Erasmus blogs, Projects

Intergenerational learning and study trip to Kranj

In partnership with the European Senior Exchange project, we took part in a study visit to Kranj with our students from the 24th to the 28th of October.

The meeting was planned for socializing and learning, as well as the exchange of experiences of senior citizens who had the opportunity to participate in several activities.

The meeting was attended by over 30 elderly people from partner organizations of the Initiative, AGORA' - Laboratorio Terza EtàProtagonistaonlus, CDU Ljubljana and Human University Kranj, as well as the managers of the HIHTAST project.

When we arrived on Monday, we presented our organization and programs to our partners, and after the lunch break, socializing continued outdoors through a guided tour given by one of the participants of the People's University of Kranj. As a small town, Kranj offers a lot to its residents, and it is known as the most respected high school in all of Slovenia. Furthermore, there are gourmet delicacies, especially for meat lovers – most notably Carniola sausage and beer. One of Slovenia's most famous poets comes from Kranj, after whom the main square in Ljubljana is named; France Prešeren. The cultural and economic wealth of Kranj comes from the past when Kranj was one of the main industrial cities in Yugoslavia. The city centre is located in the old part, which still has ramparts and underground tunnels.

After a good hike and a very interesting review of history, we sat down to hot tea and rested before going to bed.

Human University of Kranj under the slogan "Learning for a better life" emphasizes intergenerational learning, encouraging cooperation and transferring knowledge and experience from older generations to younger ones, and vice versa. For the purpose of these activities, they also opened LUK - an intergenerational centre where all generations are welcome. The purpose of LUK is to bridge the lack of time and space for intergenerational learning, which used to happen spontaneously, but is today hindered by the modern way of life. On Thursday, we had the opportunity to see what LUK looks like and what activities can take place there. Among other things, there is a large kitchen intended for the transfer of culinary skills from generation to generation.


In order to enjoy a real Slovenian dinner, we all first put on our aprons and got our assignments. The preparation of food started with the collective cleaning of mud, while others started kneading the bread cake. The final result was a traditional soup with pumpkin and Carnivoran bread.

Throughout the dinner, socializing and singing, we were presented with traditional customs, costumes and songs from Kranj, and a special part of the evening was marked by an emotional speech by a participant from Belgium who emphasized the importance of European values, peace, and cooperation, especially in these areas.

On the last day, we finished with the evaluation and the final joint discussion of all participants.

A special thank you to Sjajna and Vesna, who were with us as the representatives of our students on this wonderful trip, and to teacher Domagoj, who always brightens up every gathering and trip with his energy!

See you again soon!

Jelena Posavec Smilović

Read More
Uncategorized

We are never too old to start learning

Learning new things keeps our brains sharp. Keeping curious, active and thirsty for knowledge are traits we should all cultivate, and this is most important for senior citizens. Not only does it keep our brains alert, but we can meet new people through education, make new social contacts, and improve our overall psychosocial and emotional health. Education opens the door to new friendships, and travel gives us a new outlook on life.

That is exactly what happened at our school in Zagreb between the 11th and 15th of March when we organised a partnership meeting and training session as part of the European Senior Exchange project.

The aim of the training workshop was to introduce senior citizens to the Callan Method and improve their English language knowledge.

Partner organisations CDU Ljubljana and LudskaUniverza Kranja also attended, as well as the project holder, HIHTAST.

A total of 15 people participated in the workshop.

The first day was reserved for introductions. Our organisation introduced the Callan Method, as well as the whole array of work our organisation is involved in.

After getting familiar with the Callan Method, the participants were tested to determine their level of English knowledge and subsequently divided into groups, so that they were ready to learn English for 5 days.

Working with senior citizens is a pleasure on so many levels. The elderly are aware of their abilities and have experience with lifelong learning, which they can easily apply to language learning. The Callan Method itself enables learning to be easier, faster and, most importantly, focused on speaking – allowing students to communicate in English as easily and quickly as possible.

On Day One, we had already divided the participants into two groups – an advanced group and an advanced beginners group. As is the case with the Callan Method, teachers from various English-speaking countries took turns teaching their lessons. Participants were able to get to know teachers from Canada, South Africa and the UK. The Belgian participants were amazed that they could speak Dutch with our South African teacher J

Besides the Callan Method course, participants had a chance to learn digital skills, and they created their own collage using the PicCollage.com and Snapseed apps.

To provide our participants with a cultural experience, we prepared a Callan Method course for them in the Croatian language, as well as a pop quiz about Croatian culture.

Our teacher, Tamara, prepared a digital 'scavengehunt' for them, which lead the participants on an exploration of Zagreb using the Actionbound app. To participate in the digital tour, participants had to learn how to use the app with a QR codescanner, as well as the app itself. On top of that, participants had the task of discovering the wonders of Zagreb within a set time, competing to see who could solve the puzzles first.

We concluded the day with a cultural dinner at Medvedgrad Pub, where everyone had the opportunity to try traditional specialties and local beer.

On the last two days, we held our 'Talk Like A Native' workshop, and continued with leaning English.

On our last day, we enjoyed some Belgian chocolate and coffee, and had the evaluation.

In conclusion, we provided the senior citizens with a lifelong learning experience we will all cherish and remember!

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful week of learning and socialising!

Read More