Erasmus + -AG at the European Festival in Hanover

A report by Marion Arth

The ERASMUS-AG of the Gymnasium Unter den Eichen Uetze met on May 11, 2019 in Hannover, to stroll together on the European festival on the Opernplatz. The motto of the festival „Together for Europe“, which should focus on the diversity of Europe in the Hannover region, went well with the current ERASMUS + project „FIT for europe“ of the Gymnasium.

They met with the teachers Dirk Früchtemeyer, Verena Everding and Dr. med. Frauke Perl in front of the Europahaus, to try out the „Wahl-o-Mat“ together with the Lower Saxony State Office for Political Education.

After that, various booths were visited, i.a. the state of Bulgaria, one of the partner countries of the project „F.I.T. for europe „

Finally, a quiz was held at the EIZ booth, in addition to interesting discussions, in which a new European flag was won as the prize. Together all questions could be answered and the banner became the property of ERASMUS + -AG. The flag was immediately used for an unexpected photo session at the LEADER Region Aller-Fuhse-Aue, where the municipality of Uetze was also represented. There, the students met with the mayor of the municipality and the first parish councilor as well as with the Lower Saxony Minister for Federal and European Affairs Birgit Honé. It goes without saying that this opportunity should not pass unused; In addition to stimulating discussions, a shared souvenir photo was taken along.

At the end of the excursion, the culinary offer of Spain, France and Germany was tested and approved. Even if the festival had been given slightly higher temperatures and sun, the interesting stands and the stimulating and informative talks and contacts were worth the trip to Hannover. A big thank you to the organizers of this great event; it has strengthened our conviction that there is no alternative: Together for Europe – and we are there!

FIT. for Europe inspires class 5b on Europe

A report by Svea, Inken, Ronja and Elin

A classmate has brought a booklet about Europe. From this we have worked on tasks. There were texts and hidden object pictures that are explained to children about Europe.

We looked at the euro and the symbols on the bills. We asked ourselves this question: „Why does the EU flag have 12 stars?“ We have answered this question. Some of us have guessed that the stars are for the member states … but that’s wrong!

12 stars stand for: 12 months has one year, 12 hours each day and night, There are 12 zodiac signs. The 12 stars therefore stand for the harmony and unity of the European peoples. Our teacher Fr. Gehlhar also took pictures which sometimes looked very funny.

Gymnasium Unter den Eichen celebrates the European week

With great effort and lots of fun, the pupils and the supervising teachers got involved in the European week. In addition to intensive research on different national courts of all member states, the students have dealt with the following questions

• My vision of Europe …

• That’s what I want from Europe …

• My greatest experience with Europe …

• Here in Europe, I like to be …

• I personally do the following for Europe …

• Europe means to me …

• F.I.T. for Europe I am, because …

• I would like to change that in Europe

These topics were discussed and then made accessible on posters for the entire school public. The aim of the project was to draw attention to the advantages of the united Europe before the forthcoming European elections and to address a broad public. Anyone entering the school through the main entrance will automatically go through a circle of 12 stars that reflect the motto of the week „Europe and the Ego“. On the inside, the results of the Erasmus AG have been designed.

In the picture gallery you will find all the impressions of an exciting and informative European week.

Further highlights around the actions of our students will follow soon. Stay tuned.

Dutch teachers und students are F.I.T. in Uetze

We still have two more days to go, but we will share an impression of this fantastic first student exchange of our F.I.T. for Europe Erasmus + project.

On Sunday Morning Romy (H4), Irene (H4), Serana (H4), Jarna (V4), Dian (V4) and Sylvan (V5) were ready to get in our pretty minivan (driven by Mr Borghuis, accompanied by navigator Ms Welling) and drive to Uetze, Germany. We all didn’t know each other very well yet, but the road trip changed that in no time! Mr Borghuis had made sure to bring a CD with German schlagers, so the ‘ready for Germany’ spirit was soon alive and kicking!

