In the school year of 2023/2024 an exchange took place between St. Stanislav’s Institution and Sint-Lodewijkscollege in Brugge, Belgium. In September 2023 Belgian students visited Slovenia and Slovenian students returned the visit from 11-15 March 2024. The exchange was centred around the idea of freedom and self-expression in different forms, especially in art history and ancient times.

In Slovenia we explored the freedom of mind and body, including the freedom of travel and seeking different approaches. We created several artworks with certain limitations, and tried writing, drawing, and weaving. We explored the way our body speaks about our emotions and how it impacts our view of the world. We visited Celje where we got introduced to a world traveller and we saw ancient ruins under the city. The next day we visited lake Bled and wrapped up the exchange in Slovenia.

In Belgium we learned about different ways to be free within the limitations given to us by the world itself. By running around Brugge and taking whichever path we wanted, but keeping our goal in sight, we learned that there are a lot of different paths we can take and that this approach is also applicable to other aspects of life. We also analysed ancient views of freedom by translating different manuscripts from ancient Greek and Latin and created collages to illustrate different ways people can be enslaved by expectations or their own ideals. We learned about the history of the city of Brugge and visited several museums and galleries in Brugge and Ostende, where we also took an ice bath in The North Sea.

The most important takeaways were that every person has their own perception of freedom and what this means in their life. Learning from great philosophers we changed the way we think about the true meaning of individuality and freedom while trying to balance our own wants and needs with our community and the world’s expectations. /Liza Knez, year 4/