France-German: Saarbrücker newspaper

Date: 27th Nov 2019

Article in Saarbrücker Newspaper: Students get to know Europe in Saarbrücken.

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Exchange Program

Students get to know Europe in Saarbrücken

27 November 2019 17:47

By David Hoffmann 

The idea of a European community can only last if there are people who stand up for it. This is why the Erasmus+ programme has set itself the goal of getting young people from EU countries enthusiastic about Europe. "The basic idea of the programme is to bring young people from the EU together so that they see the European idea as an opportunity for themselves and their future," says Paul Grannec, teacher and Erasmus coordinator at the German-French Gymnasium (DFG) in Saarbrücken. 

The DFG has been participating in the programme since the mid-2000s and is currently involved in a project with schools from Finland (Virrat), Greece (Patras) and Spain (Madrid). "The project started in September 2018 and will end in September 2020. A total of 120 young people from Germany, France, Finland, Greece and Spain are taking part," says Grannec. In addition to the overarching objectives, each exchange programme has a thematic focus. In the current project, the focus is on media and news.

 The meetings in Spain and Greece already took place in January and May 2019. The main focus was on the newspaper landscapes of the participating countries. This week the meeting will take place in Saarbrücken, where the topic of social media will be discussed. Next January the schools will meet in Virrat, Finland. The DFG pupils will also visit the European Parliament in Brussels.

 During the visits to the respective countries, the young people are accommodated in host families. "About 30 students from our school, aged between 14 and 17, are involved. However, not all of them are present at every meeting. But every student is abroad at least once," explains Paul Grannec. The students were thrilled every time. The EU subsidies make it possible to finance the trips almost completely. "The new EU Commission has also announced that it will significantly increase the funding for the project once again," says Grannec with a view to the future.

 The DFG's pupils are enthusiastic about the project. "I took part in the project because I wanted to get to know new people and cultures - and it has been great fun so far," says 16-year-old Rebecca Iacob. The 15-year-old Katia Tuck is also delighted: "It's a great opportunity to experience new things. I also think it's important to support such European projects." The contact to their exchange partners remained also after the meetings over Social Media. When asked whether they would participate in the programme again, they both answered: "We have only had positive experiences and would participate again immediately".

But Erasmus+ is not only useful for pupils. "It is also a great opportunity for us teachers to gain new impressions and benefit from these experiences in our daily work," says Grannec. A large network is emerging across Europe, through which all those involved can only benefit from the great possibilities of the European idea.

About the project

Headlines: More Than Meets the Eye  is a two year Erasmus+/KA229 School Exchange Partnerships running 2018-2020. The partnership consists of 4 partners, Finland, Spain, Germany and Greece