Monthly Archives: February 2015

Goodbye’s (the saddest word)

 

Time flies – I really can’t believe that it has been 6 month since I came here. Now that it’s time to say good-bye, I can reflect a little bit on the last half year and see what I did and what I learned.
During EVS (and in basically every new period of life), there are ups and downs. It is never black and white, and you have to find your own little corner in the great big whole of it.
I did a lot of fun things – the “Behind the youth work” seminar in September, the collaboration with the Hangart Fest in October, the on-arrival training in Rimini, and of course all the things I did in my free time. I always have a smile on my face when thinking about all the events that I participated to, the little adventures in Italy that I had and about some late night conversations with my flat mates.
But there were also sad times – when the first group of volunteers left, I had a hard time being in Pesaro without my little “family”. Also there were many times when I wasn’t so happy with the work we were doing or with some general conditions, but sometimes you have to stand up for what you think is right, even though it might not be the easiest thing to do.
All in all I can say that I learned a lot during my EVS, about myself and about other people. I learned how to live by myself in a foreign country, meeting lots of new people, building up relationships and taking care of things that don’t seem to be going right for me. That was an important lesson and I am thankful that I was granted the chance to learn it.
My way now will lead me to Bologna, where I will do an internship for another 4 month before going back to Germany – as you can see, I’m really attired in Italy and not ready to leave this beautiful country so fast.
I want to say thank you to all the wonderful people that I met here who guided me through my EVS and who helped me to feel at home here in Pesaro, an amazing city that I will definitely visit again soon!

Baci a presto!

KatharinaVicolcorto, EVS, Katharina

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Two days at the Istituto Bramante

Hello everyone!
On the 17th and 18th of December, we had the chance to go to a school here in Pesaro in order to give a presentation to the students about Vicolocorto and the European mobility programs, and to do some less formal activities, we had also organized, with Marina, Iuri and Francesco, a little workshop.

Vicolcorto, eventi locali, ITC Bramante, Pesaro

 

Day 1:

We started the first day by a presentation of Vicolocorto in a big auditorium, in front of at least 60 students. I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous, especially when I had to introduce myself and talk about my experience because I’m not really used to speak in front of large groups of people. Besides, since I was speaking in English, I didn’t know if everyone was able to understand what I was saying (and actually, at some point, a teacher asked me to speak more slowly). But everything went fine, and at the end a lot of students came to register to our newsletter, so I guess they were pretty interested!
But then the troubles began. Indeed, we had planned to do the workshop we had prepared during the afternoon, but the school only gave us the confirmation at the last minute so we also told the students about it at the last minute. Therefore, nobody showed up and we had to leave. But before that we had a nice conversation with three students, so at least we were able tell them a little bit more about us and the activities we offer.

Day 2:

The second day also began with a presentation of Vicolocorto to a group of student, but they were only 14 years old so not exactly our target since all the projects of the association are for people over18. Anyway, it’s still good for them to know that these opportunities exist and that they’ll be able to participate to an European program, whether short-term or long-term, when they get older.Vicolcorto, eventi locali, ITC Bramante, Pesaro

Then, during the afternoon we were finally able to present our workshop to the kids (even though at first, we thought nobody would come because of a zumba class that was taking place at the same time). We were not a lot, but maybe this was better for the kind of activities that we had prepared.
Unfortunately Katharina had to leave right after the brainstorming about the notion of multiculturalism because of an Italian exam, so I was again a little bit nervous. But Marina and the others helped me and we ended up having a really nice afternoon! The first activity we made was a taboo game: the kids had to guess or try to make the others guess certain words… but in French!

Indeed the purpose of the workshop was to make some games and activities about multiculturalism in French and in German. It was a little bit difficult for them at first, I guess they were a little bit shy, but they soon became more confident and they actually had a really good French. Then, we made an activity about different expressions with colors in English, French and Italian (like “voir la vie en rose” or “being green with envy”) and a game with French slang words: they were given cards with the words, the definitions were written on the blackboard and they had to guess which word meant what. For me, this was by far the funniest part, and I think they liked it a lot too! At the end, we gave them maps of France and Germany and they had to write in them all the clichés and stereotypes they had about us. Of course, snail-eaters, baguette and wine were in the French one and beer in the German one! This activity was also very funny and it allows us to speak about the perception that we have of other countries, which was super interesting.
In conclusion, I’d say that we spent a really great afternoon with super nice kids and I think that’s very cool that we were able to make them a little bit more interested and more aware of the multiculturalism in Europe.