When we arrived in Uetze, the host families were already waiting for us. We took our first group picture and went home with our host families. We would meet the next morning at school to meet the entire group.

On Monday morning we did some introduction games, were met by the school principal and mayor and listened to student presentations about the educational system in Germany.

 On Tuesday we went to Hamburg. One half of the Group visited the Hamburg Stage School, a school for musical theatre, singing and dancing (Hamburg is famous for its many musical theatres). The other half of the group went to the harbour in Harburg. In the afternoon there was an Ipad Rally across the city of Hamburg.

On Wednesday, the group was split in two again. One group went to a lesson in optical physics at the Leibniz University Hannover. The other group visited Continental Tyres. The groups were reunited at the University Library where we received a guided tour (Hannover has the largest technical university library in Europe!). We had lunch in the – very crowded – central dining hall. That evening it was also Serana’s birthday, so we organised a dinner for her at a sushi restaurant.

After three days you notice that everyone knows each other a little better and that the Germans, Bulgarians, Latvians and us started mixing much more.

Today was by far the coolest day so far. We went to Wolfsburg, to the Volkswagen factory and the Autostadt. We started with a meeting with a few students who did a dual training programme with the VW company in which they could combine their university studies with working at VW. We all had lunch together in the VW cafeteria. After lunch we did a very cool guided tour through the VW factory. Unfortunately no picture taking was allowed inside. After the tour we could choose between going shopping or seeing some more cars in the Autostadt. And to keep ourselves warm we practised our dance routine for the final night and taught it to the Germans, Bulgarians and Latvians!

Review of the teacher’s meeting in Sofia

Last week, Mia and I were in Sofia, Bulgaria, for our Erasmus+ project. Together with our Latvian and German colleagues, we visited the National Highschool in Finance and Business (NHFB). We had a full and inspiring programme. We worked on our project activities (a.o. ETwinning, job shadowing, website content, study opportunities for students and preparing the student exchanges). We also had the chance to explore Sofia and see some interesting places in the surrounding areas, including the museum of archaeology, a winery, and the famous Rila Monastery.

Sofia has surprised us very much. Even though we knew that we would meet very nice and hospitable people (we had of course met our Bulgarian and Latvian colleagues in Germany twice before), we didn’t really know what to expect. To most of you Bulgaria probably makes you think of Eastern European apartment buildings or rumours of corruption. This, however, was not at all the atmosphere the city breathes. Of course every city has its dark sides, but Sofia is a lively, vibrant and modern city that shows pride of their recent developments and European Union membership. The wide streets, parks and wonderful views of the mountains provide a sense of warmth and safety and the EU flag flaunts proudly. The 20+ degrees temperatures of course did help in our positive imaging. It is a city that seems to be rapidly developing – made possible also through EU financing. Modernising and cherishing its rich history of centuries old cultures go hand in hand. In the middle of the city centre one can find Roman remains right next to an old mosque and an orthodox church. Young people almost all speak English and tourism is starting to take off (but is also welcomed with some anxiety – Prague-like mass tourism isn’t something they aspire, but it, unfortunately, just seems to be a matter of time). The gap between rich and poor and young and old seems to be big, and the mixture of architecture reflects a difficult, but optimistic quest for identity as a new, European, Bulgaria.

The NHFB, our partner school, is located in the centre of Sofia in a monumental building that proudly displays the Bulgarian and European Union flags. The building is too small to house all of its students, which is why they work with two shifts of classes. Half of the students have classes in the morning, half of the students have classes in the late afternoon. Whereas we offer different specialisations within our school, in Bulgaria it is quite common to have secondary schools that have a specific profile. The NHFB focuses on the economy-related courses. Students at the NHFB work on projects together with local companies. They simulate their own companies and have to develop, manage, produce and market their own products. At the end of their school career students receive an additional certificate in international business. We were impressed with the students’ level of English, self-confidence, motivation, and ambition.

