Meeting in France

From the 26th March to 1st April, 2023, a group of students from Seweryn Goszczyński High School in Nowy Targ, took part in an international meeting organised within the Erasmus+ Project „Take Action For The Earth”. The first session took place in Perpignan in the south of France. Our stay there was filled with interesting lectures, thought-provoking projects and trips to breath-taking places. During that week, we developed our teamwork skills, got to know a lot about our climate and problems connected with the environment. It was also a chance to master our language skills and learn how to overcome mental block and other language barriers while communicating with students from France and Greece.

On Monday we were officially greeted in the school’s conference hall. Then we were divided into groups in which we visited the school and its premises with three gardens, a library, many classrooms and corridors situated in the fresh air. After this walk, we participated in various lessons. We had a chance to experience a 55-minute-long English lesson or  geography one. In small groups we took ourt seats in the classrooms and observed with interest the cooperation between students and teachers.

On the same day we listened to a lecture about ocean pollution caused by plastic. We got to know it is a huge problem, and most of the waste is impossible to be removed as it is on the bottom, deeper than a human being can dive. The only thing that can be done with it is to encourage people not to throw rubbish into water as it can lead to the extinction of a number of animal and plant species as well as pollution of oceans.

In the afternoon we had a stroll in Perpignan together with the teachers. It wasn’t a common sightseeing, though. We had bags and gloves with ourselves and we picked every piece of rubbish met on our way. In this way, we cleaned a small part of the world and could come back home proud of our little action that was so important to our planet.

On the next day we set out to Eyne Valley. It is a picturesque valley located in the Catalan Pyrenees with a beautiful village stretched at the foothills. After a short walk in the mountains together with the guides, half of us participated in integration classes in the nearby museum, while the other half continued visiting the village. In the solar farm Themis we got to know how energy can be obtained from the sunlight which is considered to be a renewable source of energy. We could also see a display describing the mode of action of this fascinating place.

On Wednesday, being divided into groups working on particular aspects of the environment (water, air, waste) we started working on presenting the given issues. It is worth noticing that the groups were international thanks to which we could improve our language skills. Later, we went to a little town where we took part in a race during which we had to find particular places, at which the whole group was supposed to take a photo in the shortest possible time. It was a great opportunity to integrate with the participants.

Next day we had a visit to the aquarium full of sea creatures. It was an amazing educational experience. There, we also participated in workshops during which we learnt if and how melting of glaciers influences the level of water and what happens with marine animals under the influence of climate change.

After this activity we went on a long walk along the seashore. We used picturesque paths located on cliffs, high above the beaches, from where we could admire wonderful views.

Friday was our last day at school. We presented the results of our common work and then we answered the questions concerning the discussed topics. We took part in workshops devoted to the climate changes. Working in groups consisting of 6 people we prepared posters containing the cause and effect sequence of global warming, and we discussed actions which can be taken by us and which could help in stopping the irreparable damage in the world. The posters were placed on the walls of the school’s corridors.

In the evening there was a farewell ceremony. It was also the last evening with the host families with whom we spent unforgettable moments. Everyone will remember well this exchange. It allowed us to get to know a new culture, to see beautiful places and above all fulfil our knowledge about the role we play in ceasing global warming. We learnt what to do with waste, what to do as an individual as well as a huge group interested in the condition of the Earth. All participants would recommend this trip and, for sure, they can’t wait to the next part during which students from France and our school will meet in Greece.

The project was financed by European Union within the programme ERASMUS+

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