n July 7-8, Pre-Departure Orientation meeting traditionally took place in Kyiv, Ukraine in the premises of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. 30 newly brand newly selected master students from Ukraine/ Moldova/ Belarus and 5 alumni actively participated in its orientation program. The agenda of the event included 2 intense days full of presentations, experience sharing sessions, meetings with Embassies and an intercultural training.
On July 7, Mr. Hugues Mingarelli, the Head of the Delegation of EU to Ukraine, welcomed students and congratulated all EMA fellows with the 30th Anniversary of Erasmus+. After this, David Stulik, the Press and Information Officer, talked about the future of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, emphasizing the role of youth in it. Kateryna Zhdanova from the National Erasmus+ Office took the floor and presented the actual status of Erasmus+ programs execution in Ukraine, pointing out the cooperation with EMA. Moreover, Kateryna and her colleagues initiated special survey for newly selected students in order to identify sources of information on Erasmus+, possible difficulties while applying for the program and other ways for improvement.
Participants also had an unique chance to talk to the representatives of the EU Embassies, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Czech Republic. Since June 11, 2017 when the visa-free regime for Ukraine was implemented (January 1, 2017 in case of Moldova), it has been much easier to go through any mobility for Ukrainian/ Moldovan youth. However, there was a Q&A session, where students got answers on many organizational questions related to national visas, internal regulations and cultural differences.
In the mid of the day, Dr. Tamara Martsenyuk from Kyiv Mohyla Academy host an intercultural training, focusing mainly on diversity and international communication issues. Many forms of cultural challenges were considered, including stereotypes, inequalities, groupthink and other barriers.
On July 8, the PDO migrated to the Co-working "Garden", where the REALISE-IT project and other EMA opportunities were presented. EMA representatives made a presentation on how to get a membership, how to benefit from it, how to organize your own EMA event and cooperate with others. Moreover, students met Erasmus Mundus alumni from previous cohorts and had an intense panel discussion on different organizational and cultural topics. The rest of the day was spent by showing around the city of Kyiv to students from Moldova and other cities within Ukraine. It ended up symbolically at the square of Europe.
Next PDO meeting within the Eurasian Regional Chapter is planned to be organized in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), July 22. Moreover, the online PDO will be organized in August.