Teacher: Ms Luminita Cimpan
Student group: 11th Grade; ages 17-18 years
School website: www.alexandrucelbun.ro
Alexandru cel Bun High school is situated in Northern Romania, in Bucovina, an area blessed by God with richness of nature, culture, civilisation and history. Gura Humorului is a town that welcomes every year thousands of tourists, as it is a mountain resort.
Our high-school has almost 1800 students, from 10 to 18/19 years old. We have secondary school classes and high-school classes, being the biggest educational institution in Suceava district. We have classes with different specializations in the two separate buildings and in the building that houses the practical classes. The school has also a hostel for students, a canteen, all in the same location. We are very well known in the district for our students` results in competitions and contests, for the non-formal activities that they are involved in, not only in their town or district, but in all the country.
1) What does the term “Global Citizenship” mean to you?
To me, the term Global Citizenship means the freedom or the possibility to meet new people and to socialize with them, to share opinions and thoughts, to discover new cultures. It’s a way to develop, to grow and to become better in any ways.
Not long ago, one of my classmates asked our economy teacher about the difference between citizenship and nationality and so both terms were explained to me, in detail. The term “citizenship” refers to an identity between a person and a nation and their right to live and work in the geographic area of the specific nation. Our economy teacher explained it to us by drawing a fortress and its borders and so I became aware of the term border, in detail, too. “Borders” define geographic boundaries of countries (political entities). Combining the terms “global” and “citizenship” we get the term that defines persons who place their identity with the global community and which is based on the idea that a person`s identity transcends geographical or political borders. I browsed the internet and found out even more about the “global citizenship” term and that it has the same meaning as World Citizen or Cosmopolitan. Diogenes of Sinope (a Greek philosopher) had a ground-breaking concept because when “asked where he came from”, he answered: “I am a citizen of the world ”
The term “global citizenship” for me means the “knowledge” you acquire when you visit many countries, and the others acquire some knowledge about the different countries they have visited or will visit and ultimately you learn two or more languages.
For me, this term represents an ideal, something that our kind tries to establish at the moment. It represents the global communication and understanding and it refers to the unity that we all want, the world where we could live as one.
“Global Citizenship” is about diversity, taking responsibility for your actions, making the world a more sustainable place, and understanding how the world works economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically and environmentally.
To me, global citizenship means communication, friendship, knowledge, information, accessible images and ideas from the world, journey, traditions, customs, languages, food of millions types.
For me “Global Citizenship” is like you have…access to all nations …and they are opened to you, to meet new people, to know new things and it would be awesome if we could travel around this world and meet different students and their cultures .
To me, “Global Citizenship” is not just a term, it is an entire world of opportunities, which we should definitely explore whenever we’ve got the chance; opportunities that allow us to share our beliefs, our matters, our opinions with people who are willing to listen, not judge, and most important, people who will also share their life experience with us.
The teacher, Ms Luminita Cimpan:
The ideal definition would be: a person in any country is allowed to visit the whole world, to meet the others, to share views and opinions and to enrich his/ her knowledge, vocabulary, information. After doing this, he/she is a global citizen.
Still, reality is different, nobody could do this in reality, that is why an imaginary voyage to any part of the world could prove beneficial. You can be a global citizen if you want to know more about the others, if you get involved in projects across borders and if you are willing to share what you know and what you feel.
This is my idea of Global Citizenship, a title that you are endowed with after meeting some people from abroad, by phone, via Internet or face to face and you realize you are not alone, some are so different from you, they have different problems and activities, a different way of living, a peculiar history and life.
2) Why do you think it’s important for young people to engage in an exchange programme like this?
I think it’s important because in this way they have the chance to learn more about a country and a culture that maybe it’s new to them or maybe they don’t know too much about and they want to discover it. Even if today the information can be easily accessed, an exchange programme like this gives them the opportunity to experience through other perspectives something that they probably just read about.
