These young people in red T-shirts, from various European countries, were doing some sort of project in Ghent for a summer school that they were on. They wanted to ask me some questions in English about European integration and also wanted to take my picture, which I said was fine if I could also take their picture.
Their English was somewhat rudimentary (A2 level, I would say) and I didn’t always understand their questions, so their teacher, the man on the right, had to help a couple of times.
I told them all the usual things: European integration is fine, Nationalism is a relic of the nineteenth century, young people should travel around, learn languages, meet and marry people from other countries. I think I also said that ideally each person should have grandparents of four different nationalities (which I later posted for a while as my motto on the now-defunct website VirtualTourist).
Also I said Europe needs more young people but also more jobs for them. Europe is the only continent whose population is declining, but youth unemployment is at an all-time (I think) high.
I don’t know how much they understood of all this, but they took notes and no doubt presented it in some way at their wrap-up session on Friday morning, as we used to have our groups do in Birmingham. And the main thing is that they got out and tried to practice their English a bit.
My photo in this post is from 2012. I revised the text in 2019.
See also: The Heart of Europe.