Teachers in Bulgaria often have a second or even third job next to teaching, because teachers’ salaries are often not even enough to support a household. To us and our German colleagues that is unimaginable, but the situation in Latvia isn’t all that different. Because our project is fully financed by Erasmus +, it luckily isn’t something that affects our mobilities very much, but is definitely something to take into account when we compare educational systems. We are quite aware that it is a bit of a shame that we can only take so few students with us on our exchanges, but at the same time a subsidised project that also includes separate teacher meetings also provides the opportunity to learn from one another without much stress of having to keep an eye on large groups of students. This allows you to truly reflect on your own educational practises and really get to know each other. And of course we will use all the knowledge we are gaining in this project to inspire us to organise more projects that could include more students (and teachers).

Review of the teacher’s meeting in Uetze

From Sunday to Wednesday Mia, Anna and I were in Uetze (just outside Hannover). We were there for the first official meeting of our approved Erasmus + Project F.I.T for Europe. Mia and I had been there in March to co-write the application and this summer we received the good news that our application was approved. This meant that we had to start selecting students. It was a bit of a challenge, but we made it! We have selected 18 wonderful Quintus students who will be given the chance to participate in the three exchanges with Bulgaria, Latvia and Germany .

In total, there will be 8 ‘mobilities’ (4x teacher meeting, 4x student exchanges) and 10 ‘project activities’ that are centred around getting to know each other’s cultures, educational system and job opportunities.

Our first teacher meeting (‘Lehrertreffen’) in Uetze was very successful. We planned most of our project activities for the next two years, decided which students would visit which countries, and made sure all our activities can be explained to Erasmus +.  Of course, we also made sure that there was time for good German food and a visit to Hannover (and Germans do have a sense of humour, really! 😉) In week 47 the first student-exchange will take place in Uetze as well. We will take Jarna (V4), Dian (V4), Romy (H4), Irene (H4), Serana (H4) and Sylvan (V5) with us, accompanied by Willem Borghuis and Sophie Welling. In March and June the teacher and student visits to Bulgaria will take place. In 2019-2020 the visits to Latvia will take place as well as the incoming visits of our partner schools here in Assen. We’ll keep you posted!  

An unforgettable experience

On April 10, we had the opportunity to visit Telus International.  It all begins with the big glass building called Telus Tower. As the group entered, we were greeted by two smiling ladies, Iva and Ivana, who felt they really liked their work and didn’t feel uncomfortable by what they were doing.  They took us to a hall where some of their important meetings took place, and within about a couple of hours we had the opportunity to find out about different activities of the company, how we could start working there, about the conditions of work and everything we cared about.

Let’s start with the fact that there is no particular dress-up – it is quite normal to go in jeans, T-shirt and sneakers. Various days are also organized – some come in pajamas, while other clothing is tailored to holidays such as Halloween.

The building has modern rooms for rest, fitness, etc. They are free and can be used by all employees. Each year they have an event in which they do something charitable – painting schools, making playgrounds, planting trees.  I definitely had the impression that the people there really enjoy their work and do everything with desire. They have also told us about projects by non-governmental organizations that fund and in fact the transition that passes to be approved. Projects are for health, environment and education. We have also learned about the opportunities to start working with them after 16 years of age.  We have explained how important the CV is, and how we need to put into the foreground the information that will actually be needed for the position we are applying for. Interviews conducted with them are always in the foreign language we apply for, and we have explained that for them English is the official language of the company. They have special tests that, when applying for a job, determine the level of our language.  We also understood how important it is to be in time, but if something happens and we are late, we must call and warn. Finally, we also had the opportunity to play an interview with them.

For the final of the meeting, we went to the last floor where the gym is located and stretches 360 degree views.  We had time to take pictures and look at, then we had to leave, but hoping some would come back.

