Sunday, 4 January 2015

Tourism for teenagers

Our project aims at putting our pupils in touch with each other and make them understand the importance of cultural diversity. We want to highlight the fact that every country has its own cultural identity and heritage, but also that these identities and heritage have the same value and very often have a common or similar background.

This will done by encouraging our pupils to become “tourist guides” of the pupils coming from the other countries, by selecting by themselves what they consider historically and culturally relevant in the area where they live.
For this reason pupils will first analyse the historical and cultural aspects of their own country and local area. At the same time they will be asked to write down what they expect they will find in the other countries in terms of culture, history and entertainment, and also if there is some specific things that they would like to do or see. These different elements will be analysed and compared during the project meetings.

During the international meetings pupils will get a clear idea of the differences and similarities between their cultural and historical heritage and those of the other countries. This will help them remove their prejudices: when people are more aware of each other’s culture they also gain a better understanding of each other’s habits and customs, which will finally result in more respect between the European nations and rejection of any form of xenophobia.

At the same time, by taking part in this project, pupils, teachers and families will also become more conscious of the artistic, natural, and cultural treasures of their country and more specifically of the area where they live. In this way, areas which don’t traditionally have a touristic appeal – or they are marginal to more touristic areas – may become more interesting and appealing both to the people who live there and to foreigners who visit them. An added value will come from the involvement of local authorities who might be interested in the touristic promotion of their areas and in the comparison between their point of view and the students' one on this issue.

Pupils will get a deeper knowledge of what is there to see and do where they live and in the countries they will visit. Working on this project will provide them with the basic and necessary knowledge to travel, live and work in the European Union. More specifically, pupils will get into contact with the working environment of the world of tourism and entertainment and this might help them get some specific skills required by ther labour market. Therefore our project will also contribute to give a little support to overcome the socio-economic crisis that affects Europe and boost growth on jobs.
Besides, the feeling of being proud of their own culture and heritage will hopefully develop. Teenagers generally, especially in some countries, have not experienced any pride of their own country and this project might be a surprisingly positive change.

The project also pursues the promotion of language learning, language diversity and digital skills. The use of several European languages beside English during the project will motivate our students to learn more foreign languages and to be more interested in what happens outside their country and get into contact with people belonging to other cultures. The integration of digital skills in our pupils' competences is also a key element to improve their possibilities to find a job in the area of tourism.

As dissemination and exploitation of results is one of the crucial areas of the Erasmus+ program, as main product of our project we will produce a tourist guide that could be used as it is or as a guideline for other schools and groups of young people in different European countries. Moreover, we will use eTwinning throughout the entire project life, not only for the project management, but also for the dissemination by sharing our project outcomes with a wider community of teachers and pupils across Europe.

In our opinion, one of the main aims of this partnership is to encourage schools and more in general groups of young people from other countries to continue our project by adding new materials to it so that it might really become a “lifelong learning project” to be used by young people all over Europe.

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