Taranto – October 2019

By , November 8, 2019 00:04

As part of a new internationalization project, a group of students from PCC Het Lyceum, aged 15 to 17, and three accompanying teachers traveled to Taranto, Italy on October 13. During a five-day international exchange, they experienced new outlooks, customs and activities.

Are you connected?

Expand your bubble, engage in sports!

Funded by Erasmus+, this newly started international project has a focus on sports and intends to make students more aware of the pros and cons of mobile technology and social media. They are given the opportunity to explore ways to use their smartphones in a constructive manner that does not interfere with a social and active lifestyle. Two schools collaborate in the project: PCC Het Lyceum in Alkmaar and Liceo Ginnasio Aristosseno in Taranto.

All participating students chose to do sports and PE as a school subject. In order to take part in the program, they had to write a letter in which they described their motivation. Prior to the actual international exchange, they were instructed to investigate the use of mobile phones in school by classmates, teachers and members of the management team. They also interviewed their parents and grandparents and were surprised how lives were led in the pre-mobile era. The students discovered many differences. For example: people were able to meet and find each other without cell phones and they were able to find their way without google maps.

On Sunday morning, the students met at the airport, all packed and ready to travel to Italy. Upon their arrival in Taranto, their Italian exchange partners with whom they would be staying for four nights were waiting for them. It was an exciting moment, since they met for the first time in real life. Before that, they only spoke to each other through digital equipment and social media.

A warm welcome from the Italian families helped to break the ice, as we heard from the enthusiastic stories from our students when we saw each other again on Monday morning, at the Liceo Ginassio Aristosseno.

The group was welcomed by the school’s principal and by the teachers who are involved in the project. Next, there were sports activities. The students sang their national hymns, just like at official international games, before playing volleyball in the sports hall of the school.

After the volleyball match, the group visited the city to see the historic center with many cultural highlights and took a tour of the Castello Aragonese.

On Tuesday, the students shared and compared the results of their research. It appeared that the rules regarding the use of mobile phones differ only slightly between the two schools. The students split in groups to discuss the differences and after they were done discussing, each group delegated one student to explain their findings in a presentation.

After a kin-ball match in the school’s courtyard, the students went for a rowing lesson at the Taranto Rowing Club. In a boat with 10 oars, cooperation was essential to make the boat move.

Afterward they had lunch together and  they engaged in a cultural activity: a visit to the National Archeological Museum of Taranto with many ancient artefacts and, most impressive, the sarcophagus and bones discovered at the famous Tomb of the Athlete. The latter appropriately brought together classical culture and the focus of our project: sports.

On Wednesday, the group gathered in the school’s conference room again. The students debated best ways to use mobile technologies and social media. Some of them presented their ideas for the entire group.

After a walk through the suburbs of Taranto, where the students saw a newer, more modern part of the city, the group played indoor beach volleyball and beach tennis in a gigantic hall. The line-up of the teams varied. Games with international mixed teams, with both Italian and Dutch students, but also matches between the nationalities were played. Not all students were familiar with the rules of the games, but the others helpfully explained and all competed until it was time to leave.

The group met one last time at school on Thursday morning. They exchanged tips and tops of the past five days and the Dutch students visited lessons with their Italian exchange buddies. Once again, they noticed differences and similarities between the countries: school hours and breaks, size of the class rooms, lifestyle and pace, school rules, etc.

Goodbyes were said, some tears were shed, and then it was time for the Dutch visitors to travel back to the Netherlands.

We look forward to welcoming the Italian team in Alkmaar to show them our school and our city, have them try our food and help them to get used to cold and rainy weather.

Comments are closed

Panorama Theme by Themocracy