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.