Day 8 – Romanian Group – Sharing our curiosity

By Maria Florutau, navigator and log usurper.

Comandeering the log, I am sharing a descriptive photo of our day, spent finishing our projects. I am also sharing my sense of amazement and pride at the curiosity, empathy and dedication that my students brought into this journey to discover Romania for all its, good, bad and complex. It is what global citizenship means to me. Thank you, girls, I hope all my students will be as great as you!

Sailing on the Danube with the Hungarians – Day 8

Our penultimate day on the Global Citizenship Programme consisted of this:

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And this…

And more of this…

And finally with some well deserved pizza –


After over 12 hours in the SELCS Common Room – or as we know it ‘home’, we finally finished our documentary!


Day 8 – German Group

Well, today we are nearly at the end of the programme and there have been a few but important things that have been going on.

In the morning there was a chance for us to edit our video and put the final touches on the video.

As well as this, a couple of articles are being written up and posted onto the page, one about the German language and its affects on German migrants learning English and the other is called, ataman: filmmarchen, which is about ataman who is an aspiring filmmaker.

Both the German Language article and the Filmmaker article have been posted today, with a lot of work having been put into both.

That’s all for now, only one day to go!

Day 8 Bulgaria

On Thursday, the team spent most of the day at the Phineas bar and Wolfson Study finishing up the documentary film and the website.  Whilst the media team was busy editing bits and bobs of the video, other members were finishing up on their written pieces to publish. In the midst of all the work, we also managed to make time to have a mini surprise for our beloved navigator Zora and our language teacher Yordanka! Cards and presents were gifted to them, in gratitude for all their hard work and guidance throughout the whole programme and making it such a wonderful and fun experience. It was truly another fun and productive day with the team. ❤

Despite it being the second last day with everyone in the team, and the project coming to an end, I personally cannot wait to show everyone tomorrow on what the team has accomplished throughout the 8 days being in the programme. As I am in the media team, I’m mostly excited to show the final product of  our video to others!

Yours truly,

Nadiah M Idham

Day 7 with the Bulgarians: The Panel, Exhibition and ‘A Taste of Freedom’

Last language session
It was definitely a big day for all of us that was full of joy. However, there also came our last language session which was a great pity. We felt really sad to say goodbye to our lovely teacher Yordanka who had put in amazing effort and passion while teaching us. From the alphabet to being able to formulate a whole sentence, she guided us step by step. It was a challenge for both of us since all of us come from different countries, especially for those who speak languages that belong to another language family. Pronunciation and memorizing the alphabet are the biggest barriers of learning. Besides language, we also learnt about famous Bulgarian poetry, literature and traditions. These made the sessions much more interesting and interactive.

Panel Talk
It was extremely fascinating to hear other groups’ experiences over the past week while interviewing and meeting new people, There were many similarities between us, especially the problem while interviewing or filming people who we met for the first time. It’s nearly impossible to let strangers open up themselves or share their experiences without any concern. However, the fact was, as long as we try and show our passion and interests towards their language and culture, we still have the chance of making people comfortable enough to be able to talk to us. The UCL global citizenship program has really put us in a good position to communicate with people of different backgrounds as a friend rather than a interviewer since the language courses are provided. All in all, no matter what kind of difficulties we have met during these time, we gain the most precious experience and time together with good friends.

Exhibition was a very exciting part of the day. Not only could we see our work displayed in public but also many other outstanding portraits from other groups. Every photograph has a story behind it, whatever it is – amusing or sentimental and it touches us in various ways. Furthermore, it was quite different with visiting a normal gallery since we were all got involved, contributed and no one knows better than us about what happened during this.

By Xing Liu

Ukraine Day 8

What a journey. With nothing left to do but polish off our blog posts and finalise the filming, this day is one of reflection and intense writing. We’ve finished all the lectures and learnt all there is to learn about the Danube river, and now we’re left alone, aimlessly wandering through the void that was once filled with hour-long interactive lectures. Our language teacher has left us empty and hollow, wanting to learn more Ukrainian with the help of a fun and enthusiastic teacher, but not being able to for the time being.

