We left bright and early on Sept 25 from Helsinki Airport to Milan as a group of ten: two teachers and eight students on this last Eramus trip of our three-year project. We were excited to see the results of our work: the debate toolkit for students!
Arriving at the school Enrico Tosi, we were happy to see such a busy place bursting with life and students. After lunch we settled into our hotel and walked around the neighborhood until the introductory activities that Andrea and Stefania, the teachers of the school, had organized for the students from the different countries to mingle and work together.
The next day we had an assembly in the big auditorium in which the students introduced their countries and schools. Afterwards we split up into two groups: high school and middle school. We stayed with Rok who was leading the high school activities. The sessions with Rok were very fruitful; he went over different motion types and what is important in making a model. After his explanations, he had the students in pairs prepare proposition and opposition sides to various motions, as well as rebut each other’s arguments.
Later the students prepared debates for the next day and mixed the teams of Lithuanian, Italian and Finnish high school students. They chose the motion This House Would ban make-up in schools. The students had to figure out how to define the motion, why it is important, and what they need to say to win their side.
In the afternoon we visited Busto Arsizio to try out some fencing, a national sport, in a real class with a teacher, and then walk around the beautiful city. The weather was divine for us: sunny, clear skies and hot. We visited the gems of the city: the churches such as the beautiful Chiesa di Madonna in Prato. The Italian students were excellent tour guides. We even got to taste the famously delicious pizza!
On Wednesday we had more activities with Rok. First he gave great tips on how to manage time when preparing for a debate. This time they held their real debate which lasted all morning, and got excellent feedback from the coach. They really came back to their countries having improved in debating and with the desire to continue debating.
That afternoon we had a fantastic time in Milan visiting among other things the Cathedral (Duomo), the museum of the Scala Theater and the Castello Sforzesco, a medieval fortification.
Finally came the last day Thursday, in which we tried to fit in many activities. The teachers had their own wrap up activities and after lunch was the multiplier even in the assembly hall.
In the evening we had a wonderful program from a dance school in the region. We held international stands and tasted each others’ national delicacies.
Needless to see, it was hard to say good-bye. Now we have a lot of food for thought and desires to continue working with the five countries in future projects as we collaborated seamlessly together.