Internet off – exploring our environment

The online world is a big part of students’ everyday life. The different activities in this section led students to (re-)discover the offline world.

Hear, See, Smell

On the first day at the hosting school, students were asked to leave their mobile phones in the classroom and then to explore the school building and its immediate environment with their senses. The task was to concentrate on things you can see, hear, and smell (and remember) when not constantly being side-tracked by messages etc. – and without being able to take pictures to remember. After returning to the classroom, students discussed and wrote down their perceptions in small groups. Together, they collected a large list of sensory impressions.

“Old fashioned” walking tour of Jordaan quarter

In the afternoon of the first day, a walking tour of the neighbourhood was scheduled. Students received a map, tasks and descriptions to guide them through the area. The subsequent evaluation of the activity revealed interesting observations.

When in an unknown area, we nowadays use online maps quite naturally. These maps can guide us correctly (if used correctly…) without large detours to the places we want to go to. This would then constitute a positive example of the use of mobile phones and the internet.

Orientation with the printed map proved to be very difficult for students. Finding their position on the map, finding the direction to walk into, was not always easy and took some extra time. To be honest, also in the past (in “pre mobile phone times”) people used to take a moment to orient themselves using printed maps.

On the other hand, students reported positively on the printed information of the tour (pictures and informative texts). The larger format (compared to the small screen of a phone) makes information more accessible. When following a similar tour with only their phones, the textual information would go unnoticed and thus get lost. The paper version also allows for easier collaboration / filling in of answers during this “treasure hunt”.

Canal tour – changing perspectives

A sightseeing tour of the city of Amsterdam mostly has touristic components. As the mobility is about going new ways, a perspective off the beaten path was chosen. During an hour-long canal tour only for the exchange group, both historic and modern aspects of the city could be discovered. Another positive aspect of mobile phones was focused on: taking photos without having to carry an extra camera. However, also the importance of not only blocking one’s view (either with a traditional camera or one integrated into the phone) was discussed.

Our rules: Table manners, etiquette, and netiquette

At the beginning of the meeting in Amsterdam, students gave themselves rules on how to work together during this week in accordance with the topic of the meeting.

Starting out by looking at table manners which they have known since a young age, they realized that those rules are there to make both children and everyone else focus on the topic (i.e. food and eating).

In addition, you have to follow rules of politeness (which of course are valid everywhere but have a particular focus when it comes to behaviour at, for example, the family dinner table).

Accordingly, when working inside a classroom, etiquette should dictate that you focus on the work at hand (and not the phone in your hand). Students agreed to using their phones during the meeting only when this was required for work on the project, and to leave it inside their bags at all other times. While the use of phones inside classrooms has become increasingly normal, making use of the advantages of having all available information at one’s fingertips, phones most of the time distract students from the actual topic (e.g. by reading and sending solely social messages or by browsing the internet). A majority of activities during the meeting had been planned in such a way, that the use of the internet and mobile phones would not become necessary.

Go, stop, or proceed with caution?

In an activity during the meeting, students were given a number of realistic examples, some also mixing the offline and the online world. The question with each situation was whether it presented a dangerous situation. In groups, they had to agree if in such a situation, the persons in the examples could go ahead, proceed with caution, or stop immediately. While some situations were clearly safe or clearly the opposite of safe, some situations caused intensive discussions among the groups (and later in the complete group). The different possible view-points on seemingly clear situations showed students that the online world (as well as the offline world) can hold hidden dangers. During these discussions, students exchanged both advice and more personal stories of themselves, their friends and family having been in similar situations.

The realization that the invented situation of this exercise made almost everyone remember a personal example emphasized for all students the dangers of the internet. Of course, they will not stop using it. But when encountering “strange” situations, they will – as the exercise suggested – proceed with caution or stop.

Dangers of the Internet: Presentation

Before the mobility, students in each participating country looked at the dangers of the internet. While this in theory is known to them, in practice they often forget about it and do not adhere to safety rules. In each group, students reported on either having come into contact with abuse and crime on the internet or of knowing victims of internet crime. They shared, among others, stories of cyberbullying among classmates, of viruses destroying data, of goods purchased & paid for that never arrived, of cybergrooming. In some cases, students admitted to not having been careful enough and thus not having seen the warning signs. In other cases, they did catch the give-aways and thus saved themselves (or sometimes their friends) from becoming victims. They presented their finding and advice to each other during the mobility.

The internet: Both useful and not so useful

In a survey (mostly quantitative, but also qualitative) completed by all students participating in the program, the current situation of internet use was discovered. We chose to have the same survey for every country, but to have country- specific questionnaires. In this way, each school does get a picture of internet use and abuse at their individual school. Furthermore, it was possible to compare the use of mobile phones and the internet across the different participating countries.

At each school, students looked at the results of “their” survey. They critically assessed and interpreted the data, also taking into account theoretical knowledge (e.g. the results and explanations of “professional” surveys conducted by, for example, psychologists).

