In the period 21st of October to 1st of November 2019, a 50-person group of third and fourth grade youth educating in the following professions: agricultural and agrotronics mechanization technician, agribusiness technician and food and catering services technician, completed an 80-hour professional internship, as well as an interesting educational-cultural program, which helped them get to know Greece, its historical and cultural heritage, traditions, cuisine and the richness of nature of the Olympic Riviera.
Students in the field of agricultural mechanization technician learned about the organization and methods of work in local institutions. Under the watchful eye of the owner and mechanics of the Asterios Sotiriou workshop in Pyrgetos Larisa, they checked the technical condition of machines and devices, performed maintenance and repair works of individual machine elements (e.g. welding). They also made small parts of machines and devices by manual processing. They improved their skills related to the disassembly and repair of tractors and agricultural machinery (some for the first time in their lives). They learned to verify dismantled parts and adjust them accordingly. They also visited the Iliadis company that manufactures and maintains agricultural machinery in the field of irrigation machines and learned about the owner’s father’s patented invention – a tobacco punching device.
Whereas agribusiness technicians became familiar with the functioning of various companies and facilities. They were visiting Katerini, an association of farmers from the Pieria region, where farmers from this region sell their kiwi crops. They learned about the rules of storing this fruit even for 5-6 months. In turn, during a visit to the farm and in the company Fotiadas they learned the rules of breeding black pigs and the process of producing high-quality products: sausages, bacon and meat. At other times, they collected sweet grapes and then performed organizational tasks or worked on olive plantations, learned about machines and devices that are used for harvesting. Using computer programs to support business operations, they also explored the secrets of a company’s financial plans, the principles of conducting sole proprietorships and companies, a simplified form of accounting records and an inventory of assets. They have also classified the costs.
Students from a nutrition and food technician had an internship provided by the luxurious San Pantelejmon hotel, in which a group from Korolówka-Osada lived. They familiarized themselves with the food storage system and seen the methods and techniques used in Greece for processing raw materials. Separated into groups, under the guidance of mentors, they worked in the kitchen, preparing dishes and breakfast buffet, as well as products and semi-finished products for lunch and dinner at the hotel. They prepared a restaurant room for guests and then operated the service. They planned and prepared a menu cost estimate for guests based on purchases made at the Leptokarya market. At the end of the apprenticeship they underwent training in making coffee with Mr. Sakis. They found out what types of coffees are most often consumed in Greece and how to prepare them.
Taking advantage of local conditions, all students harvested olives, watched the technological process of producing oil in the olive press, and visited the family-run feta cheese factory.
In addition to studying and working, there was also time for rest and entertainment. In their free time, students could take a sea bath, walk on the beach, play beach volleyball or sunbathe in the hotel pool (from the hotel to the sea was only 200 meters). The Greek internship center, represented by Adonis Karatzios, took care of a wide range of cultural and entertainment events. One of the attractions was the opportunity to see „suspended between heaven and earth” Meteora – a wonder of nature and architecture, deservedly on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The meteoric extraordinary nature is to combine the landscape with the richness of the history of the monasteries, the secrets of the lives of monks and the beliefs of the Greeks. The youth visited the largest of the monasteries set high on the rocks and participated in icon-writing workshops. The cruise to the island of Skiathos (known from the musical „Mamma Mia!”) was unique. During the ship trip, the students took part in a Greek fun together with Captain Kostas and visited the „golden beach” of Kukunarias. For the last time, enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather, they sunbathed and bathed in the Aegean Sea. Shorter trips were also organized, such as a walking trip from the town of Litochoro by the Enipas Gorge in the Olimp National Park. It was worth seeing Zeus Falls and Baths of Aphrodite (two). In the afternoons, young people visited nearby attractions such as Old Panteleimon, the port and the castle of Platamonas. There was also time for shopping at the Leptokarya market. The Greek folklore evening at San Panteleimon Hotel with traditional music and dances provided a lot of excitement. Of course, sirtaki reigned, called Zorba’s dance. After the official part, the whole room joined the fun and learned steps.
During the internship, young people had the opportunity to taste traditional Greek dishes such as moussaka, pita in different flavors, tzatziki, souvlaki, tiganites and of course Greek salad. The so-called Greek tea from herbs harvested on Olympus with wonderful health properties. It was served daily for breakfast. Koumaro honeys (only growing around the Old Panteleimon) and chestnut, especially unknown in Poland, tasted exceptionally well.
During the apprenticeship, the school’s group was visited by the School Director Leszek Młynarczyk. It was a visit monitoring the internship in Greece. He observed classes and workshops in individual fields of vocational education and participated in trips. He became acquainted with the living and working conditions, as well as the organization of free time, which the project created. He rated them very highly.
After completing the apprenticeship, the youth together with their teachers and mentors summarized the acquired knowledge and skills from the entire stay. During the solemn ceremony, students received certificates of completion of an internship abroad and said goodbye to their guardians from Greece, with whom they formed a harmonious team.
Internships in Greece gave students the opportunity to develop professionally and were probably an amazing adventure for many, during which they met a „piece of the world”, tasted another life. Internship abroad is also an opportunity for young people to learn and improve a foreign language, including business (mainly English, but also Greek), with particular emphasis on vocabulary and expressions in the field of specialist language in their fields. Thanks to mobility, students developed social and personal competences such as self-confidence, team communication skills, entrepreneurship. Mobility also affects the cultural development of young people, in particular integration into European society. Undoubtedly, foreign internships and experience gained from them are also an opportunity for the School to establish better contacts with entrepreneurs and expand the knowledge and professional competence of teachers.
Have a look at some photos from their stay below 🙂