fact here in Maribor I have the opportunity to really understand what taking care of a people means. I learned how to dress, wash and feed them for example. At the beginning it was really hard because I couldn't speak Slovene language, but step by step I started to learn more and more about it. In fact now I know some basic sentences and I find it more simple to understand what others are saying. The nurses are really polite and friendly with me and this helped me to cross my fear borders.
I'm really happy also because I made new friendships, as my flat mates and especially with my polish roommate who became one of my most important friend. Also it's important for me the support of the ZNI workers that are always here when I need something, also only for talking about how I am. I know that everything will continue like this and that I will enjoy every side of this experience.
Jesumine is our participant from Lithuania. He is doing work practice in Maribor and is staying here from the end of June until the end of September. He is working at Permakulturni inštitut, which is an NGO operating in field of regeneration of the environment, food quality increasement, care for the planet and its living and non-living systems.
Jesumine is accommodated at student dormitory in Maribor, where he made new friends. He spent a weekend with his friend's family and he is veery excited about the time they had together at Carinthian region. K-24 is the name for the most difficult Carinthian mountain challenge - the route is connecting the five most important Carinthian peaks. They climbed this mountains and Jesumine loved the view, as they were there very early in the morning to see the sunrise.
They visited Carinthian Regional Museum where they currently exhibit the rich cultural heritage of African cultures - from objects from Pharaoh Egypt to contemporary creations by African artists. The Slovenian Ethnographic Museum is systematically documenting all forms of connection between Slovenes and Africa, which have been around since the 19th century. Jesumine found this museum and specially the African exhibition very interesting.
In Maribor football is the most important sport for many of the inhabitants, so Jesumine also attended a football match between Maribor and Ljubljana at Maribor stadium "Ljudski vrt". The match ended with 0:0, but we are sure Jesumine enjoyed it anyway.
We are very happy to see that Jesumine is enjoying his stay in Maribor and are eager to hear about his upcoming experiences!
Hi, my name is Greta, I am 17 years old and I come from Italy. I am participating in an Erasmus in Maribor, Slovenia. I decided to take this path for a better future in my life.
Participating in this type of project has many positive aspects. First of all, I decided to participate to learn better the English language that is now spoken all over the world. Then, being a girl who adapts to everything, open and looking for adventures and new experiences, I left to learn about new cultures and the differences in the world of work. Having already participated in similar experiences, I met and got to know people from all over the world, and coming here is another opportunity to meet new people and open my mind more for other cultures and have a different mentality.
Another reason for which I participated, in addition to a personal experience, which will help me to be independent in the future, is that this will help me improve my CV and look for work abroad, without remaining in my country.
I like travelling a lot and unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity in my family, and when opportunities like this arise, I take them without thinking.
Being a young girl, I still have various fears, which I don't consider negative, because we all have them; one is that of not being able to understand or make myself understandable around or at work, another is to find myself missing my new friends from abroad when i come back. But this is absolutely not happening, we are a group of 8 people, plus the tutor, in a few days we have done a lot, they want to do many things and they are all really very nice. The tutor is always very helpful and is always there for everything and helps us, cares and protects us like a mother.
When I return to Italy, I hope to have become a more mature and independent girl and to have learned new things in my work and personal life, to learn how to better manage money and to live outside of the home walls of my parents and with a great desire to leave again for another similar experience.
Regarding the work, I had to deal with some office stuff like preparing documents, keeping the archive organised, collecting information and organising databases. But the most exciting thing I had a chance to do, was a basic English-Slovenian dictionary which kept me busy for about two weeks. I was really focused on it and when I saw it printed, it made me really delighted and proud of my work because it would help next students to deal with the slovenian language, which isn't that easy.
Finally, I would like to talk about the location. Maribor was simply wonderful, I enjoyed everything there, from the buildings to the streets. The food was quite good as well. There is that pub, the Irish Pub, where we used to go almost every weekend. They make delicious hamburgers for a really reasonable price, I really recommend it to you, like the restaurant 'La Pizzeria' where they make really big pizzas.
I loved everything of the internship and I made a lot of friends there in Maribor, inside and outside the work.
This was my experience in Slovenia, I hope you could have the chance to do something like that.
A few months ago I was selected to participate in the Erasmus+ project, organized by Eurocentro in collaboration with the ZNI. I left Italy on March 17th, and lived in Maribor for a month, until April 17th. In this article I would like to talk about travel, work, feelings, all the positive aspects and my personal growth, and more in general about this experience, wishing anyone to be able to live it.
