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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » July 2, 2010
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Cultural Exchange for Students
July 2, 2010   
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The Felician Sisters primary and secondary schools in the Wawer district of Warsaw hosted a delegation of 23 students and 22 teachers from Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Britain and France on May 4-7 as part of the Comenius program.

The Comenius Program is named after the famous Czech educator and thinker John Amos Comenius and organized by the European Commission’s Director-General for Education and Culture. Project coordinators from participating schools can apply for financial assistance to cover transport, catering and living costs. The children participate in quizzes and academic competitions based on the participating countries, work on joint projects to create board games and newspapers, and put on regional dance displays. When they get back home, the participants stay in touch via the internet, communicating by email, Skype and the social networking site Facebook.

This year schools from eight European countries are jointly carrying out a project entitled “Culture Through Europe: Laura & John Reports.”

Laura and John are fictional characters who travel around Europe, becoming acquainted with the culture, customs and traditions of various countries. Students follow the pair around to meet their peers from other countries and experience the multiculturalism of Europe.

Taking part in the Comenius Program gives participants the opportunity to present their own cultures, in addition to learning about other ones. Elena Chwedoruk, the program coordinator from the Felician schools, points up the advantages that these get-togethers bring. “Students from all the schools become acquainted with European multiculturalism while discovering their own national individuality and building a foundation for patriotism and tolerance,” says Chwedoruk. Comenius also gives children an opportunity to brush up on their language skills as all communication is in English.
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