Hey!! We are Concha, Alba, Keren and Estel, the Spanish participants in the “Smarter together: emotional intelligence supporting diversity and intercultural learning” project. From the 1st to the 10th of November, we participated in an intercultural experience in Streatley, United Kingdom. The aim of our Training Course, funded by the Erasmus+ program, was to support the development of emotional intelligence competencies, with a focus on young and multicultural groups. Therefore, youth workers from 7 different European countries took part in the project: Hungary, Türkiye, Greece, Italy, Finland,United Kingdom and Spain.
We feel very fortunate to have participated in such an interesting and intense project. With this post we want to talk about our experience and especially to encourage European citizens to discover the world with mobility projects like ours. Our journey started at the airport, where we met each other. Once we landed in London, we decided to visit some of the most popular places before heading to Streatley, the little village where the project would take place. In Streatley, we stayed at a very comfortable hostel where all the participants and the organisers lived together. We settled in our rooms and started to get to know the other members of the project. We connected so well from the very first beginning!
During the first few days getting to know each other activities were carried out and the topic, emotional intelligence, was introduced. Based on the author Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise emotions (in ourselves and others) and
to manage our response to them, also defined as the set of skills that allow a person to
be more adaptable to changes. Next, we delve deeper into the subject by defining all
the concepts involved in emotional intelligence:
During the first few days getting to know each other activities were carried out and the topic, emotional intelligence, was introduced. Based on the author Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise emotions (in ourselves and others) and to manage our response to them, also defined as the set of skills that allow a person to be more adaptable to changes. Next, we delve deeper into the subject by defining all the concepts involved in emotional intelligence:
- Self-awareness: to know how you feel, know
how your emotion and actions can affect other
people, know how to react in a certain
situation, have a clear picture of your strengths
and weaknesses, behave with humility.
- Self-regulation: to be committed to personal
accountability, know your values, be flexible,
manage triggers, stay in control, practice being
calm, stress management.
- Motivation: to work continuously towards your
goals, strive to do quality work, re-examine and
monitor your actions, be hopeful and positive.
- Empathy: to put yourself into the shoes of
others, support people’s development,
challenge others, give constructive feedback,
listen to people, respond to feelings,
acknowledge, pay attention to body language.
- Social skills: communication skills, conflict
resolution, personal space, cooperation and
inclusion, use of manners, flexibility, sharing.
All these concepts were worked on at a theoretical and practical level and it was very enriching to share personal experiences with people from all over Europe. A safe and respectful atmosphere was created, where everyone was willing to help each other to get the most out of the experience.
But that’s not all! In addition, we could enjoy free time with walks by the river and in themountains. We played games, danced and even stayed up late chatting. We would like to make a special mention to the intercultural evening, where each country brought typical food and we shared our traditions. Finally, we were able to go on a little trip to the nearest cities, Oxford and Reading!
To conclude at the end of the project, we opened our mailboxes (the first day every participant stuck a personal envelope on the wall where we could write notes or give small gifts, as we also had a secret friend) and we said goodbye.
These days were definitely intense since in a short time we have been able to meet people from different countries, cultures and make friends from all over the world.Without a doubt it has been an experience that has made us grow personally and professionally. We encourage you to participate in any mobility project, it will be an unforgettable experience!