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Mind Your Business+

When my application was accepted, I was very excited! I got accepted for the week-long exchange program Mind Your Business+ in Luxembourg, fully funded by the Erasmus+ program! Joy and impatience grew within me, but I also had concerns: would I be able to handle it? I was afraid that this topic would be too hard for me and that I would have trouble communicating with others in English.  

I didn't let fear discourage me; I decided to go all in and plunged headfirst into this new adventure. Every day, we had interesting lectures focused on the business method "Design Thinking," ice-breaking games, and shared moments. During the first two days, I felt very insecure: I had to remember a lot of names and I couldn't establish a connection with all the participants—only meaningless small talks. I was also exhausted from the overwhelming amount of new information coming my way. Yes, things don't always go as smoothly as we would like. Sometimes I had to ask people multiple times, and it took me longer to express my thoughts. I saw many amazing people, but I lacked the courage to approach them and start a conversation. In other words, it was challenging for me to use English in real life.  

However, the organizers helped the participants find a common language: they assigned interesting tasks and exciting games that helped us get to know each other better. I remember how, on the first day, we learned a Luxembourgish folk dance so that we could perform it for the locals in the village. It was incredibly awkward! But we managed it, and as a thank-you, they gave us a piece of delicious cheese. Before I knew it, I gradually started noticing that it was getting easier for me to converse with people in English. And soon, the "strangers of the first day" turned into my good friends . Throughout the week, we experienced so many interesting and diverse adventures that, despite the language barrier, we grew closer and captivated each other.  

We also received very unusual tasks. For example, as the Slovak team, we performed a skit demonstrating how business is done in Slovakia and similar activities. The most important task was a special project for which we were divided into groups. I ended up in a group with girls from Romania, Greece, Italy, and Luxembourg. Our task was to develop our ideas from start to finish and then present them to the other program participants. It was an incredible "cool experience"—learning something new and immediately putting it into practice, feeling like a real entrepreneur! We stayed in a beautiful accommodation, located in the middle of a picturesque village. The courtyard had football and volleyball fields, flower beds, a gathering place by the fire, and outdoor tables where we could enjoy an afternoon coffee or watch the sunrise. From the window of our room, we had a view of the forest where the bright sun rose every morning. In the village, we felt an atmosphere of peace and tranquility—believe me, it's the best place for intensive study! We also traveled around the country since we had some free time for sightseeing. First, with friends, we visited two nearby villages—small, cozy, and fairytale-like. And a whole day was allocated for a walk through the capital city! One of the participants actually lives in Luxembourg and was able to show us not only the most interesting places but also share many fascinating facts. There's nothing better than seeing a city through the eyes of a local resident! Therefore, we wandered around the city, walked its streets, took photos and bought local souvenirs. An enjoyable bonus was that public transportation in Luxembourg is free! The most interesting entertainment of the program for me was the cultural evening. It's always fascinating and exciting to learn something new about the culture of other countries, especially from people who live there. Participants from each country showcased their traditions, customs, and shared interesting stories, and even showed videos. We danced constantly, played unusual and interesting games, and also tasted dishes from various cuisines. In just one evening, we could taste Turkish coffee along with Italian pastries and then dance Greek dances! Our Slovak team also prepared an interesting presentation about Slovakia. We gave other participants the task of drawing a map of Slovakia and adding things to it that are associated with Slovakia. Then we all sang songs in Slovak. It's not surprising that Slovak was very difficult for most foreign participants, but despite that, they liked the songs. After such wonderful evenings, we all learned something new about each other, gained valuable experiences and knowledge. 

 Only on the last day, when I analyzed the entire past week, did I realize that all my worries before the trip were unfounded. I spent unforgettable seven days at the Erasmus+ exchange project Mind Your Business+, where I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and the possibility of building my own business from scratch, and I also met amazing people who became great friends to me. I know that I would have missed out on many experiences if I hadn't decided to apply for this fantastic program! I'm glad that I didn't give in to fears and doubts and took this decisive step. It seems to me that we shouldn't think that something new and interesting is too difficult or hard to reach. We always have to move forward, follow the idea, dream, and goal we choose. By gaining new and interesting experiences and communicating with like-minded people, we broaden our horizons and get more and more opportunities to build the future we want. So never be afraid, just do it. Step forward! 

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