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Students and teachers from Italy, Hungary, Turkey, and Spain visited Southwark College for a collective project, '21st Century Skills' to raise awareness on substance abuse as part of the Erasmus+ programme.

The project, '21st Century Skills,' explores the success of young people in their next steps of education or employment using enhanced knowledge of learning skills, critical thinking, collaboration, life and social skills, initiative, and productivity. These skills are encouraged through various activities which students participated in during their five-day visit and, with the use of these skills, presented their agenda for tackling substance abuse amongst young people.

The visit began with a meet and greet and ice breaker activities for students to get to know each other, followed by various workshops where students had the chance to learn from activists raising awareness on substance abuse and with the information learnt, they were given the task to brainstorm resolutions to combat drug misuse, present their proposals and create posters highlighting the adverse effects of substance abuse, which will be displayed in their home schools.

As well as planned trips to The British Museum and Sky Gardens, the week ended with students taking part in interactive activities, including dance sessions and a tote bag design workshop. A certification ceremony was also held to celebrate the visit's success and the student's hard work and engagement.

Erasmus Fashion workshop 20230330 10 1

Erasmus Fashion workshop bags 20230330 2 1

Mark Cuni Gelbart, a Spanish student from Antoni Maura Institute, said: "I loved the project. I enjoyed meeting pupils from different countries and seeing what Southwark College has to offer. I am grateful for this opportunity and have many good memories of making new friends!"

Huseyin Efe Tozlu, a Turkish student from Gazi Anatolian High School, said: "I enjoyed the programme and the visit to Southwark College. It has been an amazing experience working with students from other countries. I learnt a lot during this visit, practised English and gained a greater understanding of substance abuse. London is different at every corner you turn; it has been exciting to explore it!"

Marian Sinkane Farkas, a Hungarian teacher, said: "What a fantastic project. It was so well organised, and students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I wish more students could have come along. All teachers and students interacted so well, and the week flew by. It has been perfect!"

Scott Peasey, Vice Principal at Southwark College, said: "It has been an incredible opportunity to welcome students and teachers from other countries to give them an insight into student life at Southwark College. I hope the students had an enriching experience collaborating on various projects and activities during their visit.

"Erasmus provides a wonderful opportunity for young people to learn from one another and gain skills which will open them to opportunities in the future. I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours."

The Erasmus+ programme aims to support cultural and educational diversity in universities and education institutions across the European Union, allowing individuals to study or attend training abroad as part of their development. In addition, it supports education, training, youth, and sports opportunities for students based in Europe.

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