Our first Erasmus+ mobility project of 2016 comprised of a group of 15 Slovenian students between the ages of 17 and 19 who stayed with us for 3 weeks – from January 31st to February 20th – to learn all about Online Marketing. The ten girls and five boys came from the Secondary School of Economics and Business in Koper and were participants in the “Gradimo temelje prihodnosti” programme. They stayed in shared rooms at the 3 Star Pez Azul Aparthotel Hotel, which is only a 10 min walk away from the school.
Programme during the 3 weeks
The three weeks were divided so that three individual topics, all related to Online Marketing, were covered over the period. Each day started out with a seminar in the morning, sometimes followed by a workshop covering the same topic, and then, for the remainder of the day, they were given specific tasks that would allow them to practice the things they had learned in the seminars.
Week 1 gave an inside look at Content Marketing which is an essential element of digital marketing. In the first seminars, the students were introduced to the most important marketer tools, taught about research and content curation, received advice on how to improve their writing skills, especially with respect to the creation blog posts, and finally got an overview on the matter of niche websites.
In Week 2, the big topics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and WordPress were covered. Again, since this is essential for all forms of Online Marketing, the students learned about keyword research and the use of keywords in text, title and meta description – in short, they learned how to make a website Search-Engine-Friendly. Then, to apply their newly gained knowledge, they received an introduction to WordPress – the website builder tool. In the tasks that were given to them in the afternoons, they were able to gain some practical knowledge by publishing their own content through WordPress on a website we’ve created for them.
Week 3 was all about Social Media Marketing. After giving them an idea of the elemental means of marketing that social media provides in this day and age, the different platforms were presented and explained individually. In the afternoons, they were given time to work on their final presentations about their experience which were to be held on the last day of their stay.
The outcome of this 3-week programme was the accumulation of a number of skills in different fields.
Job-related skills included:
- Developing knowledge of Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Content Marketing (Content research and curation) = Improvement of writing skills
- Editing and publishing blog posts in WordPress
- Optimizing blog posts (onsite and offsite SEO)
- Editing pictures and creating graphics
- Google Plus for own needs (introduction, account setup, optimization)
- Basic know-how about social media tools (Facebook, Pinterest)
- Creation of a landing page with Thrive Themes
- Drawing up presentations about their stay in Spain
- Sharing current project and relevant documents with the rest of the group, and actively participating in the discussion of results
Computer skills achieved were:
- Working with Google Docs, Task Management Tool Trello & Canva (editing pictures)
- Facebook (Creating a Facebook Group)
- Pinterest (Functionality)
- Google+ (Facts, Features, Creation of a personalized profile)
- Thrive Themes (Creating a Landing page)
The trip to a foreign country in a group also affected their social skills, along with the language improvement that came with participating in English seminars, writing English content and being in contact with their supervisors only in English.
Accommodation + Additional Activities
In their first week, free leisure time activities were offered to the students in cooperation with the FU International Academy Language School that is run by the same organisation. Those free afternoon activities included Salsa lessons, a visit to the botanical garden here in Puerto de la Cruz, and beach volleyball down at Playa Jardin, our closest black-sand beach. These activities brought the group even closer together and allowed for a fun-filled afternoon.
Each day, the school provided the students with a lunch menu at the own FU Cafe. Every day at 1 pm, the students would sit and eat together, and enjoy a 1 hour break. Breakfast and dinner were included at the hotel to make sure nobody went to bed hungry. On the weekends, they were given lunch money which was handed out each Friday.
Furthermore, there were additional activities included in the programme in order to make sure that the students would also learn about the island. In the three weeks of their stay, they got to visit the famous “must see” Loro Parque, which is a zoo with very talented animals. Some of the students also visited the world famous Siam Park. And then there was the elementary Teide excursion; an all day guided tour up to Spain’s highest mountain.
As mentioned before, this three-week programme ended with a final presentation on all the topics that were handled, and using the tools that they had learned about to recover it all. Of course, there was also time for a feedback round to discuss the results of this journey. Fortunately, everybody seemed very pleased with the project, as is evident by the positive testimonials that we received. Many of the students told us that they now see online marketing from a completely different angle as they have learned more than they had expected.
With such a positive outcome, we were happy to hand out the certificates that stated the students’ successful participation in the “Gradimo temelje prihodnosti” Erasmus+ mobility project to each and every one of them.
We’ve had an eventful and great three weeks with these students, and we can confidently say that they feel the same way about their time here.