International Visegrad fund 2016-2017
V4 - Czech Republic
A new international project has emerged! Four schools coming from four different countries (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) decided to form their own “Visegrad Group“ and agreed to meet mutually four times in order to establish new contacts and to promote Communication, Cooperation, Competences and Competitiveness between them, which is the name of the project. And why? To learn something new, compete, find new friends, get to know different schools and countries, and also have fun!
The first meeting took place in Ostrava, in our school, between 16 and 18 March, 2016. As a host school, we were waiting anxiously for the arrival of the three delegations: from Slovak city Košice (Business Academy Watsonova), Polish Katowice (Tomasz Klenczar Complex of Schools n.4), and Hungarian Budapest (Slovak Grammar and Secondary School). Each school was asked to bring eight students and two teachers. „What will they be like? Will the Hungarians really speak Slovak? Will we understand each other?“ this was what everyone was eager to know.
After the foreign pupils and their teachers had arrived and had accommodated in our dormitory, the V4 project started officially. Eva Kazdová, the director of our school, welcomed all the participants. Then we set out to show our guests the historic centre of Ostrava, visiting Masaryk Square, New Town Hall (and admiring the view from the lookout tower), Functionalist and Art Nouveau architecture of Nádražní or Českobratrská Street, as well as shopping centres.
The second day, having seen over our school, the most important event took place – the presentations on a given topic. Students had been asked to prepare a presentation about their region, to show the best sights of the places surrounding the city where they lived, not only in their mother tongue, but also in English. The task was to introduce the place and to prepare itineraries for a one-week- long stay for a four-member family, together with calculating its costs. Although all of the groups did their best, only one could win. In the end, a six-member jury decided that the winners were Slovaks, who also accompanied their presentation with wearing national folk costumes.
In the afternoon we went to visit a unique place, Vítkovice Lower Area (a natural site of industrial heritage in Ostrava), an extensive industrial ironworks area with coal mine, coke ovens and blast furnace. This area had been listed as European cultural heritage, due to a unique collection of architecture and industry. We walked through the complex with our guide, and then used lift to reach the top of Bolt Tower, a shut down blast furnace, which was rebuilt and a special café was constructed on the top. We admired the view, because the weather was fantastic, but it was only for the bravest ones, as the ramps to the café are see-through. In the evening, everyone enjoyed their free time - the Czech students took their new mates to explore the city centre and the teachers to have special dinner together.
The last day in the morning we went for a trip to the Beskydy Mountains, to Pustevny, a popular resort near Ostrava. There was still a lot of snow, so we could enjoy it, especially the Hungarians, who usually do not have much opportunity to take delight in it. We took a photo at Radegast, pagan god of harvest, had lunch and, unfortunately, had to return to Ostrava, and all the foreign groups, home.
Farewell, new friends, we will see one another in September again, this time in Hungary!