Power to the people

ABCD Innovation Center

Preventing Violent Extremism: My Educational and Cultural Lessons with Erasmus

Participating in the Erasmus project was an eye-opening experience for me. Coming from Armenia, where this topic is rare, I was eager to learn and make a difference. The project focused on preventing violent extremism, and I had the chance to visit Denmark and Morocco. This journey taught me about the importance of education, community engagement, and cultural exchange in promoting peace.

Denmark: A Hub of Innovation and Inclusivity

Arrival and First Impressions

Our first destination was Denmark, known for its high quality of life and progressive social policies. When I arrived in Copenhagen, I was immediately impressed by the city's mix of historical charm and modern innovation. The Danish focus on social welfare and community building provided a great setting for our discussions on preventing violent extremism.

Academic Insights and Expert Lectures

Our project in Denmark was deeply rooted in academic theory. We spent considerable time doing discussions, where we delved into the causes and prevention strategies of violent extremism. We had a guest speaker who provided profound insights into the psychological and social factors driving individuals towards extremist ideologies.

These sessions illustrated how a robust educational system can develop young people's critical thinking skills, making them more resilient to extremist ideas. The theoretical knowledge we acquired was crucial for understanding the complexity of radicalization and the importance of preventive measures.

And of course, cultural exchange was a big part of the project, so these experiences helped me understand how cultural identity and social unity can protect against extremism.


Morocco: A Tapestry of Tradition and Modernity

A Warm Welcome

Morocco - a country known for its rich culture and history. The lively streets of Marrakech, with their colorful markets and unique smells, were very different. Morocco's diverse culture, influenced by Arab, Berber, and French traditions, offered a new perspective on fighting violent extremism.

Engaging with Local Communities

In Morocco, the focus shifted more towards practical learning compared to the theoretical approach in Denmark. We spent most of our time engaging in intensive practice sessions and analyzing numerous case studies. These sessions allowed us to apply the theoretical knowledge we gained in Denmark to real-world scenarios.

We explored various examples of successful interventions that had prevented radicalization in different communities. This hands-on approach helped us understand the practical challenges and solutions in the fight against violent extremism. Through these case studies, we learned about the importance of tailored strategies that address the specific needs and contexts of different communities.

Learning from Moroccan Traditions

Moroccan hospitality is famous, and I experienced it firsthand. We have been introduced to traditional Moroccan food, music, and art. These cultural exchanges reinforced the idea that understanding and respecting different traditions is key to building bridges between communities.

Key Takeaways and Reflections

The Power of Education
This project showed me the critical role of education. Education can teach young people to think critically, understand others, and resist extremist ideas.

Community Engagement
Involving local communities is essential to prevent violent extremism. Grassroots initiatives that include community leaders and members can create a sense of ownership and responsibility, making these efforts more effective and lasting.

The Importance of Cultural Exchange
My Erasmus journey emphasized the importance of cultural exchange in promoting peace and understanding. By experiencing different cultures, we can break down stereotypes and build strong connections across borders.


Reflecting on my Erasmus journey, I realize how profoundly it has shaped my understanding of the world and my role in promoting peace. Denmark and Morocco, though vastly different in culture and context, both demonstrated that education, community engagement, and cultural exchange are powerful tools against violent extremism.

This experience has empowered me to become an advocate for peace and tolerance in my own community. The academic insights from Denmark, combined with the practical applications in Morocco, have provided me with a comprehensive understanding of how to address and prevent radicalization. More importantly, it has shown me the value of embracing diversity and fostering dialogue.

Now I carry with me not just the knowledge and experiences, but also a renewed sense of purpose. I am inspired to share what I've learned and to contribute actively to creating a more inclusive and peaceful society. The Erasmus project has not only broadened my horizons but also strengthened my belief in the collective effort needed to build a better future. It is through education, engagement, and cultural exchange that we can hope to overcome the challenges of extremism and build a world rooted in understanding and mutual respect.

Ani Apitsarian