Civic education – Politics and social media in Belgium

My Erasmus experience in Bruges, Belgium, was nothing short of transformative. Through a unique program centered around political education, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the heart of Europe’s decision-making process. Living with a local family for a week provided invaluable insights into Belgian culture, while the focus on political engagement allowed me to delve into the complexities of European governance.

Staying with a Belgian family was an immersive understanding of the Flemish way of living. I got to know their culture through shared meals and exploring four cities together, the observation of their lives and emerging in it was super exiting and instructive.

The highlight of the program for me was our engagement in a simulated European Parliament session. Located in the European Quarter, we assumed the roles of parliamentarians tasked with proposing and debating legislative measures. Divided into different political parties, we collaborated, negotiated, and advocated for change within the framework of European governance.

In the end, not all happy but we implemented the new laws addressing the pressing issues facing Europe, while also considering everything that we just heard from our consults with other participants, and the people of Europe. Through debate and compromise, we crafted laws that reflected the opinions of all parties, and prioritized the common good in a diverse environment. This amazing experience highlighted the importance of the MEP’s work in a varied democratic society.

This week in Bruges was not just an astounding opportunity to make new friends, and deep connections, it was also the perfect chance for learning and intellectual growth. I definitely will be back in Bruges, not only to see this beautiful city again, but also to meet my, not so new, friends that I made along the way.

Pohly Tamara


Last week I was part of the team of a Belgian-Hungarian-Finnish exchange, and I was lucky enough to travel to Belgium. The topic of our meeting was „the fake news”. I really enjoyed this topic as I got to learn a lot more about politics and propaganda.

On our first day we went to school and a journalist delivered a presentation on how to detect fake news, then we started to prepare our websites which had to have fake news in them. After school, we went into the city for the goose chase hunt in Brugge, I really enjoyed it and the Belgians were very nice. On Tuesday we got the amazing opportunity to watch a debate of MEP’s, I found it very interesting and educational. On Wednesday we were in the city most of the day doing goose chase and preparing our website. The next day we went to Brussels and did a scavenger hunt prepared by some student, then we visited the European Parliament which was very cool to see in real life. After, we took part in a roleplaying game about politics. On Friday, we had a workshop about propaganda and presented our websites.

All in all, I had an amazing time on this Erasmus+ meeting, and I would love to do it again. I had fun during and the program and the community was one of the best.

Kopác Karolina


I spent almost 8 days in Brugge, Belgium and my host was June de Kruijter. During this week I went to 5 cities. On the first day, we went to Oostende by train. While we were walking on the beach we saw the after party of the carnival parade. I have also visited Knokke, Ghent (in our freetime, on the weekend), Brussels and of course Brugge. We spent half a day in Ghent. We went to Gravensteen castle, where we listened to an English comedian’s audio guide. We tried cuberdon (the purple ones were the best) and we visited the graffiti street.

One of my favourite programs was the debate with the EP representatives. I have never experienced a political debate before, and I did not know a lot about the European Parliament. Afterwards I felt motivated to learn more about these political parties, and the operation of the EU.

June and her family were really kind to me. They bought traditional food for me to try, gave me tea and medications when I was sick, and did everything to make me feel comfortable. I enjoyed spending time with them a lot, during dinner we always talked about the differences and similarities in our habits. We lived in the center of Brugge, and we went everywhere by bike, which I loved, because I felt like a real Belgian.

By the end of the week my English had improved a lot, I learned about the EU and I am happy, that I could travel there with this group. I met a lot of interesting and fun people and I hope, that I will be able to go back there someday.

Szaniszló Ági


This was my second Erasmus+ project, and it was so much different than the previous one was. The topic was about fake news, but we hit some very political topics, which was amazing in my opinion. 

The first task was, to get in groups, and by the end of the week, make a website, about some fake news, we were given our topics. Before this, we attended a fake news workshop, so we were informed well.  

The next day, 5 Belgian politicians, who work in the EU parliament, came to us and had a debate. The questions they answered, so the debate they had their opinion on, were asked by us, students. This was the best working part of the Erasmus. 

The last day we had a propaganda workshop, it was fascinating, but as a Hungarian, I would’ve liked more information about Hungary in this topic, but it was still fine. 

This was the 4th topic I worked on, in Erasmus and it was by far the best. The teachers made compelling workshops and invited interesting people. 😊 

I think it’s an obvious statement to say, but I could talk so much about the other parts of this programme. I fell in love with Brugge, I’m sure I’ll revisit it someday. All the Belgian and the Finnish people were sweet and overall, I had the best time of my life there. I missed it all already when we got off the plane in Budapest. 

Horváth Réka


I spent my first two days with my host, Alexander and his family. My days with them were great, they were lovely and helpful.

