At first I wanted to be usefull and to be helpful to people, so I told myself go check on the Internet to see If a website would bring me answers, in Spain. But there were no results for Spain on the website for French people, because I wanted to go to improve my oral Spanish.
But that’s where the random acted: an offer for Madeira to help providing tours to Tourists! I told myself that’s great, I’ll improve my Spanish! But no, It’s a Portuguese island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, so that’s gonna be nice! Indeed, some of my friends told me: Did you study Spanish or Italian? It’s gonna help you learning the language! Yep I studied Spanish, I answered! So that’s good, you’ll learn on the field I told myself!
And here I am! The 4th of November, I arrived in Madeira, in Funchal, in the middle of a nowhere for me, a cool nowhere, and hot though for an Autumn/Winter (comparing to what I’m used to in France). But people are speaking so fast, “oh mon Dieu!”, It’s hard! So I get the technic, personal though but nice, speaking Spanish ‘cause I’m understood, and going to speak a bit of French If it’s good and If there are progresses made you see? …
So learning Portuguese is simply difficult, and may be difficulty simple but I don’t think so for now…. I got plenty of time to improve it, until late July … To continue telling you the beginning of my trip, about living Christmas.
With THAT cold weather, not less than 15°C! In France I live in a cold part, not the coldest but enough to have a few centimetres of snow … The weather isn’t cold, It’s windy and sea’s weather, tropical in a way (because the air isn’t so humid than that, depending of the day. That’s disturbing, you don’t know what clothes wearing!
And to finish about the food, I’m finally speaking about it, you see I didn’t forget, non non! It’s so weird! I miss bread, “Baguette”, “Pain aux raisins”, “Croissants” but not the ones like we find them here, with a lot of air and no butter pasta! I miss big stuffs, big pots of marmelades, big pots of Nutella, my favorites sweets “Haribo”! I know many are made in France, and not exported, or at least not on an island, but still It’s nice to have what we like.
Anyway I’m very happy to live the experience with a different food. And I was happy also to tell you what you’ve just read. See you next time for a following!
Augustin COCHET, French (from Lyon area), with knowledges in Food Process and Food Industries. In studies reorientation: to Theater and Tourism, Human sciences; Passionate of books/magazines, new languages, food and culture.
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, 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.