European survey

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.

3 thoughts on “European survey”

  1. Completely agree with all you told these young people 🙂 Your encounter with them reminds me of the time Chris and I were ‘interviewed’ by several groups of Japanese school children at Hiroshima (their English btw was excellent!)

  2. European elections May 29 go vote! I am in and with signed petitions. EU needs to get tougher and loosen up the labor laws to create more jobs more for the young!

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