by Lucia Sobeková
Bergamo – a charming city of Europtimists, keen travelers and active AEGEE people. These are the words which describe the best our first stop in Italy. Team of AEGEE- Bergamo prepared us full programme of street actions as well as the conference at the University of Bergamo.
In the morning, we joined AEGEE- Bergamo, the AEGEEan winner in merchandising, in promoting of summer universities. We handed out the leaflets designed as boarding passes to young students inviting them to travel with us in summer. We also spread many balloons among the students to get their opinion on why Europe matters to them. Many youngsters expressed their positive attitude towards our continent. The messages which appeared the most at the balloons were considering Europe as the world of possibilities, traveling and mobility. The biggest teaser for the campaign was Gian Luca dressed as a pilot of Ryanair which caught the attention of many students and invited them to discover AEGEE through their local.
During the personal interviews, numerous young people expressed that more and more Italians are leaving the country to search for job opportunities abroad. “We need to teach young people that every job is important and should be valued the same in society. All of us need to eat, need clean spaces and proper clothes. Our generation is more likely to forget about this.” said Lisa. “We must realise that every job forms a vital part of society. Undervalued jobs is what led many young Italians to study at university because they believe that jobs which doesn´t require higher education are underestimated. I believe that at the first place, we should promote and recognise every job needed in our community. Otherwise we will find ourselves in the country of economists and lawyers, paying a fortune for a daily bread as there will be no bakers to bake them.”
Mihaela, young girl from Moldova studying in Italy for several years, see the brain drain as the biggest danger of youth mobility nowadays. “Hundreds of qualified young people are leaving their countries because of inability to find an adequately remunerated job. Doctors, engineers and other experts leave the country with a vision of higher standard of life abroad as well as better working conditions,” she remarked. “Governments must apply measures which will enable young experts to find a proper job in their country. Furthermore, they should create favorable conditions for people who already left abroad for work to motivate them to come back to their home country. If this will not happen soon, many people will prefer to stay abroad and countries will loose their future generations of experienced and qualified work force.”
Despite of being aware of these issues, young Italians believe that every young person should have a possibility to study or work abroad. It is not only an experience which enables us to compare different educational systems and work organisation. Moreover, mobile young person becomes more emphatic and aware of other cultures as well as appreciates more culture of her or his home country. Therefore, the current crisis should not be seen only in negative light, but also as a driving engine for many young people to brighten the horizons and form attitudes towards other cultures.