The city and typical food
Couple days after my arrival in Maribor I met my tutors, Vita and Neja, who immediately showed themselves to be very kind and willing to help me and the rest of my group. In those days I had chance to visit the city and all the most characteristic points, such as the main square, the castle or the Franciscan church.
Despite the small size of the center, I found it really nice, and I recommend everyone to visit it. In addition, I tasted various foods such as Cevapčiči, a dish of minced meat, variously spiced, typical for the cuisine of countries of the Balkan peninsula, or Gulasch, a typical Hungarian soup based on meat, spices and various vegetables .
Also I was really amazed by the cuisine of Slovenia, certainly different from the one I was used to, but no less good.
As was explained to me in the early days, the ZNI would have played an intermediary role between the organizers of this project and the various companies for which I and the rest of my group would have worked. I worked at the Center Eksperimentov, a place where many scientific experiments are shown to children and young people between the ages of 5 and 15/16, and several birthdays are organized in the afternoon. Here I got to know the staff, who proved to be very skilled in science subjects, explaining to me some topics I've already treated at school, but which I hadn't remembered or which I hadn't studied well. They also showed me how different tools and experiments work.
Fortunately they were all very kind to me, and with them I was able to practice and improve my knowledge of English language.
During my stay I helped the staff in the preparation of several experiments, but also by carrying out various maintenance, cleaning, and preparing games that would later be used by children during birthdays, working both manually and on the computer. I was really satisfied with this because it allowed me to receive a preparation for every type of work.
For two weekends, the ZNI organized trips and trips to help us get to know Slovenia better. The first was a trip to Mountain Pohorje, where I could see the entire city of Maribor from above.
The second one was a guided tour of the capital Ljubljana. I could visit the castle there, and several tourist spots in the city center, such as the Triple Bridge, or the beautiful Dragon Bridge, although the thing I preferred was Metelkova, a very particular neighborhood where the buildings present many drawings on the external walls.
On the free weekends my group and I decided to visit several cities, such as Zagreb and Budapest. In the first case I was very impressed by the history of the city, and the strange fusion between old and modern, easily visible from the buildings.
Instead in Budapest we had the opportunity to visit one of the largest and most important European capitals. We could see several tourist destinations, such as the Buda Castle, or the Heroes Square. This trip also served me well to learn how to move in a city so big with transport.
Obviously it was not easy to immediately abide by the Slovenian life, but I believe that this experience was very important for me. I learned to look after myself, to live away from home and more generally to be more mature. So I can do nothing but thank the ZNI and the Center Eksperimentov for giving me this opportunity, and I wish everyone to have chance to experience all this.
My first impression about Slovenia. When I first came to Slovenia I've noticed the hilly landscape. The nature in Slovenia looks a lot different than in Ireland. There are a lot of foliage trees, a lot more than in Ireland. Also the cultural life and architecture are different, especially Maribor city left good impression. Because the city looks great built, has nice oldtown, great river view either from the bridges and shore. Also, it's noticeable that in Slovenia there are many churches on the hills, this gives impression that Slovenians are passionate Christians. Moreover, a majority of Slovenians looks healthy and nature friendly people because they have access to outdoor activities so they have to look after the nature to keep it clean.
Lucie is our participant from Czech Republic, who started her work practice in an Elderly home "Dom Danice Vogrinec Maribor" on 27.9.2018 and she is staying until 27.4.2019. In this time she already experienced a lot, gained many new working related skills, got to know new people and places and became very familiar with Slovenia in general. Bellow are Lucie's thoughts on her time here.
"In my first weeks of work practice in the Elderly home I had a presentation about my country and I even taught one client how to dance Czech Polka. For me, having a presentation made me step out of my comfort zone. I received positive feedback from my college and was very happy to hear it. In December, I changed location of work to another unit. I was a little bit afraid of new place, new people, but on the other hand I knew it was good for me, as I would be working with my mentor as a social worker. At the beginning I was struggling with Slovene language, as the elderly wanted to share their experience with me and I couldn't understand everything. But they were always supportive and understanding. I had Slovene language lessons which was perfect! In the last lesson me and the teacher, Luka, drank coffee and talked about everyday things - most of the chat was in Slovene language, so I was really proud of myself. I began to understand the administration at work and became more independent with organising all the documentation. I am also practicing the language in my free time, as I get in contact with local people. In daily centre we prepare many events and I think it is really perfect that there are good intergenerational relationships - sometimes children come to visit us, we have concerts etc. I am looking forward to next weeks, because we have prepared lots of interesting events!"