Demetra Krasteva

Live in Sofia…

… in March 2019 for the second teachers‘ workshop

With great anticipation of a reunion, curious about the school and the city, all colleagues started the joint teachers‘ meeting in Sofia. After a warm welcome, work started on Monday. First, each school presented the activities that have taken place since the last meeting in October / November. It became clear that the joint project is anchored in every school and in many different activities.

Be it a reading week or a rhetoric seminar in Sofia, at the school and community training fair or as part of the biology class in Uetze, diligently working on a common job-oriented dictionary in Assen or a big Christmas campaign in Limbazi – the project content has been and will become holistic everywhere introduced into the school life. In addition, actions for the European Week in May were presented by the partner school in Limbazi.


A special highlight was the presentation of student companies at the National High School of Finance and Business in Sofia. Pupils reported before the F.I.T. Team from their work in these training companies.


Afterwards, our Bulgarian colleagues introduced the concept of the school to all present and gave the opportunity to sit in the classroom. Very important for our joint work was the eTwinning seminar, which was chaired by colleague and eTwinning Ambassador Tsvetelena Taralova. The TwinSpace is to be expanded until the next meeting and also serve to disseminate the project content.

Despite the work in the school building, the time was spent exploring the city and a lively and humorous exchange of information on the customs and culture of our countries.

Vielen herzlichen Dank an unsere Partnerschule und Freunde in Sofia!

F.I.T. for Europe means focusing on issues that are significant to society

The participants in the project F.I.T. for Europe / № 2018-1-DE03-KA229-047389_2, supported by their teachers: Pantaleeva, Karazapryanova and Popova participated for three consecutive days at the Christmas Bazaar organized by the Students‘ Council at the NFSG for charity purposes.

Gergana and Carolina’s idea was the team F.I.T. not only to participate, but also to present the three partner schools and countries: Latvia, the Netherlands and Germany and to prepare Christmas treats typical of these countries as well as to present interesting information about the traditions and customs of three different parts of the European continent.

Their idea was accepted with enthusiasm. On 17-18-19.12.2018 the Latvian group, „The Netherlands“group and „Germany“ group presented to the school community the project which they participate in , handed out brochures and flyers, offered typical Latvian, Dutch and German pastries, prepared with great care, creativity and inspiration.

Students did not miss having fun. Such initiatives create the sense of community and cohesion, which is the guiding principle of project initiatives. And the pride of each participant that he has made his contribution in the name of a noble initiative is invaluable.


On 6.12.2018, an interesting and exciting open lesson in public speech was held at the National High School in Finance and Business with a lecturer Dr. Georgi Petkov.

In a fun and interactive way, students from the eighth, ninth and tenth grades, including representatives of the project F.I.T. for Europe / No 2018-1-DE03-KA229-047389_2, the group of EU junior ambassadors and the debating team, learned how to start a speech, how long it ought to be, what is the structure of public speech and the place of the main idea in it.

No less provocative curiosity was the information on how to use posture, gesture, intonation, impact, what are the effective techniques for coping with stress in public speech, why the best way to finish a speech is a call to action.

The artistically and fascinatingly narrated stories and the professional information provided by Dr. Petrov directed the participants to the guiding idea: You never know where the inspiration and the hope will come from. At what time will this happen? Maybe at school. You never know who will push you to what will bring you success. But such a man will always be found. As long as you participate in the game.

During the 60 minutes which slipped imperceptibly away, not only the students but the attending teachers as well: Taralova, Velinova, Karazapryanova, Gesheva and Popova, studied and enjoyed, and for the pupils apart from the shared emotions, knowledge, inspiration remained and the hope to have other similar meetings in our school. Because the experience and usefulness of life is a true school and effective learning.

Wolfsburg im F.I.T.-Fokus

Am22.11.18 fuhr das Erasmus-Team in die Stadt Wolfsburg, um sich über den Konzern Volkswagen zu informieren.

Der Tag begann um 10:30 Uhr mit einer Berufsinformation in der Berufsakademie mit einer Präsentation über das Unternehmen VW und deren internationale Standorte. Zudem erhielten die Schüler/-innen Daten und Fakten zur Autoproduktion und zu Studien- sowie Ausbildungsmöglichkeiten.