The students then shared the most interesting findings of their national surveys with their peers during the meeting. The different presentations of results showed many similarities between young people across Europe – but also interesting differences. For example, the preferred apps for communication among students differed. While all used the same apps (Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp etc.), the percentages of which app was used the most was significantly different. One possible explanation / assumption was that in areas where the speed of the internet is slower and where internet availability might not be as reliable, picture based communication (Snapchat, Instagram) could slow down communication. So for quick communication, mostly text-based apps are preferred. For “only” social contacts, however, apps with an emphasis on the exchange of pictures are given a preference.

Life on, Internet off – Introduction

The internet – and particularly the mobile phones we use to access it – permeates our daily lives. One might even say: They dominate our lives. Wherever we go, whatever we do, they are our constant companion. Most people (particularly students) would agree to sentences like “I can’t live without it” or “Without it, I am lost”. At the heart of this part of our project was a look at the negative aspects and also the dangers of over-use and mis-use of mobile phones / the internet and to present alternatives for a life in which mobile phones might not be the protagonists.

Young people use the internet and their mobile phones mostly for social contact, taking pictures, and gaming. Moreover, they use it for finding information and for orientation (by using map services). For all of these uses, this part of the project offered alternatives. Some activities took place before the mobility, some during the mobility. After the mobility, students collected results and reflected on their experiences and findings as well as the meeting.

Meeting in Amsterdam – Students’ report

At the end of the meeting, students were asked to create presentations. In these, they were to cover and recapitulate the different aspects of the meeting:

  • Internet use, dangers on the internet & the illusion of connectivity
  • Some impressions of the different workshops from all days of the mobility
  • Some impressions of Amsterdam

Presented here are slides from different student groups’ presentations.

Meeting in Istanbul – Students’ report

The meeting in Istanbul took place between the 16th and 22 October 2022. There we could get to know the Turkish culture and make new friends under the motto “Happier Youth in a Healthier EU”.

On October 16, the trip started with the flight to Istanbul. By the evening, each of us could meet our host family at dinner.
On the first morning in Turkey we met all the participants of the Erasmus program from France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands and were warmly welcomed by the Turkish school. In the early afternoon, we all watched the movie “The Cure” together in English.

Tuesday started with a relaxing boat tour. From the water we could discover many sights. Since the boat was chartered for our whole group, we played music on the deck and got to know Turkish dances. Later we visited a typical Turkish Spice Bazaar.

The third day consisted of many cultural sights such as Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, Cister Basilica and the Grand Bazaar. At the Grand Bazaar we could taste and buy typical Turkish specialties.

We started Thursday at the Eyüp-Pierre Loti, a viewing platform over the Bosphorus. As the day progressed, we got to see the Galata Tower and Dolamabahce Palace.

We spent our last full day with our host families, saying goodbye to everyone with a big party at the school in the evening. Before that, we worked some more on our project, collecting ideas on what is important in friends and friendship. We used these results to work together and create a chain of friendship.

On Saturday morning, it was time to say goodbye to our host families. This was not so easy, many tears were shed – but also reciprocal invitations were extended, so that we might be able to visit each other again privately in the future.
On our return flight, we realized what a wonderful time we had, with all the Turkish traditions and how many beautiful friendships we had made.

Ensalada de garbanzos – Chickpeas Salad

Ensalada de garbanzos – Chickpeas Salad

Recipe by ESDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • ½ onion

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1 green pepper

  • 400 g boiled chickpeas

  • 250 g cherry tomatoes

  • vinaigrette
  • olive oil

  • balsamic vinegar

  • salt


  • Clean all the vegetables and the chickpeas
  • Cut the vegetables into small pieces
  • Put it all together in a bowl
  • Dress it with a pinch of salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to your own taste.

Green Salad

Many scientists assure us that eating green and healthy reduces your risk of obesity, and some diseases such as diabetes, cardiopatía, osteoporosis, etc.

Also, maintaining a healthy diet does not only reduce the risk of some diseases but also:

•             it makes you strong

•             it protects your immune system

•             it reduces stress

•             it has many different vitamins and minerals

•             it protects your heart

In conclusion, I would recommend that all aged people start eating healthier, as a physical and psychological improvement will be seen over time.

Green Salad

Recipe by ESDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • A little bunch of green lettuce

  • 10 blueberries

  • Grated cheese

  • Oil

  • Modena Cream (a type of vinegar)

  • Viandox soyce (flavouring sauce)


  • Wash the lettuce that we are going to use, and cut it into not very large pieces
  • Once the lettuce is washed and cut into pieces, add some grated cheese all over the lettuce
  • Afterwards, wash the blueberries, and add some fresh ones to the salad.
  • Finally, pour some oil, salt, modena cream and Viandox sauce.
  • If you wish, you can also add some “Picatostes” (roasted bread / croutons / crunchy nuts), tomatoes or even avocado