An international internship isn’t equal to just “work practice”, it is equal to meet new people, get to know more about the country you are living in and about their culture and language and much more. Personally, I believe an international internship is equal to find something that you like and make it bigger. When I came to Maribor, I had a huge purpose: look for something which I could learn and enjoy it during my free time in Slovenia. I wanted to try a variety of activities that I’ve never done before.
ZNI is always cheering us up to do new things and explore Maribor a little bit more, as the city offers a lot of cultural events. Ewelina, ZNI mobility coordinator of the participants from the project TLN Mobilicat through Asociación Mundus, told me about a Photography Analog’s Session with Gregor Salobir, who works at GT 22 which is an artistic community and education laboratory.
I’ve never taken a photo with analog camera before. It was heavier than I thought it would be. Even though Gregor told me how to use it, I was worried about using the camera the wrong way and break it. Those were my fears during the first 15 min shooting, then I started feeling camera as a part of my hand. We walked around Maribor taking photos during a pair of hours, then we came back to GT 22 to reveal what we had taken. Gregor showed me the chemical process to get the photos.
During the photo session, the phrase “We will see, you never know” came up many times. And It’s totally true! You never know how the photo actually looks when you take it using an analog camera. That’s what I liked the most. Maybe we can say something similar about mobility: You never know how it is actually going to be and that is the magic because it will surprise you in many ways!
FOT. Gregor Salobir Mar Romero Feliu
I’m Martí who is a Biologist and a Wildlife Manager. I came to Maribor through the project TLN Mobilicat by the hand of Asociación Mundus. I’ll stay in Maribor for 4 months and during this time, I’ll work in different companies. I would like to introduce you one of them and shed light upon its functionality on society. It’s called Mladinski dom Maribor.
Mladinski dom Maribor is a Youth Center that works with children and adolescents aged around 8 to 18 who have emotional and behavioural problems and cannot live with their parents for a variety of reasons. They usually have low self-esteem and have difficulty integrating into a normal environment.
In particular, I will work in the unit of Slivnica where they perform a project of education based on Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. In other terms, the process of using plants and gardening to improve their physical and mental health, and also improve their communication skills for the purpose to include them in the society. The programme helps them to find their vocation or to fell valuable for themselves. My tasks will be based on teaching how important is the nature, how to take care of it and how to take profit from it in a good way.
Finally, let me introduce you one of the workshops that youths perform in the Center called “Get to know vegetables and their seeds”. This workshop has three steps, the first consists of discovering the names of the vegetables in English language and in any language that is important for the participants. In our case, we translate them from Slovenian to English, Spanish, Catalan and Korean.
The next step is discovering how vegetables grows. Also, learning about vegetables and their own and unique type of seed. Lastly, they will perform a seed germination test in order to know the growth viability of the seeds. It consists on covering the bottom of a petri dish with cotton soaked in water and put the cotton on a counted number of seeds, and let it grow a few days (6-8). When the days have passed, they will have to count how many seeds growth and make a ratio calculating what percentage of the total are viable.
That is just a little thing from the whole activities they perform. I hope you found it interesting and If you want to know more about what this company does, just take a look in their website http://slivnica.mladinski-dom-mb.si/.
We went through the forest and all the trees and also the pathway were covered by ice and snow. Personally, I’ve never seen something more beautiful and I’m so glad that I could enjoy it until May.
This picture was taken by Mar Romero
Bled is a nice place for a day hike. If you want you can walk around the lake. It takes 1-2 hours to complete a round. We did around 20km of walking, so I advise you to take a good pair of shoes ;)
If you have time, you can go to Bled island by rowboat. You can rent one for 25 euros per hour. Me and my group loved the paddling experience, since we’ve never paddle before. We were really excited about it!
On the island you can visit the Church of the Assumption (the main point is to ring a bell and make a wish) and a small museum for 6 euros. On the way to Bled Castle stop to visit St. Martin Parish Church: it’s a Gothic Revival structure, built from 1903 until 1905.
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.