• Multiculturalism – checked
  • Stepping out of the comfort zone – checked
  • GROWzav learning experiences – checked
  • Enthusiasm – checked
  • Kung Fu Panda (?) – checked

We are happy to tell you about the first GROW 5TC conference in 2015, held from January 19 to 23, in Predeal.

The event kicked off with the arrival of the 12 GROW local coordinators and the 40 trainers from countries all over the world, like China, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, Malaysia, Egypt, Taiwan, Indonesia etc. On the first day we got to know each other and discussed about what does GROW mean and what is the trainers’ mission in the program. We also talked about intercultural differences, ways of communication and how to work with Romanian teenagers.

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On the second day, participants started to work seriously. The coordinators had sessions on different topics and put up a team development plan for the next 2 weeks. Organizing events simulations have been held, along with leadership workshops and we stepped forward into the future with the course “Work skills 2020”, in which we learned about the future’s professional skills. Meanwhile, the internationals have learned to deliver high impact presentations on various topics and have been involved in simulations to be prepared for the interaction with the high school students.

After this short warm up, the 40 young internationals were divided into two teams, one about to work with 9th graders and the other one, with those in the 10th grade, and they had some time to prepare the sessions. Each trainer stepped up in front of the group and held non-formal education workshops, after which he received a substantial feedback, because, as they say, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”. At first, the trainers were shy and somehow lacking courage, but with the help of our team, they managed to step out of their comfort zone and do their best during the workshops.

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The evenings were about relaxation, interaction and friendly talks. In the “World Cafe“, the participants gathered in teams of 3-5 persons and discussed about various topics, taking advantage of the free moments to learn new things and share ideas.

On the last day, we had a few special guests: the representatives from our partners, BRD and Cetelem, spoke about reaching goals and about teenagers and their digitized world.

The conference theme was… Kung Fu Panda. That’s because, like the nice bear, each of the 40 internationals learned the art of training mastery from our team, gaining confidence in their potential and being ready to pass on the knowledge.

The end of 5TC meant a lot of emotions for everyone, but also enthusiasm for what is about to happen. After 5 full days, the international students headed off to the cities where they are going to be trainers. There, 2000 9th and 10th graders are looking forward to meet them and start the sessions. For 6 weeks, they will live a GROWzav development experience based on the Practice, Learn, Step up! principle. We wish them good luck and we are curious to hear their impressions about the workshops!

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