Life in the south Blog

30.06.2022 Anna Gyapjas

A special year in another country


I am Anna. I arrived in Molfetta in September 2021 and spent 10 months there. I decided to participate in this volunteer project immediately after finishing my studies, before finding a permanent job.  This was not the first experience abroad for me, as I had previously participated in a 2 semester erasmus programme during university, also in Italy. It was a bit strange for me to be involved in this project, because during the university erasmus programme they left almost everything to us (finding accommodation, programmes, university administration, insurance). In the ESC programme we got a lot of help. They organised accommodation, insurance and if we had any problems we could contact the office, and we all had a mentor to help us with local things and a tutor to organise things at work. I had a very nice mentor who helped me all the way.

I was placed with three other volunteers in an authentic fourth floor apartment (without elevator) with a large balcony. I was very lucky with my flatmates because we got on very well. We partied a lot, played games, talked, laughed and got to know each other's culture.

I worked in a primary school in the lower secondary school in 18 different classes, mainly helping with English lessons. Each class and teacher was different, so I had different tasks. There were classes where I went around the classroom and helped children who were behind, but there were also classes where I read out and somewhere I had the opportunity to do exercises with them. The children at school were very nice and I became close with several classes. By the end of the school year I couldn't walk down the street without a child saying hello to me. It was exciting to see a different school system and how it works.

During a programme like this you gain a lot of experience and new friends. It's not easy at all, there are lots of challenges and low points, but you learn a lot during this time.