Selected contributions by the students summarizing the experience for all

Luca, 18 years old (IT)

Participating in this Erasmus+ project was like a journey of self-discovery and discovery of the world we live in: getting to know the mentality of successful entrepreneurs we met, feeling it also in the way they communicated with us; seeing the different reactions of young people of other nationalities to the same kind of adventure, understanding one’s own limits and shortcomings; learning how to set realistic and measurable goals; learning to work as a team… these are all pieces of my educational experience, the most enriching and comprehensive one I have had so far.

Antonio, 16 years old (CZ)

On the whole, I had an amazing time, especially during the on-site modules. In just a handful of days I discovered Italian jewels (even literally) that I will hardly ever forget. Including the wonderful Spoleto valley and the magnificent Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. But above all dynamic, adaptable, constantly evolving jewels, with that masterful touch that many have tried, in vain, to imitate, being always attentive to the needs of customers: Italian entrepreneurial excellences. The engine of each of them is passion, quality, innovative ideas, and the pouring of the soul into the product, to the point of leaving a part of themselves in each of their creations. 

Another aspect we worked on during the project was self-analysis and self-improvement. In my opinion it was a key chapter. We often mistakenly believe that we know ourselves perfectly, and that it is not necessary to organize our priorities and ideas, because deep down we know what we want. However, sometimes it can be very useful to stop and reflect for a moment on which path to take. Because it is of little use to be able to assert oneself on the job market if you do not first know, at least in general terms, how our species behaves.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge how lucky I have been to have shared this experience with so many wonderful people, to whom I extend my sincere thanks. Thank you also to all those who, with so much effort and work, made this beautiful project possible.

Francesco M., 19 years old (IT)

The stories of young entrepreneurs in the online modules, the fact that I had to measure myself with individual planning as per S.M.A.R.T. goals, Specific, Measurable, Accepted, Realistic, Timely (another concrete example of take-aways from the online modules), as well as the expert advice for planning and managing personal finances (last experiential module), were a decisive factor of change in my way of approaching things, and all this made me grow significantly in terms of pragmatism and realism.

 Eliška, 16 years old (CZ)

We, Czech students, as well as students of two other countries, have participated in the Erasmus + project since September 2021. When I think about it, I try to recall all those experiences. The first thing that comes to my mind is how it all ended so quickly. It was nine months that gave me a different view of the world, opened new paths. What still surprises me is how much is possible to learn, how many new things I have never thought about. This experience is new. Completely different from our daily lives and the thinking of us, our parents, our friends. And this is the first reason why I would recommend this project, it is an opportunity to get to know yourself. It will help you find out what you want from life and how you feel in your own world. And the environment helped this experience a lot 🙂 Italian nature, culture, cuisine… What does it actually mean Italy and what is the “Made in Italy”. I love getting to know new countries, people and, I fell in love with Italy even more, if at all possible. When I talk about people, I mainly think of stories and dreams that I have learned during both stays and also the online modules. You will learn that everything has a price, every successful company has a long way behind, entrepreneurs will share their mistakes with you and broaden your horizons incredibly.

Andrea, 21 years old (IT)

When meeting the various entrepreneurs, I had a confirmation that it is important to nurture a variety of interests (from art to history), for the sake of developing one’s own personality. In other words, nurturing an eclectic curiosity. I trust that further developments of this Erasmus+ project will help me to enhance the ability to relate to others, beyond being somewhat reserved, which is typical for me. Thanks to this Erasmus+ project, I have noticed a clear improvement in my interpersonal skills, I am now more open, more self-confident in dealing with others, more extroverted, and I consider all this to be one of the best results of this experience on a personal level. Among the many input offered by the visit to ‘Ferrari’, a particularly significant one concerns the vocation, typical of Made in Italy, to realise tailor-made products, be they clothes or top-quality cars. The ambition to create unique items, to sell the sense of primacy, to emphasise customer’s personality, desires, to make one’s own brand great and inimitable by putting oneself at the service of others, these are some of the essentials that allowed me to understand aspects of entrepreneurial psychology, such as knowing how to listen to others, how to accommodate their need to be unique, how to enhance one’s technical skills through aesthetic taste, how to strive for perfection and for continuous improvement.

