For many years, Tiffany (29) was one of our international volunteers who participated in various Youth in Action projects and an EVS project. She explains you what this all entails.
Do you dare to read on? 😉 Who knows, you might catch a travel bug and immediately start packing your backpack! 🌎
I’ve learnt a lot within the Youth in Action programme. Participating in all kinds of projects taught me about different cultures, heritage, vulnerability, ... It allowed me to become a better team player and learn more about myself. I’ve learnt to step away from first impressions and what we might perceive to be as differences between one another. Opening up and actively listening to each other however lets you see how little we all differ in the end. It broadened my perspective on the world.
EVS (now known as ESC)
My first international volunteering experience was a 9-month voluntary program in the North of Italy (former EVS, now known as the European Solidarity Corps). I was 24 at the time. Upon arrival I met my 4 fellow voluntary mates, who came from Greece, Germany and Spain. We quickly found out that English was not a language we all had in common... so we engaged ourselves in learning Italian as soon as possible! We often called it our own ‘European dialect’ and would have late night dinners with dictionaries on the table.
It broadened my perspective on the world and it became a big part of my life. I am still grateful for this and I will continue to be so.
We spent our days working for Cooperativa Margherita, each with different locations assigned. I mainly worked in a day center called ‘In Gaja’. Here I worked closely with the elderly who had fragilities like Alzheimer’s disease. A challenge for sure! It took a while to adjust to the local culture, language, environment and the different cultures in our home. The whole experience as well as the long-lasting friendship that remained between the volunteers became a big part of my life. I am still grateful for this and I will continue to be so.
Youth in Action
The things you take home with you are for you to decide. I always came back with a whole lot of inspiration, new insights, knowledge and, if I was really lucky, with some new friends too.
Later on I discovered the broader Youth in Action Programme and started to participate in training courses and such. What I love about the programme possibilities is that they hand you a backpack of experience. The things you take home with you are for you to decide. I always came back with a whole lot of inspiration, new insights, knowledge and, if I was really lucky, with some new friends too.
The knowledge I’ve taken with me from these projects I learned to implement in my professional career. Learning about group dynamics and how to manage them for example, or about graphic facilitation, non-formal learning, about European laws, ... and so on.
So... I’m guessing you have packed your suitcase by now?! Well, you’re totally right. 😉
There is an Erasmus+ adventure waiting for you!
Do you also want to spread your wings?
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