I think that, to date, these International Exchange Programmes are the best things the Educational System is giving to us. I say this because I was partially involved in a project like this back when I was in 8th grade. I “planted the roots” for the project by bonding with some 6th graders from Poland which showed responsibility and, with a couple of my colleagues and with the help of my physics teacher, designed the website meant for the project. But then we graduated and went to highschool so the project was left in the hands of the 7th graders from my former school, among them being my sister. So, thanks to my sister, I was still connected to the project because she came to me asking for opinions and ideas so I helped her and watched “from the shadows” the undergo of the programme. The project went so well that my sister and her colleagues visited Poland and the kids from Poland came to Romania. Three years passed since then and the kids from Poland still give likes and comments on my sister’s pictures and most importantly, they chat, these are little things but resemble true friendship . My point is that by participating in these kinds of programmes, you can form new friendships and learn from the newly met friends about their culture and lifestyle. I think that it is something new and exiting which should be experienced by anyone who has the chance and if it isn’t something new, it is definitely something to relive.
Young people of these two countries will come up with new ideas to support certain opinions, to talk about the culture and traditions of their countries, so ideas and involvement will occur.
I think that programmes like this are incredibly helpful for young people, as they are a way to exercise and improve our communication and linguistic skills. Also, they represent a way of exchanging knowledge and spreading information about your own country, promoting it.
I think that it is important for young people to engage in an exchange program like this because they can improve their communication and language skills, they can learn how life is in other countries and finally, they can make friends!
Such a programme is meant to bring people together, it could create a virtual common space, it encourages the use of English and it should enrich people`s mind and soul.
I think that it is an awesome idea, despite the fact that we only meet them on skype, because we could find out new things about these nations and see the life from other countries in this programme through students` eyes…not only read about these countries from Wikipedia. We also find out things that we couldn’t find from the Internet.
In my opinion, everything that involves social interaction, and socialization in general, is very important because in this way, we evolve. Nowadays, communication is the basis of life and the key to success. By engaging in an exchange programme like this, young people will get to know young people other young people just like them, but maybe not with the same hobbies, activities, moral values, political views, opinions. And this is the perfect opportunity for them to come into contact with lifestyles across the borders, and even to improve their vocabulary.
The teacher, Ms Luminita Cimpan:
Any activity that involves the use of English in communication is of great importance for my students. They have been part of everything that supposes team work, fun, serious exchange of information. My wonderful students are willing to speak, to write, to create, to use imagination and creativity in order to make friends in different areas in the world.
3) What would you say directly to the young people in our schools network?
Life is full of unexpected and any experience is valuable, so meeting new people and making friends iis definitely a thing that must be done because you never know when you may need them, not only physically. but for their support or ideas that can be helpful and also beneficial for you. So don’t miss any chance and drop every fear!
Talking with the young people in your schools would begin with small but significant things like the music they listen to, the movies they watch and so on, so I can understand the person I’m talking to and be aware of the things he/she likes. I wouldn’t talk about important matters in the early stages of the project but, of course, if the project is, in some sort of way, rushed, I think I could combine the small and significant things with the important matters and make it a really fun and memorable experience.
First I would be curious to find out what they know about Romania. The, of course ,I would enrich what I know about their country. I would promote the culture, religion and morals of my country. I would discuss some topics that I know that support growth and smooth running of our lives in all areas. And last but not least I would talk about our school, our teachers and those who deal with the daily care of us.
Do more of what makes you happy, and don’t search for a reason to help others. Be thankful for everything that you have and for everyone that stands by your side. Work, work hard, and harder day by day, don’t expect things to come to you while you are sitting on an armchair. Always remember that success comes to those who are too busy to search for it.
Don’t waste your life doing things which you don’t like at all, or things you won’t make use of in your life. You only live once, so do something for yourself, then be proud of your achievements.
I would like to know them first and I would insist on being friends because in such a world of conflicts, hate, discrimination and stress, friendship is the only way to keep strong and comfortable.
I would say to them that they are amazing, I really can’t wait to meet them…to talk to them..to find out their names..and to stay strong because life is not easy but we can make it easy by having a positive attitude.
I would definitely suggest them to always keep their minds open, to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way, because it’s better to regret something you did, than to ask yourself “What if…” . And this kind of exchange programme is the perfect example! School is not all about work, work and a little bit more work, it is also about developing your personality and about helping you succeed in life, and as we all know, communication is the key to success.
The teacher, Ms Luminita Cimpan:
Don`t ever give up dreaming! Don`t ever give up thinking of a good future for yourselves, no matter how hard this might be to build! Use English whenever possible and don`t forget that sharing and offering is the easiest way to make friends, virtual but real friends!