Eva, 17 years old (CZ)

Erasmus+ was, for instance, an excellent opportunity to practice both Italian and English outside school, to use them to communicate with people. Among the lessons that I liked the most I include the cinelogy. I alone would never have had the ideas of the trainer or others, and the fact of confronting myself with another point of view was very interesting and useful for me. It enriched me. Among the entrepreneurs, the one I liked the most was Marfuga’s, because he also talked about his private life and his family. In his case, the business seemed an interest among others. Somehow his interview was the most personal one.

Andrei, 19 years old (IT)

The Erasmus+ course was important for me in improving interpersonal skills: it was an opportunity to socialise and I enjoyed it, I was happy to be in a new environment, to meet new peers of different nationalities, to make new friends, to practice my English, to share experiences, to gather a number of ideas from all this. Thanks to the course I also had the opportunity to explore my interests and to play with talent in practical, manual activities, I took active part in masonry and cooking workshops and I could feel the desire grow for knowledge, acquisition of technical skills, apprenticeship. I felt the wish for gaining experience. The quality of the locations chosen for the experiential modules (rich in art and craftsmanship), the opportunity to take part in the workshops, visiting companies throughout all stages of the production cycle, these were all factors that steered me towards engaging in crafts for the future: a life goal that the Erasmus+ course helped me to shape.

Hana, 16 years old (CZ)

I went to Erasmus to get new experiences, learn new things, meet new people, learn how to interact with them and, of course, also learn languages. It all came true for me. This Erasmus was a project that in a certain way will change your thinking about the meaning of life and how you want to live it. Do you want to feel good about yourself or just survive? I think the answer is clear. And this Erasmus showed us how to do it. It’s important to find motivation and desire in yourself, because everything goes much better with passion. And even small steps on the way to your destination count. Personally, I’ve started working to get as close as possible to my dream profession. Now I know that although I am young, I have a lot of options and I want to feel good about doing something to achieve my goal. And that means I’m doing something for myself, too. There are only a few things in the world that can’t be taken away from you. And one of them is your knowledge. This Erasmus has been emphasizing this from the very beginning, and I was only too glad. The Erasmus team was also mindful of the practical side of things, which I certainly have to appreciate. We have had meetings with very successful people who have allowed us to look into their world and consult anything with them. This Erasmus was a very thoughtful project that gave us the space to grow personally, gave us new incentives, but also developed our existing ideas. Everything took place in wonderful places in Italy, where the food is incredibly good and the people around you are nice. Simply: you won’t want to leave such an educational project!

Francesco F., 18 years old (IT)

I have greatly enjoyed all the training sessions I have followed, I felt involved, it was a great opportunity to open one’s mind and learn how to relate to different people and other mentalities, a stimulus to improve one’s basic culture and get to know oneself, a school of passion for one’s craft and of the importance of constantly improve one’s technique, a stimulus to take care of one’s lifestyle. At the opening of the course, participants were invited to draw from the various training sessions they would have had (including direct acquaintance with entrepreneurs, visits to companies, cities of art) what are the distinctive features of the “Made in Italy” brand, intended as a universal model of savoir-faire and know-how. Of these, I admit that ‘selling a value’ rang the bell for me. Although it seemed to be the most difficult element to understand and identify in abstract terms, at the conclusion of the modules, it was one of the most important lessons learnt from this wonderful experience.

Zhana, 22 years old (BG)

I applied for the Erasmus + program “Now I know how” because I relay wanted to meet young and motivated people from other countries who mutually inspire each other, immersed in the atmosphere of one of the most creative places in Europe – Italy. However, the program exceeded my expectations. I learned a lot, not only about business, but also about life – THANK YOU! Although the online training modules were well organized, I enjoyed attending the on-site ones so much more, because of the energy that not only the participants in the program brought, but also the places we stayed in and the inspiring personalities we had the opportunity to meet. Lizori was like a fairy tale, and Milan – city of opportunities, but they were not the only places we visited. Each destination and city we’ve been to enriched my experience. I am very impressed by the variety of activities through which the organizers made this complex subject interesting and easy to understand. The brand “Made in Italy” will remain in my mind as a symbol of beauty, quality and love. It also made me look for inspiration for my business, not abroad, but in Bulgaria, my homeland. That is why I will place the BULGARIAN ROSE OIL (unique natural Bulgarian product) at the center of my business. In conclusion, I want to say that for this one year, I looked forward to each subsequent day of the program, I happily remembered the past days and experienced the present one with pleasure. Thank you for the invaluable experience and opportunities provided. I am happy to be part of this Erasmus+ program.