I’m really looking forward to doing it again!

Thomas

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Tell us about your EVS!

“So, how was it abroad?” – this is one of the first questions that every traveler has to answer upon his return to the home country. The person asking the question is curious, and also expects a nice answer – if possible short, and also profound. The problem is, that this ‘one’ answer is extremely hard to give. I mean, how are you supposed to summarize weeks or month, full of memories, full of ups and downs, in one sentence? See, it’s kind of impossible.

But still, it is nice to share experiences, for both sides: the traveler gets to relive some moments and share the passion about the journey, the questioner gets to imagine what it was like, maybe dreaming about doing something similar himself.

So to give former Italian EVS volunteers abroad the chance to share their experience with us, today’s article is going to be the first one of a series of short interviews with them, in which they will tell you something about themselves, about their projects and about the whole “EVS experience”.

And here we go with our first candidate, Nicola Tallarini, who did his EVS in Austria from February to July 2014

Tell us something about you: Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do at the moment? Why did you want to do EVS?

My name is Nicola, I’m 28 years old and come from Italy (my village is close to Pesaro). I teach Italian as a foreign language.
I participated to an EVS project in Austria. Afterwards, I have decided to stay in Graz and look for work. If you participate to the EVS project, you get everything that you need to live abroad. But afterwards, if you have studied literature and live abroad, it is not easy to find work. In general, it is not easy to live (and survive) in a foreign country. That is the reason why I’m doing more than one job simultaneously: I teach Italian to children and work at the University as a lector, teaching some supplemental programs. Every day, I learn German at the University. Learning German and gaining experience through living abroad were my reasons to participate to the EVS program.

Vicolocorto, Austria, EVS, GrazDescribe your project a little bit: What was it about, what did you do and why did you choose that project?

I worked as a tutor in a youth centre in a village in Austria. For me, it was very interesting, because I didn’t know anything about youth centers before. In Gratwein (the village), I could discover the youth center “Click In” and I liked it a lot. My colleagues were very nice, helpful and professional, because they were already experienced and had completed special studies to work with young people.

How was your first impression when you arrived? 

I had been to Graz before, so it wasn’t a shock for me. I was satisfied to come back there. In the youth centre I noticed immediately that the youngsters are really nice and funny. Some weeks ago I visited them and I was glad to see them happy.

Did you experience a cultural shock? How fast did you learn the new language?

Of course the language was a little shock for me. German isn’t an easy language. I had learned it a little bit by myself and then did a crash course. In Austria, they often speak a strong dialect, so I needed time to understand everything. Since I wanted to learn German, I never spoke any English.

Did you feel integrated in the local community?

I lived in Graz and went to Gratwein by train every day. There are many foreigners living in Graz, so it’s easy to feel at home. If you miss Italy, you can meet a lot of Italians, because there are many in Graz. The young people in Graz are nice, but more reserved than Italians. It’s not easy to get in contact with them.

Vicolocorto, Austria, EVS, Graz, Click InDid you have anything that you did regularly in your free time? (sports, music…)

Since there are many beautiful bike lanes in Graz, I was biking almost every day. I often took a walk or went hiking. Together with a friend (Francesca from Pesaro), I tried to learn Wiener Walzer. We went to the theater and the opera often and also visited many museums.

All together, how would you rate your EVS experience? Was it as you expected it or totally different?

My experience was very positive. After my studies, I really wanted to do something different, and thanks to the EVS program I could work with youth and learn a new language. I was expecting to do something new and different, and I am happy that I found exactly that.

Now that your project is over, do you feel that it changed you or influenced you somehow? Is your life now different from what is was before?

Thanks to Erasmus, Youth in Action and the Leonardo program, I have had the chance to live abroad. Now I feel like I understand and know how to work with young people a lot better – something very important for me, since I want to work as a teacher.

 Vicolocorto, Austria, EVS, Graz, Click In

Grazie Nicola for telling us about your experience!