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. 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!

  2. 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!)

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