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Germany and Madeira

Differences and similarities between Germany and Madeira.

My name is Anne, I am part of the voluntary project in Madeira. Therefore, I want to share my thoughts on the comparison between Germany and Madeira.

Although, Madeira is on the border of Europe, close to Africa there are lots of similarities between Germany and Madeira. You can find some typical German food in the supermarket like Haribo or Nürnberger Würstchen. Most of the people are very nice, helpful and dressed like people in Germany. And last but not least we share the same currency, the Euro.

However, there are also some differences. Due to the fact that the weather is much better than in Germany, the people are more tanned and different plants grow around the island. Therefore, there are some fruits in the supermarket that I have never seen before. For example, the mixture of a banana and a pineapple or tomato-passion fruit. But, not only the fruits are new to me, there is also some typical Madeiran food like Bolo do Caco I tried for the first time.

I really like the local cuisine, beverages, and fado concerts. Although, sometimes I also miss the culture of my home country. Especially, when it comes to the tap water, German bread and punctuality.

Well, every culture has their benefits and drawbacks. It is good that we are all different, so we can learn from each other and improve one another. Nevertheless, in my opinion, it is important to accept new values in a new country and try to adapt to the culture.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Hey, I am Anne Schroeder from Bonn and at the moment I am staying in Madeira for a voluntary service.


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.

European Voluntary Service

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.