Hello! My name is Kateryna and I am a volunteer of the EVS program in France (L’Aigle, Normandy). February 28 was the 6 months anniversary of my volunteering;) I am already fluent in French and sometimes I can even make jokes (in fact, it is incredibly pleasing!).
During these six months, cultural differences with the French people have become a big discovery for me. Almost every day I learn something new about their mode of thinking, culture, education, etc. I have become a real fan of French music - so many talented musicians in all possible genres you won’t find elsewhere! And thanks to the team on the radio each week is full of musical discoveries.
My work days are very busy, I often stay working longer than necessary, because I have not abandoned my workaholism and everything I am doing here is very inspiring! :) Overall, the project I have chosen is related to culture, media and promotion of international mobility among young people. During these six months, I managed to find my "niche" and to more or less formulate my personal project. Since our organization has two areas of work - activities for children and adults such as drawing, dancing, etc. and web radio - my work is also divided in two parts.
I fell in love with the technical side of the radio: sound recording and editing. Thanks to youtube and my talented colleagues, I have learned sound recording techniques and I am still very motivated to improve my skills. Because of discovering this area I changed my mind to look for a master's program in marketing and decided to take another gap year to decide.
I am also a co-host in several of our radio programs, but it is still difficult for me: in fact, during an interview you need to follow the words of your guest and adapt quickly, to formulate questions and remarks on the go, and regardless of the language, it's a real skill that comes with practice.
The big part of my work on the radio is related to communication: work with social networks, emailing, creating visual materials (for example, posters) and improving our site. I chose this direction as my personal project (in fact, personal project is a contribution to the host organization's project during volunteering). Communication was my area of work in Ukraine, so for me such experience in France would be a plus in the CV.
Together with my colleague, we organize presentations about travelling and international mobility at schools, help with events and talk a lot to young people about our experience. I have also helped as a translator in English during the selection of the EVS volunteers for the next year, I tried to provide them with the most valuable information and this was a very interesting experience.
In December, I took part in a training project about international mobility in Cherbourg, which once again changed my mind about my future. Ten days with youth workers, practical tasks and an incredibly friendly atmosphere have convinced me to pass the French certificate BAFA (it allows you to work with children and young people as an animator).
Outside of the project, we spend a lot of time together with my colleagues. I traveled several times to Paris for the weekend, but the biggest trips are planned for a warmer period. In spring I will be taking my training BAFA to pass practical part in on of the summer camps during the holidays. I also plan a trip to Italy with my family, to Latvia - to see friends, and many trips around France (especially for visiting musical festivals ;)
Finally, I'm happy because the project is even better than I expected and, as always, I am a bit scared about what to do after volunteering, because this experience really lets you see all the possibilities and test your ambitions :)
Kateryna Bilobrova, 22 years old, Kyiv