Nowadays, with the emergence of globalization and the development of international cooperation, travelling from one country to another has become a much easier task than it used to be. At the same time, the Youth generation is becoming more and more educated, open to the world and willing to understand our cultural differences, that ultimately represent our strength. A lot of different programs appeared over the years – Erasmus being the most successful one within Europe – and are implemented to give the opportunity of getting a deeper insight about the functioning of another country. How can you learn about the others and their practices if you don’t get to meet them?
As a growing student, I have had the great chance to be part of a good functioning network that allowed me to encounter people coming from all over the world, especially from the European Union. The educational system seems to be in constant progress and on top of that, is willing to open its doors to foreign students. That is – in my opinion – one of the greatest things to witness. It wasn’t always the case and if we ask our parents as well as older generations, I would strongly believe that they wish they had the same opportunities while growing up.
With this brutal deadly virus going on, life has been taking a whole different path lately. A worldwide pandemic has its consequences and for the first time, we witnessed with our eyes – as if we were in a sci-fi movie – all the distress and sadness that it created on people. Most of the population in the world has been placed under a strict lockdown last year, some still are today, and the hope for a brighter future seems to be slowly on its way through this new vaccine, but the process has yet to be done and might take some time. Meanwhile, everything was put on pause, we had to adapt and to change our lifestyles in order to keep being active, we had to learn how to use new electronic communication platforms – hello zoom – and more importantly, to cope with the new restrictions implemented that make any travels a really risky and difficult task (trust me, I’ve had the hardest time getting in North Macedonia for my internship).
However, better days are to come. This pandemic showed us that there were still a lot of inequalities in the healthcare access for all, but on the other hand, it also showed a lot of solidarity between members of the same community, between the youth and the old generation. A lot of institutions firmly believe in youth, as they should, and the continuous efforts towards embracing international partnerships will keep connecting people from the different areas of Europe. I also wished it was easy for everyone to travel in the same conditions, but sadly I have to admit it’s not the case, it is also a matter of privilege depending on the country you are from but ultimately, the EU has been creating a lot newer possibilities through various networks that encourage the mobility for the Youth and at this point, the more the Youth community participates to those exchanges, the more the whole European community will be unified around common values.
Now please, I would like to emphasize on the importance and the impact of Youth in the society as a way to strengthen cooperation. Keep in mind that a mobility within the EU, whether it happens through an internship, a job position, or a school exchange, is definitely worth it. It is the best way to gather people together and to learn about yourself, while gaining new life skills. The Youth is the major key in building a brighter future all together.
Author : Thomas Romoeuf , Intern in ALDA Skopje