Romania Extends A Warm Welcome To Fulston Students

Fully-packed, immaculately prepared and determined to make a contribution to sustainable living, 7 Fulston Manor students once again took up the Erasmus cause this April, travelling to Piatra-Neamt in the north-east of Romania.  Continuing a 3 year European Parliament funded project to design, make and market bioplastic food packaging, the pupils were to spend a week working alongside students from Crete, Romania and Germany finalising their design ideas and fine-tuning a detailed business plan for their products. 

Late during a balmy Sunday evening the Fulston team arrived; although tired from the long day’s travel, spirits were lifted as our students were once encountered the warm welcomes of host families.  With flawless hospitality and goodwill our hosts would treat the team throughout the week: fine local cuisine, impromptu lakeside parties and visits to local attractions around the undulating hills of the region.   

But of course with the project in full-swing, the week’s itinerary would consist largely of product-development.  Following an elaborate opening ceremony of rousing speeches and musical performances from students and staff at Calistrat Hogas National College, some laboratory graft was called for.  Continuing in mixed international groups, the teams were to develop and finalise the products created during the first mobility in Mosbach, Germany.  Now turning their attention to the prospective markets, branding strategies, production costs and packaging aesthetics were finalised ready for presentation to industry professionals later in the week. 

Importantly, the project grants participating students with visits to university faculties conducting research into the field of bio-packaging.  Lengthy bus-rides across the rich Bucovina farmlands brought the Fulston team to the university laboratories at Iasi and Suceava where sustainability is fast becoming a key part of the curriculum.  Not adverse to a competitive gesture, our students couldn’t help thinking their own efforts might eclipse the output of the undergraduates.  Perhaps a show-down is called for…

Happily, the academic experiences were coupled with cultural excursions and it was not long before the group were soaking up the baroque splendour of the Iasi university library and Suceava's stately 14th century citadel.  There was even time to explore a traditional Bucovina village- and admire the spectacular frescoes of the UNESCO protected Voronet monastery.  It remains to be seen whether the architectural delights of the Iasi shopping mall impressed the students most…you will have to ask them yourselves!

Bringing the week to a close with impeccable presentations to a packed house and receiving the congratulations of the town mayor, the responsibility now falls on the shoulders of those students travelling to Crete this October.  Will they be able to maximise market potential using the internet and social media? 

Embodying the school’s ethos of co-operative learning and unique learning experiences, our students can be proud of their international diplomacy and the role they are playing raising awareness of sustainable thinking and clean living.  Erasmus is in full-flight here at Fulston.