From Leipzig to Athens: A social worker’s Journal – Part 1


The 1st week

FULL. – My first week in Athens, my first week at Inter Alia. Many thoughts circle through my head when I think about this week. At first, it was a beginning of something new. I moved into my new apartment, I got to know the Inter Alia team and their work and projects, I got a feeling for the people in Athens, I got to know the atmosphere of the city and especially the district of Exarchia. When I count these things, I notice how positively I have experienced every single aspect. On my first day in the team, my first task was to create a mind map with my expectations and wishes for the next 2 months. When I look at this now, I notice that some of it was already fulfilled within the first week. I have divided the mind map into three areas: Inter Alia, Athens and me. I think these are three good categories to reflect my week.



FULL. – A city full of people and facets. Standing in a bus that‘s so full that you wouldn’t move an inch, even if the bus had to stop hard was, admittedly, pretty annoying for me at first. Meanwhile, I’ve got used to it, even though I sometimes decide to walk. Walking through the street with music in my ears, seeing left and right overcrowded garbage cans (better said, not seeing the garbage cans under the garbage mountain anymore, only guessing they ‘re still there), walls full of art and political statements, trees full of limes, streets full of cars, corners full of coffee-places, -houses, -paradises, -labs, and walkways full of people as different as they can be, not only feels good but also, in the meantime, very familiar and pleasant.

Inter Alia

street corner

FULL. – Homelessness and housing shortages, unemployment, abuse and sexual based violence, police violence, racism…the city/country is full of problems.

FULL. – On the other hand, it has been so long since I have met so many inspiring and strong people within a week, so many different ideas, associations and projects, so much solidarity, empathy, political interest and activity, critical reflection and reflected statements. That impressed me very much.

About me

FULL. – My head full of doubts, guilt, hope and gratitude. Yes, these thoughts don’t fit so well into a row but surprisingly they all fit into one head – mine. Why am I so well and so many other people so bad? Can the situation really only get better? What if not? What am I responsible for as a citizen? Do I have to feel guilty when I am annoyed by a full bus, when so many people live in overcrowded camps and have no privacy at all? How will I feel when I return to my „cosy“ everyday life in 2 months? What can I do in Germany to improve the situation here? Is it appropriate to feel grateful for my own live?A small excerpt from the questions that came to me in the past evenings.

FULL. – Full city, many problems, much hope and a lot of reflexive thoughts. I am curious about the next week.

ElliHi! My Name is Elisabeth Schreier but everyone calls me Elli. I am 25 years old and I have successfully completed my Bachelor of Arts: Social Work in September 2019 in Leipzig. In Leipzig I have gained different experiences as a work student like working for and with a youth living unit for minor, female refugees and working in a close-to-family, integrative, stationary living unit for children and adolescents. Besides social work, my heart beats for animals. For this reason-in addition to the fact that I have two dogs- I absolved an internship at the institute of animal-assisted therapy and pedagogics in Denmark last year. Before going to Athens, I was volunteering in a shelter with over 350 stray dogs in Crete. After this more physical labour, I am excited to absolve a two-months internship at Inter Alia as part of an Erasmus graduate fellowship. The focus is on gaining and experiencing international and new impressions, working methods and diverse perspectives.

While in Athens, I implemented a workshop on female perspectives on the city.For more information on my project contact me