Helping Neighbours Become Friends

Living close to a border can have many benefits. Shopping trips and holiday destinations that are close to home but still different are always within grasp.

But how much do we know about the country and the people we visit so frequently? Do we truly cease the opportunities two countries so close to each other provide?

This is where the INTERREG project “Nachbarsprache&buurcultuur” steps in. The idea is to enable pupils from both countries to look beyond the border and to provide a space for them to communicate not only with native speakers of their target language but with peers.

In order to do so, the project provides a wide range of tools and various forms of assistance for schools:

The “Nachbarsprache&buurcultuur” team offers to help schools to get in touch with each other, provides assistance at exchanges and organises workshops for teachers.

Apart from that, teachers can ask for study material which is then developed by the team so teachers get material that’s tailored to their pupils’ needs.

All of this is being initiated and scientifically supervised by both the University of Duisburg- Essen in Germany and the Radboud University in Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

As a volunteer this project has been a lucky find for me. The project team is very supportive and encourages the volunteers to look into different lines of work that come with the project as well as develop own ideas.

The tasks volunteers can get involved in are quite diverse and there’s a topic for everyone.

Working on study material for the schools is a great way to come up with creative ideas to make learning a language easier for pupils. Attending an exchange is always an exciting experience and a nice opportunity to see the students interact and overcome barriers together.

Personally, being a volunteer has also helped me to improve my language skills and to find out more about the Dutch educational system in general and how language classes are taught in specific.

Being an IVY volunteer not only gave me the opportunity to meet great people but also let me be part of something that brings Europe closer together and I’m happy that my IVY experience continues.

Groetjes & liebe Grüße

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