On our first working day in Brussels we met with the other students from Mezra, Bulgaria and the students from Brussels in their school, the Antheneum. The school is a new modern building and on the 5th floor where we were located, is the panorama, a room with a nice view of Brussels. At the beginning we had the opportunity to play games to learn each other’s names and then the Belgian students had their presentation about Belgium (history, food, celebrities and sites). After that we had a guided tour through the school building. Next we presented Vienna and our school as well as the Bulgarian students did about Bulgaria. Lunch was served at the school cafeteria where we ate Belgian fries with different sauces. For dessert we brought Mannerschnitten and the Bulgarian team Varna and Troy, traditional candies from their country. Next we were put in international groups of five or six students, in which we will work for the rest of the week. The afternoon program was a walking tour through Brussels city centre while the Belgian students talked about their favourite sites like the Royal Palace, the Parc de Bruxelles or Town Hall and many more. The tour ended around 4 pm at Grote Markt. The Austrian group and some Belgian students went to a fast-food restaurant called BFC which is like KFC but the Belgian version to find out if there are differences in taste and prices. It was an interesting first day and we are looking forward to work with the other student on this project. (Mateo, 7e)

On Tuesday we went to the school of the Belgian team to continue with our work. First the host teacher Ms Ghyselen held a workshop about the European Union, the presentation was also accompanied by little tasks for us, e.g. discussing different aspects of the EU (what the EU means to us, how it impacts our life etc). In a second workshop held by a journalist (Mr Lode Delputte) we learnt what mobile journalism is and what we should take care of for our volgs (e.g. storyboard, shot types, interview techniques…). Afterwards we spent brainstorming ideas for our vlogs in our international groups. The chosen topics are history of Europe, green spaces in Brussels, multiculturalism in the EU, homelessness in Brussels and history and herstory. After lunchbreak we went to the chocolate museum called Choco-Story in the city centre. With an audio guide we could individually explore the history of chocolate making. There were a lot of interesting things to see and experience at the museum. The most spectacular thing that took place was a chocolatier making pralines. After the official program ended some students from Brussels and Austria went to the public library to play FIFA. That was a fun activity with new friends. (Yousuf, 7e)

On Wednesday our program started with a self-guided tour in the Parlamentarium. The Parlamentarium is the parliamentary visitors center, where you discover the world of the European Parliament. Multimedia guides lead you to the heart of the European Parliament, explaining the path towards European cooperation, how the European Parliament works and what its Members are doing to meet the challenges of today. It can be experienced in any of the European Union’s 24 official languages.

Afterwards we continued working in our international groups. Therefore we spread out in the EU quarter to interview people for the vlogs. For some groups it was really easy to find interview partners others had some difficulties mainly because of their specific topic. In the end we all got enough material to continue working on the vlogs the following days. (Lena, 7e)

Today we spent the entire day working at school. First we did a workshop, where we learned all about how to differentiate between real and fake news. Afterwards we played a game in national groups where we had to show three news articles about Austria (self-created or AI based), that were either true or false and the other groups had to guess which one of the articles were fake. We played all Belgians against all Austrians and Bulgarians and in the end Austria and Belgium tied for the win. Later on the Bulgarians taught us how to dance their traditional dance called “horo”. Afterwards we had a short break and then we had a workshop where we learned how to use the app “CapCut” and how to edit our videos and interviews and put them together to make a vlog. We were finished around 4 o´clock in the afternoon and because it was our last evening we went bowling. After we had played a round we were getting quite hungry so we went to a pizzeria together with a few Belgian friends. It was a lovely evening and it was a good time to get to know each other in outside school. (Laura, 7e)

Our last day started as usual with breakfast, although this time we had it a little earlier due to our return to Vienna. After breakfast we headed to school.

There, we had an hour to finish editing our vlogs, which we recorded throughout the week. After editing, we prepared chairs for the principal, other teachers and students of the school to come and see our common products, the vlogs. After the presentation, the guys from the Bulgarian group once again presented their traditional dance, and finally we all danced together and socialized. After the party, we slowly gathered our belongings, said goodbye, and then headed to the airport. It was a lovely week where we learnt a lot about media and met some people from Belgium and Bulgaria whom we are looking froward to welcome in Vienna in March. (Ana, 7e)

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