The Orientation Day of YEA 2016/17 took place in Teach for Austria’s office on 3 November 2016 from 17:30 until 19:30. The Orientation day was meant for students to get to know each other, create a comfortable working space as well as providing them all the necessary infor
mation regarding the program.
Twelve out of sixteen students attended the event and the YEA team was represented by Billy, Birgit S., Lena, Ian, Jessica, Victoria and Fiona. Each member of the team held at least one presentation.
After an introduction from Billy and thanking Teach for Austria as a long-term partner, the event started by “Get to Know” games presented by Birgit S. Each student had to figure out two truths and one lie about themselves and then exchanging with each other in order to find the lie. This game was very welcomed by students and served as a nice ‘breaking the ice’ introduction by providing topics of discussion.
The Road Map, presented by Lena, consisted of introducing the next steps of the YEA program by briefly explaining the workshops, conferences and internships that are mandatory to graduate. Following on this, Ian talked about his own experience in the program and encouraged students to take the most out of it.
After a quick break, Jessica led the Get to know Bingo, which was a great success. Students had to walk around and find people that would fulfil a certain criterion to complete their Bingo table. The game only stopped once all the students had completed their table!
The last game was introduced by Ian and called “See the world in all its colours”. Students placed themselves in two circles facing one another. Each of them picked an M&M whose colour meant a question, such as “What impresses you the most in other people?”. The game was repeated several times after asking the external circle to switch one position to the right and consequently changing pairs.
The Rules activity was led by Fiona and meant to establish rules (or “things to remember” as it was phrased) for the program. The students were very participative with propositions such as giving everyone the space to talk. Finally, Victoria went through all the administrative issues in order to clarify all the aspects of the program. This was a very important step, however, the atmosphere went down due to the planification of the next workshops, to which many students would have difficulties to attend. Although the team promised to try to adapt to this situation, the students seemed a bit disappointed and was therefore not the nicest way to finish the event (a last get to know game could have had ended the evening on a more positive note).
Billy finally said concluding words and the team could collect financial fees and Zustimmungserklärungen as well as answering individual questions. All in all, the evening was successful and the team was very impressed by the students’ motivation.
by Fiona Faulkner