My German-Dutch experience in Kleve, Two Months Later
Time goes by and it’s always difficult to be aware of that! At least, this is how I feel after two months assisting the Joint INTERREG Deutschland-Nederland Secretariat.
During this period a lot has happened: for instance at the beginning of October I had the chance to meet other volunteers during the “IVY Get Together” event; on the 17th-18th October a German-Polish delegation came to visit the Joint INTERREG DE-NL Secretariat to exchange different perspectives and best practices. Furthermore, a colleague and I participated to the celebration day of the end of a “People to people” project in a little Dutch town and went with another colleague to visit the Dutch Province of Overijssel, where we talked with two project managers about the Province´s involvement in the INTERREG DE-NL Programme.
The last weeks were pretty intense, but as I already said in my first article, the IVY experience it’s not only about working and on the 17th November it was my birthday! As my first time abroad, I wanted to start celebrating with my colleagues, before the arrival of two Italian friends of mine for the weekend. Here’s a glimpse of what it was!
Then two weeks ago, the Secretariat and I met the Monitoring Committee in the Dutch city of Assen, to take stock of the status of the Programme here in Kleve.
There, I had the possibility to present myself and the IVY Initiative, as some days later at the Hochschule Rhein-Waal during an International relations class: students provided a good feedback asking me and my tutor many questions. Moreover two students came the same week to the office to know more about the IVY Initiative and European volunteering opportunities in general!
While on the day after the presentation at the Hochschule I went to visit the Managing Authority of our Programme, speaking with two colleagues at North Rhein-Westphalia’s Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy in Düsseldorf.
And finally, at the end of the same week, I attended with some colleagues the Euroregion Council meeting in Duisburg, during which two representatives of the regional training centre of Nijmegen, one of the city of Duisburg and the German winner of a cross-border competition organised and co-financed by an INTERREG DE-NL project, were interviewed to talk about their experience within the “Ler(n)ende Euregio” (“The learning Euregio”) project.
This months accross the German-Dutch border showed me that the work of the Interreg Deutschland-Nederland Programme costitutes a reference point for many, who are unfortunately not really aware of the existance of this European support nearby. This is why I really hope that this kind of experience could have been as enriching for me as for the people with whom I shared it.