I passed the half of my project already and I understand with fear that 5-6 months for volunteering, for life in another country isn't enough. Today it happened with me. I realized that I'm on "the equator of my project" (I've been a volunteer for 3 months in Craiova, Romania) and it made me sad. It seems like you just got used to the new environment, you have passed not so much time, but at the same time you realize that you have done a huge job, you've already got an invaluable experience, you changed.
The feelings and emotions that you get through the EVS are hard to get by just traveling or working in another country. What do you get due to this project ?????
1. Not only life in another country but also living in an international community. You can have a French breakfast, a Turkish lunch, and an Italian dinner, and all this will be prepared for you by the representatives of these countries. You begin to understand that half of the stereotypes are just fabrications and half of them you will confirm by your own experience. You understand that all people are different, but at the same time, they are similar, and it does not depend on nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation. And one of the most important moments you will find real friends here!
2. You have the opportunity to travel almost for free because you meet a huge number of people who are the volunteers too or people who "hang out" in volunteer circles, so they are well aware of volunteering situation. You can just call and stay with them enjoying a good company and don't spend your money for accommodation. Another "chip" which you most likely will be the hitchhiking. "Quickly, cheaply, without mercy!" You just won't be able to stay indifferent. I'm just convinced that you will receive so much impression from hitchhikers and drivers such from the places you want to visit! Sometimes it's funny stories and cases that you remember with warmth in the heart, but sometimes it's a real challenge (never hang out alone, and the best option is two girls (5-15 minutes !!!)).
3. You will be able to do what you never even could think. For example, we had several classes in the center for the autistic people and I realized how hard it is to work with them, and how strong the moral and physical people who work with them are. You will improve your computer skills, social networks, and multi-media skills for sure, as it will be a part of your work in any case.
To be honest, I want to continue my volunteering, and I want to continue to work in this direction. And if someone asks me if he/she should take part in this, my answer will be unequivocal "YES". I really recommend trying this and I'm sure you will not regret it. Honestly, it would be amazing if I have a chance to take a part in EVS again. So do not give up and speed up submitting your documents !!!!!
Olya Koretska (Craiova, Romania)