European Days at the Gymnasium of Oriental Languages in Kiev
Tuesday, 12th of May 2009 was one of the so-called "European Days" at the Gymnasium of Oriental Languages in Kiev. As the name suggests, those days were devoted to the promotion of knowledge about the European Union. During this week every day the pupils are given the possibility to get to know the separate member states of the EU, their peculiarities, as well as their interaction and relations by creating several posters or making exercises, for example, connected to this topic. Of course, it was also thought to foster the understanding of multiculturality and societal heterogeneity, in general generating awareness of how important it is for Ukraine as a state, as well as a whole society to be geared to the European Union and its values, respectively.
Being aware of the significance of having an inhabitant of one of the EU member states talking about life in his motherland, the school's headmaster, Mykhajlo Savchenko, invited me to talk with some of his ambitious pupils about Austria. I was very proud to be given this unique opportunity on the one hand to gain such an insight into this school which is enjoying a good reputation throughout Ukraine, on the other hand to be in exchange with Ukrainian pupils interested in different cultures. Moreover, a significant part of my auditory had even once been to Austria! After my presentation I enjoyed answering questions as well as posing some myself, as it was also in my interest to get to know about the educational life in Ukraine.
Finally, after the ceremonial handover of an official document signed by Mr. Savchenko, I was given a tour though the school and even through the museum of ethnicity of the school. Frankly speaking, I was very happy that I had accepted the invitation, because my stay there made a lasting impression on me.
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