Two Young Bulgarian Youngsters Share Their Experience During Their Youth Exchange in Bucharest, Romania

In mid-October 2018, some youngsters from Bulgaria went to Bucharest in Romania for 9 days to take part in a Youth Exchange project named “For Youth People”, targeted at youth workers. The main goal was to develop their skills in non-formal education and foster the occupational integration of young people, within the frame of the Erasmus+ programme.

Here are the personal experiences of Nenko and Ivelin.

Hello. Can you introduce yourself with few words – What’s your name, how old are you, what do you do?

Nenko: I’m Nenko Manolov, I’m 23 years old. I’m in my last year of university, working two part-time jobs and playing in a few bands.

Ivelin: My name is Ivelin Vlasov, I am 21 years old. I live in Plovdiv and I am studying to become a teacher of fine art in the academy in Plovdiv.

Nice to meet you! But tell me, how did you learn about the youth exchange and why did you decide to apply? And is this the first project like this in which you participate?

Ivelin: I learned about this project from my dear friend Nenko, who offered me to join him. I decided to participate, because it is an excellent opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone. It is a chance to learn new things about a new country and about myself. Moreover, it is the occasion to meet new interesting people and interact with them in many levels. I also can develop my skills in there. It is the first project of this kind in which I participate.

Nenko: I found out from Irena, who led me on a previous exchange in Sicily. This is not the first, as I’ve been going on exchanges ever since my 10th grade.

Interesting! Did you learn something new about youth work during the project? How do you think youth workers can support youngsters in a disadvantaged situation in their personal and professional development?

Nenko: I learned from the Lithuanian team that alternative approaches are often best. Engaging audiences and people in more natural, connected ways rather than simply lecturing and giving information.

Ivelin: Yes, I have learned many new things about youth work. I think we can help youngsters in a disadvantaged situation by organising as many meetings as possible, talking in person with them, sharing our experience and knowledge about the world and our business and making them think about all the opportunities they have and encourage them.

And what have you learned about Romania and the Romanian culture?

Ivelin: I visited many museums, galleries, cultural places in Romania, I met and spoke with many Romanians, learned about their life, culture, history, education system and so. I think Romanians are very warm and friendly people, well educated, active and responsible for their future.

Nenko: I have learned that we have many things in common, good and bad and that our countries face similar hardships which we can work together to overcome.

Perfect, it seems an appealing country and people. But, tell me, did you learn something new about yourself during the project? And if yes – what?

Ivelin: I learned new things about myself. This was my first going out of my country and I didn’t know if I can manage in a foreign country, but for my surprise, it was really easy for me to manage. I realized that I can speak freely in English with people from Romania and other countries, and I have overcome my fear of speaking in front of an audience.

Nenko: I reaffirmed the idea that my whole life depends on me alone, and I cannot blame others for my mistakes.

Good experience, then! My last question is, what are your plans from now on? Do you want to take part in other similar projects?

Nenko: I plan to graduate university and proceed to accomplish my goals, going on other projects when I see time, to learn and share experiences.

Ivelin: My plans from now on. I want to take part in helping disadvantaged people and if I get a chance I would be glad to take part again in projects like this one. Thank you for everything. 🙂

Thank you to both of you for these very interesting insights and pleased to see you soon for a next project together!