But that’s okay. We’ve still got the memories of the not-so-distant past fresh in our minds, spurring us on to reach our final destination: the UCL Global Citizenship Programme’s closing ceremony (or the Black Sea). Looking back, we can see how far we’ve come. At the start, we couldn’t even say ‘hello’ in Ukrainian, and now we can fully introduce ourselves and order beef stroganoff and borscht at any restaraunt in Kyiv. We are now more aware of the interconnectedness of the Danube region, and we’ve realised that we shouldn’t look at it in terms of countries, but in terms of people, languages, and cultures. Finalising our blog posts has also spurred us to research further into the Danube region, and Ukraine in particular, giving us interesting knowledge and making the programme a truly worthwhile and memorable one.

We’ve had a great time on this journey, but sadly the end is in sight. The penultimate day has been challenging, but rewarding, and will be cherished along with other memories gained during our time on our voyage.

Tom and Conor, unfortunately for the last time. It was a pleasure, but all good things must come to an end. We are ready to pass the beacon of knowledge and hope to our counterparts next year, and can only hope that they carry out this task that we have come to perfect and love with as much passion as we have. We don’t know what the future holds for Ukraine’s 2018 group, but we are sure that it will be filled with people who were equally inspired as we were.

Thank you, and goodbye for now.

Tom and Conor, and the Ukraine group of 2017

Yiddish Log 4 – Trip to Golders Green

18920255_10155248647736153_4569765606285891176_n.jpgThis Tuesday our navigator Anna-Cara invited us all, including Izzy, for a meal in another area of London home to an Orthodox Jewish community; Golders Green. As Izzy now lives there and knows the area well, he recommended that we eat at his favourite Japanese restaurant where we had a wonderful meal, fulling embracing the spirit of global citizenship. Never tiring of Izzy’s stories and experiences, we chatted and ate, then spent the rest of the evening wandering the neighbourhood as the sun went down.

The Jewish presence was less apparent on the high street than it had been in Stamford Hill, then as we kept walking we started to pass Jewish education centres, barbers, bakeries (where we stopped to buy some goods!) and of course synagogues. Though still Orthodox, the community there seemed much less closed off: most spoke English, not Yiddish, and were for the most part friendly and approachable. Some of the children already know Izzy’s face, and he told us rather proudly how he is known to some as a “heretic”, as he is rather fond making his (dis)beliefs known, and is not bothered about keeping a low profile. Soon we made it all the way back to Izzy’s student house, where we sat in the cozy lounge while Izzy showed us the personal diary he wrote during his transition to atheism. It was amazing how warm, welcoming and open he was to a group of people he has only known for a couple of days. Izzy has shown and taught us so much, and not just about his experiences as a Jew in London. Soon he’ll be moving to Bristol to begin his degree in Physics, and we wish him all the best!

– Fiona

Day 8 in the Serbian Group

Today is Day 8 and we will end our program tomorrow. It is our last chance to edit our documentary, so we are spending the whole day on it.

This morning we went to Dieter’s Film Clinic. We showed our film to Dieter to gain some helpful advice from a professional. We received some good feedback so we were really pleased! All of our group members feel incredibly proud of what we’ve created together and we cannot wait to share it with everybody else in the Plenary Session tomorrow. Who knows – maybe it will be shown at the Closing Festival too?

So far we have written two essays. Emma wrote one about Serbian food and I wrote one about EXIT Festival, a topic I found really interesting in one of Jelena’s Language and Culture classes. Our next focus is the Roma population in Serbia. We shall be uploading our next essay as soon as possible.

Hope we will have a lovely ending tomorrow!



Day 7- German Group

This is the day 7 of the Danube program. In the morning we had a film clinic where the film we made is checked by the professional. The subject of our documentary can only speak well in German, and she spoke a German with a strong accent, which made it relatively difficult to translate and make a transcript. The German she spoke was Google translated, we did get a brief understanding of what she was talking about, but it was weird. We end up shortened the video to 3 mins 35 seconds, which was a big progress.

When my friends were in the film clinic, I went to look upon the foreigner talk we are going to do later in the day. I will be in the front of the panel with my history friend, so we got to work it out.