On Monday, the teachers told us what was going to happen in the next few days and what project we had to do. We had to do Goose-chase and a website about fake news. It was interesting and also a very good project.

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to sit in on some lessons, which for us was not the most interesting because they didn’t tell us what the German and Maths lessons were about. In the afternoon the debate/round table with MEP’s was a very good programme, it was useful to sit in and listen to what the different parties thought about certain issues. Personally, I think it was one of the best programmes.

On Wednesday we were in town and visited St-John’s hospital. It was great to see the things and how the doctors were treating people with strange tools.

Thursday we went to Brussels to the European Quarter where we had a little “detective” game. Then we visited the Hemicycle of the European Parliament. It was wonderful. I really liked the building itself and now I finally understand the rules of the chairs. Our afternoon was very exciting. It was a role play. I really liked the game procedure itself, it was exciting enough. The only fault was that it took too long but apart from that it was perfect.

We got wet on Friday, but it was good to see and learn about the traditions there. In the afternoon we had a workshop on propaganda. It was an interesting little presentation. Afterwards we all presented our websites which was a very enjoyable time and then we said goodbye.

All in all, we had a very good week in Belgium, which I enjoyed very much. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Páva Samu


The week that I spent on Erasmus were really productive. I’ve heard and seen so many new things and I’ve been to places I may never have visited, if I wasn’t a part of this project. I’ve got to see politicians argue about topics that we could choose. I’ve got to see Belgian educational system. I visited the European Parliament and Europe History Museum. I’ve never been to Belgium before, so their culture and all were also new to me. I feel like this went the best way possible. I’ve had so much fun and also learnt so much. Not just about politics and the Belgian culture, but now I feel experienced and feel like next time I can do so much better as a host. I am also prepared to be a part of another Erasmus and visit so many new places. After all, I feel like it’s so much worth all the work because of all the experience and knowledge I achieved. Erasmus is the greatest way to learn more about different topics and cultures, I feel lucky that I could be the part of it.

Gerendai Anna


The past week was magical; a great team formed from three nations.

We gained a lot of new experiences, but we also learned a lot. Most of the programs were exciting because we got a closer look into political life, for example, we participated in a tour in the EU-parliament. My favourite was the debate organized among candidates of different political parties (from greens to conservatives), where they discussed about our questions. During the week, guest presenters were invited as well. These lectures were useful; they focused on not falling for every political lie, they were about how to detect fake news, fake photos.

Most of our free time was spent with biking, sightseeing, and exploring the culture: we visited Brussels and Knokke at the seaside. My host family also took me to a bike competition, so I could get a better understanding of life here.

During this time, our group also bonded; we laughed a lot and we had a very good time together, so the departure was really hard.

Luca Lambert


In my point of view this Erasmus taught me, that not everyone lives and experiences the same political situations as we do in Hungary. I found out that there are people who don’t even know what political parties they have, or who their European ambassadors are. 

I believe that this can happen because political decisions don’t directly affect their everyday life, these people don’t have to fear of losing their job/source of income, just because some politicians said so.  

In this Erasmus I have learned quite a lot about online fake news, and how to make sure that what you are reading is true, and how not to get misled by propaganda/misinformation/disinformation. I think the debate between 5 EP candidates was the coolest, best activity prepared by the hosts. It was good to see that these politicians are just as human as we are, they travel by public transport, they joke, or they could even be farmers as we have seen. 

Visiting the European Parliament was also a fabulous activity. We have met a woman from Latvia, who presented about the EU-parliament’s functions and how it exactly works. After that on the same day in Brussels we played a political RPG- which stands for Role Play Game, where we, as the European congress had to agree on two new laws/projects in the EU. That game was also a lot of fun, but I would say it was pretty long, and towards the end we all agreed, because everyone was exhausted after a long day in Brussels. 

Németh Barnabás


My experience on this Belgian Erasmus was truly amazing. I had the chance to get to know all these friendly and fun people. When we arrived in Brugge, or maybe even before, I knew that I would have the best time there. 

On Sunday we had visited Ghent, and it was such an adorable city with small buildings and little shops. And then on Monday the real work had begun, and we listened to an interesting presentation about fake news, misinformation and disinformation. I became much more informed in the topic, so it was very useful. 

Our two bigger projects for the week were making a website in groups and completing the goosechase tasks. The website making encouraged me to become more active in group discussions and I believe I improved my journalism skills a bit as well. The goosechase helped me develop my search skills or simply my abilities to find something. And my orientation skills as well.

One of my favourite parts of this whole trip was the people. I am so glad that I had spent these days with an enjoyable community. I think both the Finnish and the Belgian teams had great people, but I also became much closer with the Hungarians.

