Topic: Efficiently and environmentally food production to fight climate change
Date: 25/09/2022 – 01/10/2022
Hosting school: Gymnasieskolan Spyken (Sweden)
Sending schools: Stiftsgymnasium St. Paul (Austria) & Aristotelio College (Greece)
The third cross student exchange was hosted by Gymnasieskolan Spyken in Lund (Sweden) and took place from 25th of September to 01st of October 2022.
Sunday, September 25th 2022
The hosting students, parents and teachers of Gymnasieskolan Spyken welcomed with great enthusiasm, at the train station of Lund, 8 students from Greece and 8 students from Austria, together with their teachers.
The students went home with their hosts and the teachers were accompanied to their hotel, and in the evening all teachers met up for dinner together.
Monday, September 26th
The hosting teachers picked up the Greek and Austrian teachers at the hotel and took them to the school, where they met all the participating students. The principal, Ms Petra Karlsson, officially opened the week, and after that followed presentations of the school. The participating Swedish students presented the student council, peer supporters, safety representatives, canteen council, IT-supporters, ambassadors for sustainability and the school cabaret Spyxet.
The peer supporters (Spyken’s students for well-being and a good atmosphere) were in charge of the ice-breaking activities to get the students to know each other better. After that the students and teachers were introduced to the concept of Swedish fika and cinnamon rolls were served.
After fika the students were introduced to this week’s task: producing posters about sustainable food, and the work started.
Lunch was served in the school restaurant for both students and teachers, so that visitors got an insight into the Swedish system with school lunches. After lunch everyone went to Europe Direct, Lund’s EU office. At first we got an introduction to what Europe Direct does, and then two Spyken students presented our Erasmus+ project to the people representing Lund municipality. The representatives then briefly informed us about the sustainability work being carried out in the municipality of Lund. We learnt about how Lund works with sustainability questions, how they get external funding, what cross-border mobility projects they have, and also information from Lund’s youth ambassador about Youth Councils. We were served a delicious fika consisting of fluffy beetroot cakes.
In the afternoon all participants were invited to Spyken’s assembly hall to present the project to all members of the staff. After that the students were sent home to rest for the welcome dinner.
Welcome dinner was served in Spyken’s restaurant.
Tuesday, 26th September
Tuesday started with lesson observations where students visited for example English, Arts, Choir, Creative Writing and PE classes. The students noticed major differences between the different school systems. Also teachers had lesson observations and a tour around the school, where the different institutions were shown. When shown around the institutions of Chemistry and Biology we even got a glimpse into the Curiosity cabinet.
After fika it was time for the students to create the “Think smart - act green” project logo. Eight groups created one logo each, and then everyone could vote for their favourite logo, just not their own. It was a tie between two logos, so the teachers got the last votes. We now have a beautiful logo for the project!
Lunch was had at Spyken, and after lunch the students and teachers were taken on a guided walk through Lund. The rain was sometimes pouring down so we tried to find places with a roof over our heads. Visitors learnt about the history of Lund and the connections to Denmark. The Cathedral from the 12th century was an interesting stop with its unique mediaeval clock. The University of Lund dominates the city in many ways, so some guiding on the campus outside the University Building was a must. The tour ended at “Kulturen”, the oldest outdoor museum in northern Europe, where we spent an hour or longer to look at and investigate the old houses from the past.
In the evening the teachers gathered at a restaurant.
Wednesday, 27th September
We started the day at Lund Central Station and took the bus to Malmö where we walked a guided tour through the old shipyard area, once one of the biggest shipyards in the world. This connected to the theme of sustainability as quite a few of the old buildings, formerly used to build ships for the Swedish navy, now have been renovated and transformed into residential buildings or offices of big companies. The students reflected on the fact that preserving instead of building new can be a part of a sustainability plan for cities.
After the tour, we visited Orkla Foods, one of the biggest food companies in Northern Europe, which offers well-known local branded products to consumers in the Nordics, Baltics, Central Europe and India. The students were offered to taste some of the products and also given a lecture on Orkla Foods’s sustainability program. After this visit, the students were free to enjoy lunch at a place of their own choice and after an hour we gathered again to visit Oatly. This company produces oat drinks as well as other products as an alternative to dairy. We were given a lecture about the history of Oatly and their sustainability policy and had the chance to try some of their dairy-free products.
After this the students were free to visit other parts of Malmö or return home. The teachers had some free time and gathered in the evening for dinner at a restaurant in Lund.
Thursday, 28th September
Today it was time for us to go to Copenhagen. Arriving there, the students could either go on a guided walk through the city centre, or have some free time. The guided tour took us past the Cathedral, the University and Runde Tårn. At the Round Tower, the group really enjoyed the spiral walk up to the observatory at the top with a grand view of Copenhagen. All visitors had a great morning in Copenhagen! Some of us went really Danish and had a traditional red sausage for lunch.
After lunch we all went to Freetown Christiania for a guided tour with two locals. One of them introduced us to what the town is and then they split us into two groups, showing us the most beautiful places in Christiania. The focus lay on sustainable living, and how the Christianites have built a society for like minded people.
In the late afternoon we took the train back home to Lund, and again the teachers met at a restaurant.
Friday, 29th September
The last day of the project, and this was the day when everything was going to be finished. The students worked hard with their posters and prepared the presentations, and they got extra energy from the morning fika bread rolls. After lunch it was time for the presentations, and group after group went up to present their posters. It was then clear that they had gained a great deal of knowledge concerning sustainable food during the week. Many good ideas were brought up, and we are sure that some will be part of the future food plans. The school day ended with another fika, and this time kärleksmums were served, or “love yummies” in direct translation.
After having a free afternoon it was time for the farewell dinner. Spyken again welcomed its guests to the restaurant, and this time the band Mannes Maneter (Manne’s Jellyfish) was playing, creating a very good atmosphere. One student had her birthday, so we celebrated her with songs, presents and cake. What a perfect way to celebrate one’s birthday, doing it in an Erasmus cross student exchange!
Outside the school restaurant some of the students said their goodbyes, while other students said “See you soon again!”. Students and teachers waltzed off into the night, pleased after a fruitful week!