Andreea, 18 anni (IT)

I was surprised and impressed by the qualities of boys and girls, Italian and foreign alike, whom I met thanks to the Erasmus+ project. I managed to socialise by overcoming to a degree my introverted nature, especially through practical activities and social events. The diversity of the Erasmus+ group stimulated me to improve the knowledge of the English language and I wish to deepen exchanges further.  I definitely appreciated the presentation on service psychology by a girl just a few years older than me: when things get explained by someone who is practically your age, they get always even more accessible. In the second part of the course, the most amazing experience in terms of personal growth, open-mindedness, new ways of relating to others and to the world of work, was meeting the Ferrari employee who guided the company museum tour for us. She told us the history of Ferrari, of its founders and creators and she spoke of success and records of the entire Ferrari world with so much passion, competence, emotional engagement, ability to convey enthusiasm, admiration and pride to work there! I was convinced that she must be a member of the Ferrari family, a relative! When I realised that this was not the case, a whole new dimension opened up for me: this is the way how you collaborate with the company you work for, this is how you work in a project you are part of. This experience allowed me to make the right connections with aspects of service psychology that were repeatedly touched upon during the course.

Ester, 17 years old (CZ)  

Erasmus+ brought me, first of all, new experiences, such as meeting the Bulgarian students. I have felt that our cultures are more similar than I previously thought. I have also much appreciated social moments, such as eating together, being able to chat together in a relaxing atmosphere. I appreciated the variety of the training: the fact that the lectures and talks were of various different kinds and that they were given by different people. One thing is if someone talks about experiences on a theoretical level, but a much better thing is talking to someone who has lived those experiences in the first person.  Among the best activities I certainly include the walk in nature, and not only for the obvious reason of the beauty of the place: the most important was the relationship that through the walk we attempted to establish with nature. I liked that the importance of this connection was emphasized, I felt it a lot, it remained inside me as a living experience. Overall, I have learned that if you work hard, nothing is impossible. That dedication can be a road to success.

Georgi, 22 years old (BG)

I come to this Erasmus program hoping to expand my entrepreneurial skills, but I could not image how much I would actually receive from it. Both experiential modules, the one in the beautiful hamlet of Lizori and the one in Milan, were very memorable. I got to experience Italy through its cuisine, beautiful sites as well as music. Meeting successful people with businesses build on principles, principles discussed in great detail in lectures, strengthened the meaning of the phrase “Create with love and passion!” in my mind. I found that the combination of being aware of one’s cultural background, of acquiring knowledge and entrepreneurial flexibility, together with the drive to create something truly different and unique, represents a perfect recipe for success.

Valeria, 18 years old (IT)

Among activities I had so far thanks to this Erasmus+ project, the most astonishing and useful one for me was the photography workshop: it opened up a whole new world. I was amazed by seeing the unsuspected inner reality represented in photographs, I could be understood beyond the limits of an image I had of myself initially, prior to this experience. I had the possibility to discover myself more closely through this tool, and I saw how it can be beneficial to self-knowledge and development. In general, I consider that the Erasmus+ course was comprehensive on all levels: culture, art, lifestyle, getting involved, interaction with other cultures, lessons learnt from the stories of great entrepreneurs and from the miracle of small local companies that managed to go international (it shows that it is possible to create a great business from where you are). I greatly appreciated the visits to companies like […]the Marfuga company, where its CEO offered a tasting (I would never have expected from them such gestures and I would perhaps never consider doing it myself, if I were in their shoes, yet it certainly makes such a difference). Participating in this Erasmus+ Course is a life-changing experience: in your relationship with yourself, with others and with your projects. Cinelogy is a terrific instrument for putting oneself in the game, analysing, getting to the heart of problems: a very suitable tool to make youngsters reflect and grow. It was stimulating to learn about school systems different from ours, other cultures, and other ways of approaching the world of work.