“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.”
Shakespeare definitely never experienced a summer’s day in Kos, for few things are comparable to the beauty of this island. The Italian Erasmus team from Ernesto Balducci took a deep dive into this astounding beauty as part of the ERASMUS+ project from 25th September to 2nd October 2022. We took off from Bologna in the late afternoon of Sunday, so we didn’t reach Kos until 23.30, when the students were picked up by the host families.
After a refreshing sleep we met the other teams at the local high school: students and teachers from Poland, Iceland, Sweden, Greece, Slovakia and of course Italy got to know each other better through the presentations of their country and ice-breaking activities that culminated with the first workshop on GDPR and online data protection held by the Greek Headmaster Giorgos Hllapanis. After the first lunch in town there was still enough time to relax on the wonderful beach of Kos and eventually have the first swim in the Aegean Sea!
On Tuesday we had the chance to visit the volcanic island of Nisyros ; after a short boat trip, a bus took us directly to the centre of the Volcano crater where we were struck by the beauty of the sulfur geysers and blinding-white rocks (although we had to deal with the smell of rotten eggs coming from the sulfur!). We also visited the small capital town of the island: although Nysiros is considered a tourist resort, we were very lucky to visit the island without the noise and the crowd of the summer period.
The days went by quickly: Wednesday and Thursday mornings were spent all together in the school auditorium with various activities including the microbit and programming workshop and the visit to the archaelogical site of Asklipieion , where we were guided through the ruins of Hippocrates’s school, the first modern hospital.
Of course, after all the work students did in the morning and in the afternoon there was plenty of time to relax and explore the beauties of Kos at night; so under the guide of the Greek students we got a taste of what the city looks like in the summer period: bars, wonderful squares with typical restaurants, clubs and tons of fun!
Friday was the last time the national teams met all together, as the Slovakian, Swedish and Icelandic groups left on Saturday. However, Friday morning was dedicated to sports: the whole school practiced different sports like soccer, volleyball, chess and dance, so the Erasmus group was excited to join them! After a nice morning (and an embarassing defeat of the Erasmus soccer team) the group reached the wonderful beach of Mastichari. It’s really hard to name a more beautiful beach in the Mediterranean: white sand, clear and bright water and guaranteed tan! We had lunch in the village of Zia where we tasted the best of Greek cuisine while staring at the incredible sight of the beaches below us.
The beauty of Greece left us breathless, but getting along with students from different countries was definitely the best part of the experience. We all learned a lot from this unique experience: being in an international group teaches you how to express yourself correctly in English not only in a school or didactic situation. Talking, living and having fun with people that have completely different habits and cultural backgrounds makes you really feel part of the world: through this experience and the use of English, we have all created and shared a special bond that we hope we’ll never forget.