I am Adrien. I am from France and I came to Slovenia to do work practice. When I arrived in Maribor, I have noticed the calmness of the city and relaxed people in it. In that moment I have realized that Maribor is a peaceful city with beautiful monuments (WW2 monument “National Liberation Monument”, “Plague Column”, “Anton Martin Slomsek” monument etc.), and beautiful churches (Franciscan Church, Maribor Cathedral, Sinagogue etc.). On Lent, which is oldest part of the city, is the House of Old Vine, where grows oldest vine in the world. People in Maribor are friendly and respectful. I enjoy in the rhythm of life in Maribor and I enjoy staying here.
I am doing my work practice at Slovenska filantropija. With the status of a volunteer, I help war refugees, asylum seekers, more particularly the young children. They are extremely nice and happy. My mentors at Slovenska filantropija involved me in their work process from the very beginning and they are giving me the opportunity to make the best of my mobility. They taught me a lot and it is a real pleasure to work with them. I am happy with what I have experienced so far!
Hi, my name is Gaia Vallesi. I am 18 years old and I come from Italy. In this composition I would like to talk about my experience at the Regional Museum of Maribor, the Pokrajinski Museum.
Two months ago I took part in a contest held by the Chamber of Commerce of Macerata, the province of the area where I live. This contest consists in a project, called “Goals for future”, which every year offers 120 scholarships to High school students. The winners of these scholarships have the possibility of a working experience for the duration of one month in one of the following European countries: France, Poland, Slovenia, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Hungary, Spain, Ireland and Great Britain. We had to undergo two selections: the first was based on school marks whereas the second one was based on linguistic and technological competences. I wished so much to be one of the winners because I believe that this is a great opportunity to test myself, to have a work experience abroad and above all, for my personal growth. When I was told my destination, I was really excited because I had never been in Slovenia before and I was curious to visit this country. Slovenia is such a wonderful country and Maribor has exceeded my expectations.
After some meetings and online English courses, I left on the 2nd of February with my group, made up of 9 students from different schools of my province. Although we had never met before, it was like we had known each other for years and we got on well from the very first day. Together we have lived amazing experiences, even if at first it has not been easy at all. That is why our Italian tutor, Lorenza Natali, stayed with us for four days and helped us to settle in and to get used to the new context, giving us important advice and support. The ZNI organization has been fundamental for us, as well, in particular our coordinator, Vita Cafnik, who planned our accomodation during the internship and has always been available for any problem we may have had.
On the 4th of February I had a job interview with the museum director, Ms. Mirijana Koren and my boss Mr. Drago Oman then, the following day, I began working at the museum. I was happy but anxious at the same time because I did not really know what I was expected to do. I worked from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 18:00. During this experience I met fantastic people: kind secretaries, Ms. Maja and Ms. Sanja; comprehensive employees, Ms. Irena, Ms. Nives, who were always ready to help me with my job; Oskar, the museum tour guide; nice colleagues, Tamara, Samanta, Gregor and Ljubica, who made me feel really at home.
In these working days I had to stay at the entrance of the museum to greet visitors and guide them in the tour, opening doors and showing them the right way. Moreover, I worked in the office, where I had to number small antique statues, to take photos of them and to put these information on a digital catalogue. I had the opportunity to work in the restoration laboratory, as well, where I put more than 1400 labels on ancient and precious objects. Initially I felt like I was not so much living up to the tasks, but I tried to do the best I could and at the end I was satisfied with the work done. I really enjoyed stayed at the Pokrajinksi Museum, not only for the work done but also because I think that it is a beautiful and well-organized castle, full of interesting and precious objects. Visiting this museum gices you have the possibility to go back to the past, to discover the history of the town and to understand what the city underwent through the ages. It is also rich of collections, statues, paintings, amazing rooms and archeological finds.
On the 8th of February the visit of the museum was free because it was a national holiday and I was surprised at the number of people who came: it was a very busy day. Sometimes I found a bit of difficult to understand what the visitors asked me and I couldn’t always interact with them because some of them didn’t speak English. Then, I learnt some useful slovenian words that I could use, like »Dober dan«, »Nasvidenje«, »Sledite puščicam« and »Izhod je tam«, so most of the times people understood me and I could not believe it!
Unfortunately, this amazing experience is going to finish and it is about time to come back in Italy. I would stay here for more than a month!
To sum up, I would like to thank all the people who let me have this opportunity, this has been one of the most important experience of my life, which I will bring with me forever.