"My Virtual Existence" Youth Exchange

Samobor, Croatia, from January 9th to 18th, 2024

Desert Bloom took part in the "My Virtual Existence" Youth Exchange held in Samobor, Croatia, from January 9th to 18th, 2024. The project aimed to illuminate both the positive and negative aspects of virtual existence, ranging from the impact of social media on self-esteem to the role of online communities in fostering a sense of belonging. It provided an in-depth exploration of how online experiences influence the mood, emotions, and worldview of young people, as well as the ways in which digital interactions shape their daily lives. With participation from six countries – Georgia, Spain, Croatia, Albania, Turkey, and Jordan – the youth exchange offered a comprehensive perspective on how the digital world shapes the emotional landscapes and perspectives of today's youth. It provided a platform for youth to discuss, explore, and critically approach these issues.

Here's a revised version of the details of the experience:

Day 1: We arrived in Croatia, marking the beginning of our journey.

Day 2: We commenced our mutual discovery, getting to know each other as we entered the youth exchange program and fostered relationships through team-building activities. Our journey began with a "Mission Impossible" challenge, fostering connections and camaraderie among us. As we tackled obstacles, we unveiled the diverse perspectives and insights each participant brought to the virtual realm, enriching our understanding of our varied thoughts and experiences.

Day 3: We embarked on a journey of self-reflection, contemplating the role of social media in our daily lives. Our exploration extended to the historical evolution of the internet, social networks, and technological advancements, offering deeper insights into the diverse perspectives within our group.

Day 4: We imagined a world without social networks, pondering its potential implications on our lives. Our exploration also delved into emotional intelligence, discussing its profound influence on success. Through research and discussion, we enhanced our understanding of the pervasive influence of social media content and brainstormed strategies to foster resilience.

Day 5: We delved into the world of gaming, familiarizing ourselves with its specialized language and culture. Our discussions explored controversies surrounding gaming, including issues of violence and gender representation. We brainstormed proactive solutions to mitigate risks associated with gaming.

Day 6: Our focus shifted to the integration of AI within social media platforms and content recommendation systems. We discussed the mechanics of algorithms and engaged in debates about AI's limitations in critical thinking and creativity. Additionally, we celebrated our diverse backgrounds through an intercultural night of dances and culinary delights.

Day 7: We explored remote work and its ongoing impact, especially in light of COVID-19. Our discussions highlighted the importance of digital literacy for remote workers and staged a play illustrating the motivations behind remote employment.

Day 8: We gathered to reflect on our learnings and conclusions from the exchange. With thoughtful deliberation, we summarized our insights before embarking on a final outing, ending our journey with an ice-skating trip filled with laughter and joy.


Heam Khaddams: "My first Erasmus+ experience was truly remarkable and unforgettable. I cherished every moment, from being part of a dynamic team to meeting people from diverse backgrounds and immersing myself in different cultures. Together, we nurtured creativity, learned from each other, and formed lasting bonds that will stay with me for a lifetime."

Ahmad Ezz-Aldin: "Being part of this project was an extraordinary experience, and I'm grateful for the opportunity. Through this journey, I discovered new ways to unleash my creativity and improve my social skills. This project provided an experience beyond my imagination, leaving lasting memories that I will always cherish."