Brussels’s snowless Christmas market and its blue Christmas tree

Originally posted on Travelling stories:
Brussels’s Grand Place is not only a famous touristic reference, but also a special venue for events, which welcome tourists from all corners of the world every year. Although the most known event is Brussels’s…

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Târgul de Crăciun din Bruxelles, Belgia

Originally posted on Travelling stories:
Grand Place din Bruxelles nu este doar o faimoasă referință turistică, ci și locul ideal pentru alte evenimente anuale, la care participă localnici și turiști de pe toate meridianele globului. Cu toate că cel mai…

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2018 EU Back to School: The EU’s future is in the hands of your generation

Originally posted on Travelling stories:
My 2018 EU Back to School session included visits to four schools, located in Focsani, my home town in Romania. EU Back to School is a European Commission’s Programme that encourages EU staff to visit…

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Back to School: Why and how EU achievements influence our lives

Travelling stories

Focsani’s School No.7 is about 60 years old and consists of classes grouping students aged from 7 to 14 years old, organised in 8 grades: first 4 grades in primary level and the other 4 grades in lower-secondary level.

The School is closed to the Train Station of Focsani, an area where I used to live many years ago. I knew the School but I never got time to visit it. My 2018 Back to School visit was an opportunity to discover its educational project and a number of teachers and students attending the School.

The School proudly defines itself as a particular institution where the job of the teachers is to put all efforts in preparing the students of tomorrow, to enable them to discover the world and respond to the challenges of the future.


The School’s students and staff greeted me with bread and salt, which is a…

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Back to School: Taking the EU closer to students

Travelling stories

I had the privilege to visit the Economic College Mihail Kogălniceanu of Focsani, Romania, whose roots go back to 1862. Today the College trains students to become specialists in three main areas: trade, economics and tourism.

The School won an impressive number of prizes in national and local competitions. Many teachers and students are involved in a number of national and European projects, including Erasmus+ Programme. According to Prof. Gabriela Bocsok, principal, both teachers and students broaden their knowledge and skills while taking part in the projects. The School also plays an important role in the community day-to-day life of Focsani.


I had the opportunity to meet a class with students in the 12th grade, who get prepared to work in the trade field. The class teacher coordinator is Prof. Gina Niculitov who organised the event of about two hours.

While discussing with students on EU subjects like European values…

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Back to School: Discovering a longstanding teaching tradition

Travelling stories

I spent an afternoon with a number of students and teachers at the “Ion Bâsgan” School in Focsani, Romania. The visit was organised as a Back to School activity, which is part of the programme managed by the European Commission.

Under the programme, European Commission’s staff meet students and their teachers whenever they visit their home countries, mainly on holiday. The visits focus on exchanging views on the EU and its role in our lives.


I was delighted to finally visit the school where a number of friends and former colleagues work. The “Ion Bâsgan” School in Focsani is an educational institution where a number of particular values are promoted through the educational project: dignity, wise judgement, integrity, perseverance, respect, responsibility, self-discipline, creative thinking and effective communications.

The School inherited the teaching tradition of the former School No. 2 of Focsani, known as one of the oldests in the former…

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Back to School: Honouring a prestigious school of Focsani, in Romania

Travelling stories

I went back to Romania, my home country, to see my family and a number of friends. I dedicated two days to run the Back to School programme, which is managed by the European Commission. The Programme encourages public servants to meet students and their teachers to exchange views on the EU and its latest developments.

My first 2018 Back to School activity was organised at National College “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” of Focsani. This is one of the most prestigious schools in the region and in the country. The College bears the name of the Prince of the Romanian Principalities, a former ruler of Moldavia and Wallachia. He is known for his reforms which led to modernising the Romanian society in the middle of the 19th century.

IMG_2621 Group picture after the Back to School meeting

The College was created in 1889 and went through a number of changes in terms…

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