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Musical education

I studied in Puolalanmäki Upper Secondary School for three years and graduated in 2018.

It’s one of the Upper secondary schools in Turku, which is a city on the southwest coast of Finland.

The main reason why I wanted to apply to Puolalanmäki was that the school offers a great music oriented programme. The programme also ended up being the reason why I was motivated to go to school every day. Alongside normal subjects I had a lot of music courses, for example music history, theory, singing lessons and classes on how to express yourself with music and how to get better in performing songs.

I was one of the singers in our school’s choir, which consisted of more than 50 students. On my first year, our choir went to Hungary for a week to visit a local school choir. We performed in many places and stayed in the homes of the Hungarian students’ families. My favourite concert we ever did with the choir was when we performed for the families of the Hungarian students. We got a standing ovation, and I still remember vividly the happiness and fellowship we felt as a choir.

Every other year before Christmas the music programme puts together a big show called Valon aika (Time of the light) in Turku’s Ice Hall. The show consists of all the students of the music programmes of primary school, junior high school and upper secondary school. The stage is filled by a big orchestra and singers aged from 7 to 18. There is also a lot of dancers and some famous Finnish singer.

The last spring we did a musical of Romeo and Juliet. We made the costumes, script and songs by ourselves. That was one of my favourite experiences in Puolalanmäki Upper Secondary School.
The three years were hard and tiring, and I was very happy to leave when I graduated. Even though the school made me very stressed, I’m happy that I went there, because I learned a lot, especially about music.

Text written in June 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

I’m Marikerttu from Turku, which is a city on the southwest coast of Finland. I like listening to music and eating oranges.


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.