Hi! My name is Isabel, I’m 24 years old and I’m from Valencia, a sunny and beautiful city on the east of Spain. I studied Psychology and then I specialized in the educational and clinical fields. Even before finishing my universitarian studies I had already decided what my next step would be. I wanted to leave my comfort zone, challenge myself and live new experiences. A good friend of mine told me about the EVS, and after doing some digging I decided to apply for Vicolocorto Association in Italy. Almost a month after coming here, I can say that it was the right decision.
I had always had this need to travel, to know other cultures and to experience them, but I never had the opportunity to do so until now, with the EVS program. It is the perfect time, because I have finished my studies but I have not yet entered into the labour market. Of course there is always tiny (and not so tiny) fears or reasons not to do it, but I think this is something normal that happens to almost everyone the first time they go abroad, because they have never done something like that before and there is a little resistance to go into the unknown, out of our comfort zone. However, once you go there you realize that those fears were not real, or at least not as big as you thought: there are always people who help you and try to make your experience the best possible, you meet many people and make a lot of friends, and you quickly feel part of the hosting association.
So, let’s talk now about the experience until now…
During the first week we (me and the other new volunteer from the Netherlands) learned everything about the association and the project, the city and its history, and all the important locations here (the library, the youth center, food stores, etc). After that, we began to work. The weekly schedule is full of different activities: twice a week we go to a youth center and we share experiences with the young people who go there, playing with them and talking about our own culture and theirs; we also promote the Association in the streets and in events around and out of the city; we collaborate with other associations or NGOs, and soon we will start the English language exchange.
Additionally, the last week of July we assisted to the initial Training Course, an special welcoming event that reunites EVS volunteers from all over Europe that are currently starting their volunteering service in Italy, and provides them the basic information about Erasmus+ program, EVS rights and duties, the intercultural implication of the experience, culture and costumes of Italy and basic Italian language lessons.
These last weeks we have been on vacation, but now we have started again and we are now participating in a language exchange, where people gather to talk and practice their English.
It has been a great experience so far, not only we have made many friends, gone to the training course in Naples and participated in several events, we have also done many new things, travelled a lot, learned Italian and improved English.
I’m looking forward to keep working and enjoying this EVS the rest of the project!