My EVS in Poland - Big Short Story
“You have changed, Lesia!”…After returning to Ukraine I hear this phrase quite often. Moreover, I also feel changes in my character, my outlook, my personality in general. I remember myself one year ago and from time to time try to compare some habits and reaction to similar life situation. Must say there is a huge difference and the most important thing — I like who I became!
Something and Someone New
My EVS was a period of small downs but great ups, leaving my comfort zone, trying new and forgetting old because being a volunteer in a foreign country, working, meeting people, reaching successes and facing failures. I can describe it as growing up from your usual behavior and from day to day becoming someone new who doesn't want to eat sweets for breakfast and worry about future anymore. Instead, you look with widely open eyes and excitement (not fear) at challenges, difficulties, tasks, pleasant surprises that are coming into your life. This is how I feel now — strong, confident and cheerful young woman.
During These Months…
For 9 months I was working with teenagers and primary school age pupils. During this time I realized that power is gained by sharing knowledge, my life experience with children, and make both my and their life better. It's a wonderful feeling! What is more, I really understood that the whole learning process depends mostly on person, and only you are responsible for scores, results, knowledge, but not teachers or classmates. Also, working at school encouraged me to continue my studying (now I prefer informal to formal) and to become a fan of “life long learning” concept.
Learn and Grow
My age is still appropriate for changes, and my character is flexible enough to get strong benefits from my Project. Frankly speaking I'm a bit jealous of those volunteers who became members of this huge international EVS community at age of 18 or 20. To my mind this period is the best to start live completely new life after school or in the middle of University. I find this experience amazing and extremely useful.
I feel European
I believe that Europe begins somewhere deep in your heart, brain, soul and shows up through your thoughts, behavior, lifestyle, everyday habits. I see Europe as a multicultural environment where people from all over the world can leave in peace, love and well-being. Being European for me means also living without borders and boundaries, but at the same time respect private space of others. All these conditions helped me feel free and more conscious about how I want to live my life and what values I am responsible to share with others.
Olesia Vakoliuk, 24, Ostroh