‘Dare to be there.’ ~ Kyriakos Platou

September 2014 – Few months ago I graduated from University with a BA degree in Byzantine and modern Greek language. And what next? I am trying to find some new opportunities to escape for a while, so I applied and started the procedure for joining Erasmus placement, an opportunity for a job practice after the graduation. In the meantime out of nowhere, I randomly find out, through Facebook, an urgent call for a ”Youth exchange” in Croatia! The subject its youth employment through traditions and all expenses are covered! I said ”well, I have no clue whats a Youth exchange, but why not? I have nothing to lose, only an opportunity to escape, at least for a while. It was that urgent that in 5 days I should be ready to fly! I applied, I received a call and an email from the sending organisation, PlanBe! And there started everything! It was Wednesday and on Sunday I was in the departures area in the airport meeting the rest of the Cyprus team, except one! A flight to Belgrade and from there a train to the Croatian city Nowa Gradiska. Cypriots arrived first in the venue, so we decided to go for a walk in the city. Very small city, almost nothing was moving around. And then alone in my thought! Why am here? am already feeling a little bit weird.

Same day late afternoon the rest of participants started coming. The atmosphere became a little playful, a lot of colors of voices, laughs and talks! Among the participants I heard a voice from the back, ‘Hey Kyriakos, I am Maria am part of your team and I will be facilitator in the exchange!’ At that moment I only knew that I met the president of PlanBe, what I didn’t know it was that I met a future real friend, with who I would have the chance to work along! The next days I was about to learn more about what’s in reality a youth exchange, what is non formal education, what is Erasmus+ all about and what is this whole new world I was introduced to.

And the last day arrived. I couldn’t believe that I was so connected with some people that I didn’t want this to finish! I knew, though, that some of them I would meet them in Cyprus, so I said that was it, and it was amazing! If I have to put all in one, and to compress my whole experience in one sentence it would be ‘Dare to be there’.

Kyriakos Platou

Sending Organization: PlanBe, Plan it Be it