SPAIN: Students gain international experience
Salesian centers highlight participation with Erasmus+ program
(MissionNewswire) Erasmus Day was held from Oct. 9-14 to showcase the numerous international experiences within the Erasmus+ program, the European Union’s program to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Close to 70 Salesian educational centers in Spain participate in projects that fall under this program.
Erasmus+ has become a model for short- and long-term student mobility, teachers to cross share and learn new teaching methods, participation in seminars, projects with partners in other countries and more.
As part of the “Prep4Pro” (Preparation for ErasmusPro) project, schools in the Salesian Province of Mary Help of Christians have organized a virtual tour and created their own Erasmus Corner. Salesian Monzón and the Salesians Palma del Río have highlighted the educational work taking place at Salesian schools.
As a result of the program, students are gaining diverse experiences. Sergio Castrillo, an electrical and automatic systems student at the Padre Aramburu Center in Burgos, spent time in Poland. He said, “I learned different qualities, such as how to find ways to understand other people, interact with people who speak a language different from mine, live with people I did not know, and get to know other cultures and customs. In addition, I entered a world of work different from the Spanish one. Something that helped me mature.”
María Juan Navarro, a teacher at the Estrecho Center in Madrid, participated in an international course in Finland. She explained, “From the training and methodologies shared between teachers from different countries and new tools applied in the classroom to improving teaching, the Erasmus teacher training program enriches teachers personally and professionally.”
Salesian educational centers in Spain have committed to participate in this international work. A Salesian in Avilés said, “It is part of the Salesian mission to increase the socio-economic inclusion of our young people and one of the ways we can do this is to offer international opportunities and experiences in our centers.”
Daniel Alonso, responsible for the international work at the Don Bosco Center in León, agreed. He said, “This type of activity is very important to learn new ways of working and to make an effective comparison between the working methods in the different centers and places of work. We encourage the entire educational community to participate in any of these experiences because we know that no one will be disappointed.”
Salesian missionaries have also been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential, technical, and vocational training programs.
Close to 32% of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment. Women in Spain face inequality in the workforce. They earn up to 14% less than men and represent only 34.5% of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.
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Salesian Missions – Spain
World Bank – Spain