NRO organizes and helps to organize youth exchanges, providing an opportunity for young people from Russia and Europe to get acquainted with cultures of other countries, exchange experiences, learn more about important social topics, improve their knowledge of foreign languages and find new friends.

In summer 2019, we took part in the organisation of a youth exchange in Hamburg in cooperation with our partner organisation Une Terre Culturelle and the cultural centre MOTTE. This exchange was the third phase of the project Scripted Life and was dedicated to understanding and building a life path, successes and challenges, finding oneself and new discoveries.

The first phase of the project took place in Marseille in July 2018 and was organised by Une Terre Culturelle (UTC). The second phase took place in November 2018 in St. Petersburg under the guidance of our partners drb. The final phase of the project was held from 28 June to 5 July 2019 in Hamburg. Young people from Germany, Russia and France came together for the third time to explore the city, to learn more about the culture of other countries and themselves.

In the third phase, participants delved into the script of their lives, focussing on future perspectives. During the two-day master class, the equal importance of success and failure was discussed with the psychologist. The main idea was to confront the challenges and overcome the fears that each person has to face, no matter what social milieu they come from. The participants also learned the difference between learning and performance goals, learned to speak openly about complex events of the past and present. By getting to know other cultures and stories of participants from other countries, participants were able to determine how their goals and life paths are similar or different; how culture, traditions and environment can influence their future.

Also, part of the youth exchange was the acquaintance with German culture and the city. The participants explored Hamburg and discovered non-tourist places and activities: they visited the modern interactive museum Discovery Dock to learn about the work of the famous Hamburg port, prepared dinners together and swam on kayaks and boots to watch the city life from the water.

Three phases of the project helped participants to observe and record changes in their lives, set priorities and overcome fear of uncertainty about the future. We want such interesting and useful projects to happen more often – and with them inspired young people.