Herczeg Fanni


My trip started whit an early morning on Saturday, I had to wake up at 3 o’clock, to catch the airplane. When I arrived immediately, they showed me a little bit of the magnificent Brugge (I think this city is one of the most beautiful that I have ever been), but the program was to go to Oostende, to see the North Sea. On Sunday I visited another beautiful city called Ghent, we spent there the full day, and it was amazing.

Monday was the first day when I had programs in SAKS (their school), they showed me around the school, and it was enormous compared to my school. After that we had a great presentation by a Flemish journalist on how can you fact check things, and how does fake news work, and the most interesting one is the how the AI can help creating fake news. For me it was interesting because maybe in the future I also want to be a journalist. Later that day they have announced what we have to do this week, and the task was creative, funny and good, to make a website that is based only on fake news. In the afternoon we walked around Brugge. Tuesday had the best program, because on that day 5 MEPs came to the school to have a debate. The questions were written by students, and I had the chance to ask about Hungary a political question, it was great to hear all the views, and arguments. Thursday I visited some of the classes, it was interesting how the Flemish educational system works, but at the same time most of time it was in Flemish, and I couldn’t understand it, so was a bit boring. All afternoon we visited Brugge, did the gooschase. Thursday was the longest day we went to Brussel, stayed there for a day. The best thing was in Brussel when we did a role play in the EQ. Friday was the last full day; we had some presentations about propaganda, and then we could show to the group our websites, I was working in the video section, and I did some funny little videos. Friday was interesting because that day was the so called “100 days” (Chrisosthomos) when seniors are celebrating that they have only 100 days till graduation. Because of this there were lot of funny little things that the seniors were doing (ex.: shooting with water gun). Saturday, we flowed back home, it was amazing 8 days, the program and theme was really interesting, and Belgium is amazing.

Weiner Dani


Between March 2nd and 9th, 11 Poli students participated in a student exchange in Bruges, Belgium. The event was a continuation of the October event in Budapest, and with the upcoming European Parliament elections approaching, fake news was primarily the topic of discussion.

The program was very professionally organized, showing that the organizers put a lot of effort into inviting serious experts to the event. A journalist gave a professional lecture on the methods of misinformation and ways to recognize fake news. There was also a five-party debate led by a TV personality among 5 MEPs and MEP candidates, discussing topics formulated by the students in 5 important, universally relevant areas. As part of the professional program, there was a full-day visit to the European Quarter in Brussels, where, in addition to the parliamentary visit, there was an opportunity to visit the new European Historical Museum and participate in a political role-playing game.

The task for the week was to create fake news websites, on which the students worked throughout the week, presenting them on the last day. Of course, there were many other programs and opportunities for getting to know each other, such as a city-wide scavenger hunt using Goose-chase, visiting Europe’s first hospital, the Sin Jan Hospital, and the Hans Memling exhibition, attending classes at the school, and viewing a unique school graduation tradition, the Chrisosthomos.

It was a very informative and enjoyable week; the Poli students were very active throughout, lasting friendships were formed, and they got a glimpse into the everyday lives of the families there. We hope there will be a continuation.

Kelemen Hajna


During the mobility, we participated in an excellent professional programs. On the first day, we attended a professional presentation by a journalist, which thoroughly covered the topic of fake news. Additionally, we got acquainted with the week’s schedule. The following day, Tuesday, Members of the European Parliament held a debate at the school, which was a very exciting experience. The participants presented their viewpoints with great respect. On Wednesday, we walked in the city center of Bruges and visited St-John’s Hospital. We also took part in a treasure hunt combined with sightseeing. On Thursday, we visited the European Parliament in Brussels, where we could participate in several interactive programs. My group and I chose role-playing, and the students enjoyed themselves greatly, engaging in lively debates on given topics. On Friday, at the beginning of the day, we also attended a lecture where a journalist spoke about propaganda materials. Meanwhile, playful activities were taking place at the school, giving us insight into school life. As the closing event, we watched the children’s work throughout the week, which was presented in the form of a website. These websites contained materials of political parties invented by the groups. The presentations were of high quality and exciting, and the children thoroughly enjoyed the week.

Ottinger Viola

Tájékoztatjuk, hogy a megfelelő működés érdekében a honlap sütiket használ. A sütik útján végzett adatkezelésről bővebben itt tájékozódhat: Adatkezelési Szabályzat

A süti beállítások ennél a honlapnál engedélyezett a legjobb felhasználói élmény érdekében. Amennyiben a beállítás változtatása nélkül kerül sor a honlap használatára, vagy az "Elfogadás" gombra történik kattintás, azzal a felhasználó elfogadja a sütik használatát.