The pandemic has transformed nearly every aspect of our life and our way to thinking and seeing the world. We changed our way of working, studying, and communicating.
Above all, the students have struggled a lot through the past months due to the virus and they faced many problems such as having to take classes online instead of going to school, some were stuck at home and they were completely trapped for a long time. We all are living with uncertainty and with the fear of going into lock down again. We still have very little information about this virus, and we still must wait and see how everything works for us after we get to be fully vaccinated.
We also needed to change our protocols to provide a safe service and take care of our students: we are doing the meeting online, everyone is wearing masks (and sometimes it is harder to understand student’s emotions), everyone’s fragrance has changed too: now we all are wearing Hand Sanitizer N.5. Our favourite Website is now https://reopen.europa.eu/en and we are checking constantly the Covid restriction in each country that are changing almost every day. Sometimes groups are cancelling or postponing the day before their arrival because of Covid and we have to rearrange everything, but this will not discourage us.
On the contrary, this will be a chance to improve and to learn more.
Despite this insecurity, the students are coming back to Malaga leaving their families, their countries, their routine for 2-4 weeks doing an internship in one of our companies.
So, why are the students accepting the risk to come here in Spain?
Probably it is the human desire of stepping out their comfort zone; now more than ever they are eager to learn from new experience, try new things, improve themselves and their skills.
Our students, little Ulysses, with their insatiable thirst for knowledge, are starting again the voyage in the quest of “ virtute e canoscenza”.
Actually, Dante Alighieri, the Italian poet, in his masterpiece La Divina Comedia wrote:
Considerate la vostra semenza:
fatti non foste a viver come bruti
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza
These words are pronounced by Dante’s Ulysses in 118-120 verses, Canto XXVI of Inferno.
With these words he urged his mariners beyond the Pillars of Hercules, which were the limits prescribed at that time, for the restlessly searching of the knowledge.
Today we could see this knowledge as transversal skills. These new skills are important in a broad range of sectors and new jobs. These skills can be acquired through leisure activities, education and training. And most important, these skills can be transferred in another contexts.
Communication skills, problem solving, intercultural understanding, self-motivation, critical thinking and many others are the skills of the future.
When the students are here in Malaga, looking at the Andalusian flag with Hercules and the Pillars, they will discover that they already have gone beyond their limits…and they will be aware of the fact that there is even more to discover and to learn.