As Boom and Funchal are quite different in infrastructure and style, they are both considered to be world cities by size, recognisability, and status.
They both host a great number of people as Funchal is a touristic hub under the Madeiran flag, so does the annual gathering of people in the city of Boom for the biggest music festival in the world, Tomorrowland.
Both are host to a great variety of people from all over the world. As a huge portion of Madeiran tourists is German, English or American; so Boom has visitors from all corners of Europe, as well as people from all over the world.
Both are positioned near water or waterways, as Funchal is next to the Atlantic Ocean and my home city of Boom is next to the local waterway called Ruppel.
Both have local sports clubs like a tennis club, football fields and trails to run, even though a lot of the football fields and infrastructures in Funchal are connected to the local football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Also, Boom is connected to internationality as the local hockey fields were used in 2012 to host the international hockey championships.
Both cities house different people from different cultures, you’ve got people from England, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Venezuela and obviously Portugal living in Funchal. In Boom the ethnicities are mainly Belgian, Moroccan, Turkish, Polish as well as refugees from eastern Europe and the Middle East.
We do notice a big difference in connectivity with other great cities, as Funchal is an isolated city on the island of Madeira, only being flanked by other coastal cities and therefore not in direct contact with cities the likes and size of Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. In Boom, it couldn’t be more on the contrary as the city has a great direct line to major Belgian cities like Mechelen, Antwerpen and the capital Brussels. The latter two provide job opportunities for the locals as they are both within a 30 minute travel time, however, travel times may elongate due to traffic jams and overloads.
Both offer a big list of cultural activities, for Funchal, this includes hikes, local Levada walks, ocean swimming, snorkeling, and city tours (providing information about the history of the city dating back to its discovery back in 1420). In addition to this, both have a wide range of cuisines. In my Belgian city, we have the local park and a recreational center named “de Schorre”, which annually holds the humongous international music festival Tomorrowland. Also, the local dam provides a splendid view of the surroundings and gives you the opportunity to have a peaceful walk.
This Article was written by Laurens Wouters, a volunteer working at the University of Madeira Students’ Union whilst studying the Portuguese language.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.