[Italian introduction, english version below]
Sembra una equazione inesistente, eppure da un mese e per i prossimi 7 questa è una parte fondamentale della mia vita.
Ma andiamo per gradi:
Tramite l'associazione Erasmus di cui faccio parte (Erasmus Student Network), ho deciso di partecipare a un concorso interno, il quale offriva l'opportunità di partecipare a un progetto in collaborazione con Expo e Commissione Europea. L'obiettivo di questo lavoro è quello di diventare ambasciatrice e quindi di informare altri studenti di tutta Europa (nei loro Paesi) le opportunità che Expo offre e i motivi per cui l'Unione Europea partecipa attivamente a questa esposizione.
Dopo aver inviato il curriculum, una lettera motivazionale e aver eseguito in inglese un colloquio via Skype, a inizio dicembre mi comunicarono di essere stata selezionata come Ambasciatrice! Oltre me, sono stati selezionati altri 9 ragazzi, di cui solo la metà italiani e durante gli incontri informativi a Milano e al Joint Research Center dell'Unione Europea, i coordinatori ci spiegarono che nei prossimi mesi ci sarebbero state assegnate delle mete (ovviamente equamente divise).
La prima meta scelta è stata appunto Dresda e la prima selezionata indovinate un po' chi è Stata? :)
Qui copio la mia esperienza che ho pubblicato nel sito di ESN italia (http://www.esnitalia.org/content/students4expo-cecilias-blog). È in inglese, I hope you will enjoy it!
Day 1 Friday afternoon - Bergamo
"What dress should I wear for the presentation?" This was the question I had on my mind on Thursday and Friday. "Well, I know...my outfit is not that connected to human safety or other important world matters, I mean, nobody will probably notice it - it's a conference, not the red carpet!" ...but I also thought, I am still a girl and everything depends on how comfortable girls are with themselves... so, yeah, the right dress could help a lot!
Besides, in Dresden I would present for the first time - in front of a lot of people I didn't know - the "Students4Expo" project and I had already two big problems that would make this weekend not an easy one:
1."Casual? Elegant? Should I wear high heels? I am always an ESNer and I will present the project during an ESN National Platform, so should I wear an ESN t-shirt? It would be better to wear a dress, which makes me more comfortable and would then make me more confident during the speech...But which dress????"....You can't imagine the panic moments in front of the wardrobe....Seriously
2."What should I say during the presentation?" Ok, I know the project but what is going to happen if I forget some words or sentences, or if I start confusing languages?
"In what language will the presentation be? English or German?" Ok, I speak both languages, but I would need to look some words up... For example, how can I say "feeding the planet" in German? And what happens if I don't understand the questions?... Other linguistic panic moments....
Day 1 Friday evening - Milano Linate Airport
Here we go: Milano. Matteo, the other Student Ambassador, Alessandro, my coordinator, and I were ready to start this weekend. The moment we arrived at the airport, Alessandro gave us the flight tickets and started to illustrate the weekend programme: on Friday night we would sleep in Berlin, on Saturday we would join the German National Platform and in the afternoon we would present the project. After partying with the German delegation, on Sunday we would go back to Berlin and then back home!
Alessandro also explained how he imagined the whole presentation and Matteo and I had nothing to do but to repeat, repeat and repeat all over again all the information we had to share with the German students :)
Before catching the flight, we were all attracted by a small memorial of the "Duomo di Milano" made of Lego and we wanted to take a photo to remember our first step: after all, Milan will be the centre of the world in a few months and we couldn't start without a photo of its main symbol!
Day 1 Friday night - Berlin
"Ooooh Berlin ooooh Berlin finally I am here to visit you!"
I study German and Chinese so I was very very excited about Berlin, as it was the first time I visited this city (after 9 years of German learning, ehm ehm....). When we arrived at the airport a cold wind welcomed us and first of all we had to reach the hostel: it was a really biiiiiiiiiiiiiig adventure. The hostel was like 5 minutes away from Alexanderplatz but we:
-didn't have internet connection on our phones to search it on Google,
-didn't have any paper map showing how to reach the hostel
-didn't remeber the name of the hostel (just words which sounded similar)
If you add that it was midnght and not so many people were around...Well, it took us like AN HOUR to find it (Please Note: five minutes walking...!). So guys, if you go abroad just remember to print a small map before leaving (or give this task to a woman ;) ).
During that hour, I can say that I visited a small part of Berlin and I can say that it's like it's supposed to be: modern and young. Young guys are really interested in techno music and they don't care how cold the weather is: they go out with light clothes almost every night!
Day 2 Saturday - Dresden
7 a.m.: the bus to Dresden was waiting for us. We kept getting lost but eventually we got there :) . After 2 hours and a half we arrived in Dresden, where a very cold wind, that we thought it would have moved even the mountains, greeted us!!!!
When we arrived at the plenary I didn't feel immediately confortable... I didn't know anybody and my memories would suggest me that German people could be very cold... Oh how wrong I was!!! After a few minutes they came to us and started to talk with no problem :) I felt better very quickly, but I was still nervous. In a short while it would be my turn and I was repeating in my head all the infos we had to communicate.
Our turn: Alessandro introduced Matteo and I and then I started to talk!! We decided to present everything in English, as Matteo and Alessandro can't speak German, and my task was to present what Expo is and why the European Union takes part in it. Matteo had to explain the Students4Expo project and all the details about it: what students receive, what they have to do and all the benefits in general. We tried to do that in an interactive way and the guys looked very intersted in it! At the end there was the terrible question moment, but (un)fortunately there was just one question, which we managed to answer.
In the evening, thanks to the Organisation Committee of ESN Dresden we could enjoy the visit of the city centre through a pub crawl! It was really nice, as we were divided into 3 different groups and I was separated from the other Ambassador: in my group I had the opportunity to meet and know better the German guys! They were really nice and they also felt more comfortable and free to ask questions about the project (I had to repeat all the infos two or more times xD ). We also exchanged our Facebook/email adresses and I am in a group photo (that I would like to have if I find the person who took it :) ).
Dresden city centre is really nice and the gothic architecture is amazing! Some guys told us some facts about the city during World War II and I want to thank them again here :)
Day 3 Sunday - Dresden/Berlin
Today is the last day. Now I feel more relaxed as we did our job, and all I want to do now is to visit Berlin with its wall and its Brandeburgertor at least! As the Italian delegation came to the plenary, the German ESNers were really nice and greeted us with a big smile :D
On our way back to Berlin we found ourselves in a short snow storm and for a while I was worried I would find our flight cancelled, but fortunately it didn't happen. On the bus I was checking the time: the flight's time was closer and closer and when we got to Berlin I knew I didn't have time to visit everything... I was a bit disappointed but, thanks to the girl sitting next to me on the bus (THANK YOU!!!!!), who showed me the famous Wall (a loooooong piece of it), and the view of the Gate for just 3 seconds, my adventure in Berlin ended in a very good way (I also managed to take a picture of the famous Television Tower)!
Day 3 Sunday night - Milan/Bergamo
I am coming back home. My first experience as a Students Ambassador is ending and I feel satisfied. Of course I would like to visit more cities, but anyway I liked everything a lot: I got to know a lot of people and the Germans are so nice that they made me want to move to their country in the future! I hope I'll feel the same things for other nationalities and I hope I'll see all the people I met again (and I will!) during the Expo in Milan! Join#EUExpo2015 and become a Volunteer!
Which will my next destination be? :D