Posted by: anisoarapop | December 4, 2011

Dissemination of GRU-11-MOF-93-MS-IT Grant: European Project Planning in Florence, Italy

This post is part of the dissemination plan of the EC grant GRU-11-MOF- 93 – MS – IT, on the 28th edition of European Project Planning that took place in Florence, Italy on October 10-16, 2011.

Several funding opportunities are offered by the European Union in the fields of education, training, culture and innovation, opportunities that are addressed to Public Authorities, Universities, Associations and Training Institutions. Such funding opportunities aim to support the development of actions based on transnational cooperation.

I was the succesful applicant for such funding from the  European Commission GRU-MOF action and had the opportunity to attend the 28th edition of the European Project Planning course run by Pixel Associazione  from Florence, Italy.

The target groups of the  In-Service Training course on European Project Planning are: School teachers and directors; university professors; managers of training organizations; managers of adult education institutions; managers of public bodies. The course’s programme  is organized in 5 main modules and it aims to provide participants with the skills to enable them to:
• Understand the funding opportunities managed by the European Commission
• Interpret correctly a call for proposal for funding
• Develop effective project ideas
• Collect all necessary documents for the application’s submission
• Create an appropriate transnational partnership .
• Fill in the Application Form for submitting a Project
• Planning of Financial Aspects of the application
• Carry out the procedures necessary for the presentation of the application

The course consisted of 30 hours of classroom-based learning in Florence. The theoretical presentation was paralleled by a practical simulation carried out for each topic in focus and is based on the use of the services, database and documentation made available online. The objective of the practical activities is the simulation of the development and presentation of a project.
After the face-to-face course, 2 virtual meetings were organized in two successive weeks. The participants had, therefore, the opportunity to meet again with the other team members and their tutors in order to further analyze and discuss the contents learnt at distance. Likewise, an online forum is available for all course participants to ask questions and share the answers with their colleagues. Assessment was based on a comparison between the pre- and post- distance course multiple choice tests. All the materials are online and ex-participants continue to have access to the Pixel portal for information or involvement in future projects.

Why consider applying for European Project Planning – Personal Reflections

Below are some further reasons why you may choose to apply for this course:

– genuine information not otherwise accessible: the knowledge you will acquire during the course comes from the tutors’ extensive experience and results from their participation in dozens of projects in the LLP (Comenius, Grundtvig, Lenoardo da Vinci, Erasmus) for over 15 years;
– I appreciated the effective integration of theory with practice. Personally, I was interested and appreciated the large range of language learning projects that Pixel participated in, such as European Languages for Secretaries, whose objectives are to develop and manage a portal for language learning in the business context (Leonardo da Vinci).

Working on an Erasmus Project at Pixel

– Working together for a week within a team, you meet people with similar interests, so it’s important to have an idea as to what type of program you are interested in long before you start the course/project. This means that when the practical part starts you will be able to focus on it and develop a viable idea. I worked in the Erasmus team.
– The two trainers – Dr. Elizabeta Delle Donne and Dr. Andrea Peraldo are highly motivated and motivating, flexible in insisting on certain issues other than those envisaged beforehand whenever it is the case and last but not least they are very nice, open and hospitable. Unlike other courses that I attended and  here I always felt the tutors’ availability and willingness to assist me with relevant information, even when it came to transport arrangement and that because I had to choose one of the most complicated transport route, including a plane, train and bus. Their care and support offered me a feeling of safety and certainty that reinforced my conviction that I was on the best track and Pixel was serious and reliable.
Authenticity of project planning simulations is given by the international character of the teams, which ensures a more comprehensive and colorful perspective on the project than it would have been in the case of a local team’s limited point of view;
– All the activities, courses, hotel accommodation, even major sights are within walking distance (20-30 min on foot). We had lunch at Pixel, with excellent typical Italian food. The participants who had chosen the dinner-included package received Ticket Restaurant vouchers – an invaluable opportunity to dine out and spend the evening together in the lively Florence atmosphere with music and tourist bustle.
– Finally, Florence itself is a tale.

I do not know why ancient people said: Vedi Napoli e poi mori. I would say Vedi Florence e poi Napoli. Walking on its narrow streets I was trying to revive and re-live the Middle Ages and the Renaissance from the perspective of the 21st century. David, Piti Palace, Ufizi Gallery, Ponte Vechio,

Piti Palace in the background

The Dome, are just some of the highlights that make Florence a capital of art, always under the hectic steps of thousands of tourists from various corners of the globe.

I learned a lot of spicy details about Florence during the evening tour of the city. Elizabeta, who was our guide on an afternoon tour of Florence, gave us a Florentine’s unique perspective of the city and details that one cannot find in any tourist brochure or booklet. She explained how the Paradise Gate was designed and built, how the statue of Neptun came to be disgraced and called “the White thing” when compared to the perfection of David, what the emblems on Palazzo Vechio meant, what information can be “read” from the facade of Santa Maria Novella cathedral and how the small plates on the walls of the old city hide a small window that used to serve as counters for the Renaissance wine merchants.

It was a wonderful week. I have acquired new skills and I have developed new ideas for future projects and partnerships. I worked with wonderful people from Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Slovakia. I felt at home because I was with two Romanian colleagues Gratiela and Alina.

Among so many other experiences I explored Pisa with Ewa from Slovakia one afternoon.

YOU can do even more. It’s worth trying.

With all my gratitude for the European Commission and the National Agency for the grant, and my heartfelt thank you to the Pixel trainers and all the participants without whom this wonderful experience would not have been possible.



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