Am interessantesten für die Schüler/-innen waren jedoch die Berichte der Auszubildenden und Studenten des Unternehmens aus „erster Hand“. Sie hatten zusätzlich die Möglichkeit diese im Anschluss zu befragen. Nach einemgemeinsamen Mittagessen im Betriebsrestaurant wurde die Autostadt erkundet. DieSchüler/-innen erhielten einen Einblick in die Autoproduktion und hatten die Möglichkeit weitere Touren in der Autostadt zu absolvieren. Ein kurzer„Abstecher“ in das DesignerOutlet Wolfsburg vor der Rückreise rundete den Nachmittag genüsslich ab.

Hannover wurde F.I.T. gemacht

Nach dem spannenden und lehrreichen Ausflug nach Hamburg stand mit Hannover das nächste Ziel auf dem Programm.

Eine Schüler-Gruppe besuchte den Fachbereich Physik der Leibnizuniversität Hannover. Unser Dank für die Organisation geht an unseren langjährigen Elternvertreter Herrn Wempe.


bei der Uni 2

Vor Ort gab es für die Schülerinnen und Schüler eine Vorstellung des Physikstudiums, und sie bestaunten anschauliche optische Physik mit Vorführexperimenten

Die zweite Gruppe besuchte die Continentalhauptverwaltung an der Vahrenwalder Str. (Danke an die Organisation durch Matthias Schröder)

in der Conti 2

Dort wurde die Aufteilung des weltweit aktiven Betriebs präsentiert, und alle Teilnehmer des Projektes genossen eine Vorstellung der Ausbildungsmöglichkeiten durch Auszubildende aller Bereiche (betriebliche Ausbildung und duales Studium).

Gemeinsam ging es danach in die Technische Informationsbibliotek TIB der Universität Hannover (auch wieder Danke an Herrn Wempe).  Nach einer Einteilung in drei Gruppen  lauschte man einer Führung durch die Bereiche der TIB samt Archiv, erhielt interessante Infos zur Organisation der TIB und zum Ausleihverfahren.

vor der TIB 5

Echtes Unifeeling kam bei der gemeinsamen Verköstigung in der Hauptmensa auf.

Wer weiß, ob der Eine oder die Andere vielleicht in Zukunft öfter dort speisen durfte oder möchte.

F.I.T. for Europe macht Station in Hamburg

Unsere lieben Gäste aus Lettland, Bulgarien und den Niederlanden haben die Hafenstadt im Rahmen unserer Projektwoche unsicher gemacht. Nach der Busfahrt mit der Firma GRUND aus Lehrte ging es in 2 Gruppen aufgeteilt zu Hamburg Port Authority in Harburg und zur Stage School in Altona. In der Tanzschule erhielten die Schülerinnen und Schüler neben der spannenden Besichtigung einer Tanzstunde zusätzlich Infos in einer Fragerunde mit Auszubildenden sowie der Tanzlehrerin Saskia Kieslowa und Petra Hirte aus dem Schulbüro, die gerne über Möglichkeiten zur Ausbildung in dieser Branche informierten.

Die Besichtigung der Werft mit anschließender Berufsinformation rund um die Hafencity hat einen bleibenden Eindruck hinterlassen.

Am Nachmittag erkundeten die Schülerinnen und Schüler die Hafenstadt unter fachkompetenter Anleitung von Caroline von den CityHunters. Mithilfe von iPads wurden Aufgaben erfüllt, Lieder gesungen und Fragen rund um das „Tor zur Welt“ beantwortet.

Nach einer kulinarischen Stärkung ging es im Bus zurück nach Uetze, wo sich alle Schülerinnen und Schüler sichtlich begeistert auf den Abend in den Gastfamilien freuten.

Eindrücke aus Hamburg in der Galerie: