Hello, it’s Matea again. I’m an international traveler and student currently writing to you from Denmark. This blog is about the amazing opportunity that I had. Are you interested? I know you are, so I won`t keep you waiting any longer.
Just last week, I was having the time of my life in the small, warm, relaxing little village of Pedoulas on Cyprus with my dear friends. Thanks to a friend, I was introduced to this youth project called Structure Dialogue that’s offered by Acts of Young People (ACTS). I just couldn`t miss it, so I applied and went for it. Youth opportunities (i.e., events, conferences, projects) give you the chance to step out of the university setting and get involved in the outside world. What I love the most about youth opportunities is that they are a great way to express and present yourself to others. You also get to hear different sides of many stories, and they are a fantastic opportunity for networking and meeting new people.
What did I learn?
I participated in an ACTS project that was funded by the EU in cooperation with YEU Cyprus. This project seeks to get youth involved in the social life of their community and their country. I had the privilege of meeting 54 participants from 17 countries and we worked together to think about the best ideas to solve community problems. I learned so much. I was introduced to practices from different countries, and we had the opportunity to learn a lot more about the EU. For instance, I learned that in Riga, Latvia there is a project called Human Library. Organizers call people with inspiring stories to be “books,” and they tell their stories to the participants.
What did I take home from this experience?
I feel like I am a changed person. I see things in a different way. I understand why it is important to use the rights that we have (i.e., political, citizen, and human rights). I see that we can initiate change, and I know what it means to be active. It’s not just about volunteering or being part of an NGO, because being an active citizen also means making political changes to the things we want to change. I also made new friends, who I hope to see again soon. By participating in this project, I was enriched by a new country, new friends, a new mindset, and a lot of memories.
Cultural experience of Cyprus
Of course, I wasn’t only there to talk about politics and youth, I was also there to sightsee. I loved the food. I tried musaka, true greek yogurt, halumi, and many more of their traditional dishes. In my opinion, the food people eat describes them. I have never felt so much love and positive energy from people as I felt from Cypriots. Another thing I’ll never forget was the breathtaking landscape and gorgeous climate. Every morning, little birds would wake me up and I would open a window to see the sun on the green hills and smell the roses. I didn’t have the chance to swim, but my friends said it was awesome. I just loved Cyprus and every aspect of the project.
Matea Matulj is an adventurer from Croatia that is currently on an epic adventure studying her bachelor degree in International Business Management in three countries Denmark, Belgium and France. She is also an active student organizations member and was an HR assistant for the HeySuccess Internship Challenge season V.