Taking into consideration the pandemic context, the students from 12th A grade from "Jacques M. Elias" Technological High School in Sascut ask themselves worriedly how their future might look like. Their fears are perfectly justified, especially because some of them would like to continue studying after high school graduation.
Regarding the opportunities offered by the European Union, they still exist and are quite varied. So, during our English class I challenged them to talk about this topic.
Before launching this particular idea, I asked them some questions as guidelines:
Are you prepared to start a job?
How do you know you are really ready or fit for it?
How to start a new job the right way?
Trying to answer these questions, the students watched a film, called Party Animal, directed by Yorgos Zois. After that, I asked them to provide the gist. Everyone came with a personal opinion regarding it. I considered it would be interesting to offer the director's perspective as well, just to make them aware of the way in which he saw it: how a young man can deliver a new future for him by changing reality, to have goals and to follow your dream. The character, Alex, faces a great problem that of doing a job he does not like. I also pointed out that this film was made in Greece and that it was really important to understand the context this short film was made as our character was Greek and as the economic situation in Greece was quite difficult at the time the film was made. Also, young people need to understand that even if they live in Greece or anywhere else, in Europe, the European Union is there to support them. Everyone follows him because he loves what he does and most of it, he belives in what he does. Young people will follow the dream whatever they want.
Moreover, during this interesting English class, I was witnessing a very emotional confession from a student and I really appreciate that he wanted to share with me and his deskmates. In his opinion, the film teaches us to mix work with pleasure, talent, and why not, pass it on to other people in order to last. He got really interested in studying abroad, especially in Eastern Europe, for example Germany, Poland or Czech Republic to see how he could adapt to a communist country, to make a comparison to Romania and other post-communist countries. He would also want to learn their culture, study Engineering, Economics or Sociology. He would come back to his own country after finishing his studies as he couldn't live away from his family.
Whenever we want to study or visit a foreign country, we need to take into account that we have some rights as European citizens but also some responsibilities.I also advised them that starting June 15th, 2020, the European Commission launched Re-open EU, an online platform with all the important details regarding free travelling and relaunching tourism in Europe safe. They can find there all the information as the platform is available in those 24 official languages of the UE and is very easy to access.
Overall, the students were open to this kind of challenge and even to the director's perspective as some of them confirmed that is possible when you follow your heart. I realised once more what difficult is for us as teachers, to guide the students in doing what they really want and especially to educate them how to use the information for their own benefit.
Author: Dana-Iuliana Tiliță, EDIC volunteer and UVAB master's degree student in English Language. Practices of Communication, 2nd year