“Inaugurating a travel agency in the French Alps.”
The first transnational Learning/ Teaching /Training Activities Meeting with the participation of students and teachers from all contracting partnership schools took place from 20-26 March 2017 at the school “Lycée des métiers Sévigné” in the French city Gap with an altitude of 750 m., which belongs to the prefecture Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and the region of Hautes-Alpes .
At first a tour operator of the region shared her experience with the participants and then each school presented the course followed to establish its own travel agency and the official document legitimizing the establishment for such an undertaking. Eventually the partners decided to start a European Limited Company- travel agency based in Italy (coordinating country) but which will cooperate with tourist agencies from all partner countries. In five mixed workshops with participation of one student from each country the students investigated the relevant European legislation, ethical issues for the good cooperation, and recorded their experiences from the meeting.
The results of the workshops were: An Italian student became CEO of the company and two students from each country were selected as members of the Board . The logo of the project was chosen as the logo of the agency and the slogan for the dissemination that was selected is «One click , one trip: Yourope! »
In addition, each country presented its own travel agency, and the suggested ‘routes’ of culture, activities, local dishes, wines and liqueurs that were prepared the previous period. In conclusion, the partners decided the next step of the project to be the creation of two 7-day tourist packages with special emphasis on cultural content. These packages will be presented in the city of Hudiksvall, in Sweden in October
According to the agenda of the French team we covered four kilometers by sledge on the slopes of the Southern French Alps at the ski center Réallon, gazing from the top the exceptional view of the artificial lake Serre-Ponçon. We visited the «Muséoscope» of the lake in which through three dimensional display and narration the story of the Serre Ponçon barrier and villages necessarily abandoned for its construction were presented. Currently there are eight hydroelectric power stations and the complex is one of the five most important water reservoirs of France. We also traveled to the era where the war was a daily occupation of people with the visit to the fortress of Mont-Dauphin that was built by Vauban in 1693 during the Louis 14th reign, known as the “Sun King”, a monument included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
However, what is of the utmost importance is that these projects result in multiple benefits, especially for the students, and this is the greatest joy of the participating teachers: to see them actively involved and collaborating with peers students from other European countries, practicing English to become European citizens gaining knowledge about different cultures and civilizations not only of the host country but also of other partners, to open wide their minds and to accept diversity, to be every meeting a springboard for something more. In this way every meeting becomes a springboard for something more, for personal improvement and for a need to achieve higher goals both on a personal and a group level.
Special thanks to the host country and the French team that with great pleasure organized our hospitality and the agenda of the project in the best possible way. The beautiful moments all partners spent together are still accompanied by flavors of local specialties and with the taste of special French cheeses.