Schools Beyond Regions and Borders

A trip full of surprises!

by Evie Lamb


Two years ago when Mr. Oman sent out an email to our year asking if we would like to be involved in a series of Zoom meetings with different schools in Europe, I, alongside many of my friends, signed up, thinking it would be a fun way to spend an hour every few weeks. We could never have expected that by doing so, we would be given the opportunity to travel to Italy twice and build relationships with other students from around Europe. Organised by the University of Trento, the Schools Beyond Regions and Borders Project aims to promote interaction and mutual understanding between European students and teachers by exchanging knowledge and best practices in education for active citizenship.

Each month, we attended an online lecture that taught us about a different aspect of European citizenship and history such as; ‘Citizens Participating in Constitutional Decisions’ and ‘Historical Memories and Troubled Pasts in Spain and Europe’. Earlier this year, Maia Kelly Murphy, Dearbhla Warnes, Anna Simpson and I travelled to Trento, Italy to represent Loreto Abbey Dalkey, and Ireland, at the Schools Beyond Regions and Borders Plenary Conference. Schools from countries across Europe, including Spain, Germany, Bosnia, Austria and Italy took part in the conference. One of the highlights of the four day trip was presenting our project ‘What was the Irish involvement in the Spanish Civil War?’ to the other delegations. It allowed us to take information we had learned from the lectures and combine it with part of our own history to strengthen our knowledge of the Europe we are presented with today.

After our speeches, we took part in a series of group workshops where we discussed various questions regarding the future of Europe and international cooperation. This was possibly the most important part of the conference as it allowed us to hear the diverse perspectives of students from many different backgrounds and come to common agreements on topical issues. We then had to present our work back to the conference, which greatly strengthened our confidence and public speaking skills.

The trip was full of surprises and we were amazed to find ourselves exploring a mine used for apple storage and having a disco in a monastery! We also gained insight into the culture of Trento by listening to local students as they gave us a tour of their churches and town. It was an incredibly memorable experience and allowed us to work alongside and most importantly build friendships with students from many different cultural backgrounds.

We returned home with strengthened knowledge of Europe from a historical, legal and political point of view, a deepened sense of European identity and new friends! We would like to thank Mr. Oman, Ms. Green, Professor Will Murphy from DCU, Professor Giuseppe Zorzi and Professor Daniela Ferrari for providing us with this wonderful opportunity.