Later we had a language session with Tina, although I can see my language sense in German is getting better but still lost the track sometime. I am still writing the Chinese pinyin and Japanese Katakana under each line of German to assist the pronunciation. The words in German are so long and hard to pronounce. Then we tried to translate short stories in German which was like solving a code. I really should bring a dictionary with me.

In the afternoon is the highlight of the day, the students’ panel on “Foreigner Talk Workshop”. From most of the team 2 people went to the front and so about 16 in total are in the front. Other group started their 5 mins talk. The format of the talk was unexpected. I thought it is going to be a question-and-answer session but it was not. So actually I was preparing the script on the stage when other groups were speaking. It freak me out especially when that girl from Yiddish (?) group make the talk like a speech for an election campaign. People were so good at public speaking.

The speech went well I would say. I talked more about how we found the subjects and how they reacted to it, and how I found the program itself overall. I said it has been quite interesting to know about the culture in the Eastern Europe and it actually has encouraged me to travel there sometime. I talked about how much we have travelled to find an Austrian and the numerous refusals we got, and an awkward moment when I invited someone for interview and we end up finding she was an Australian but not Austrian. The lady in the front asked me how those two sounds different in Japanese which I answered. Overall I think people have enjoyed my short talk. My history friend talked more into the contents of the interview which had more insight on the subject.

Then we had a panel discussion where initially the lady in the front said it is going to be 10 minutes but it ends up being 35 minutes long. People discussed what is meant to be a global citizenship and some people may would like to be but others may not. Then it is the whole lots I was not able to follow, what I think was that people were so intelligent in this room and that Linguistics talked too much.

After that discussion we went to the basement of Waterston where the picture exhibition was to be held. We say the portrait that we took. I was so proud of it. I would say that our picture is the most colourful of the all. I saw other pictures there as well but I think we took the best one. Alongside the portrait exhibition there was an art exhibition and another photo exhibition, and another lengthy research talk which I believe no one in that room was able to follow. There was a world map where you could put a pin on the place where you are from. It was so annoying that they did not draw Taiwan on the map. (Or they misplaced, but I think that was the place for Philippine) We had a picture with our picture at the end.

We had a Bulgarian barbeque outside the print room café later on, which my Bulgarian friend said it is just a normal barbeque. The cheese on the salad was Bulgarian, she said. Then we finished the day.





Day 7 – Romania Group: ‘Foreigner Talk’ Workshop, Student Panel and the opening of the Festival of Culture Exhibition

The day began with a workshop on ‘Foreigner Talk’, in which guest lecturers, UCL lecturers and students explored how difference is formed through language and contact in a migrant context. I found the beneficial effects of bilingualism and linguistic diversity extremely interesting, especially to learn its enhanced cognitive effects, such as better focus in childhood and slower cogitative ageing. Furthermore, the talk on language contact and linguistic attitudes among Romanian migrants in Spain relates somewhat to our group project on Romania, and was therefore also extremely interesting to me. In particular, the existence of ‘Rumañol’ (a perceived random mix of Romanian and Spanish), and the fact that interference, assimilation and hybridisation are all part of linguistic reality of Romanian speakers in Spain, was fascinating.

Later on, everyone on the Danube course gathered together for a student panel and discussion about the experiences we had regarding interaction with Danubian migrants in London. It was fascinating to listen to each group’s stories, reflections and feelings about meeting and talking to ‘strangers’. We also had a debate on what it means to be a global citizen and how this course has contributed to our understanding of the term – a controversial, but highly interesting topic.

We also had our last language session with Ramona, where we watched a few videos about the Iron Gate and the Vidraru Dam in Romania. It was fascinating to learn about their history and see how enormous they are. I have really enjoyed learning the Romanian language with Ramona and although I wish we had more time, I hope to use the skills I have learnt in the future.

In the evening, we attended the opening of the Festival of Culture exhibition in Waterstones, where our portrait photographs and stories on Danubian migrants were showcased. It was interesting to see people’s reactions to our portrait photograph of Sabrina, as well as appreciating all the other groups work.  Afterwards, we went to UCL’s Print Room Café, where we enjoyed some Bulgarian cuisine before heading home after a long day.

By Charlotte Weekes