More than a year in 12 months: the EVS-experience Blog

I literally cannot express by words how much I owe to this experience.

After university I decided to live abroad for a year. I had heard about the EVS program from a friend: she made her experience in Belgium with mental disordered people, and I am very grateful for her because she made me know this opportunity.

I wanted to go to Italy to learn the fantastic language and to get to know the dolce vita; and because I was studying communication and media at university, I wanted to do something similar to it. I was so lucky, because all my desires became true!

I ended up in Trento, at the office of InCo: a great and passionate team which aim is to help youngsters to find the mobility programs that suit them and to promote these opportunities. As the part of the team I had the opportunity to support both activities. I had creative tasks, like making posters or photos or video, and I had contact with the youngsters while I helped their searching process. At the end of my voluntary I had two fantastic experiences which made me improve a lot: I helped two mobility programs, worked with youngsters from diverse countries and tested my organization and leading skills in practice. Beside these, I also took part of the so called parallel activities with other volunteers from different partner organizations: by this I not just met nursing homes, youth centers, etc., but also became friends with the volunteers.

But the whole year was not just about working. After a while somehow I felt that the whole life is in it (okay, the fist 30 years without kids). I made festas, traveled a lot (probably more then in the first 23 years!), walked up to a big mountain and was carried down by my friends (my legs decided not to work along with me anymore), made relationships with old ladies, cats and mental disordered persons, watched Captain America in Italian... And made several friendships.

I had not just one, but two Sara(h)s (sometimes with “h”, sometimes without): one little sister and a crazy friend. I met Arpie whom you can always laugh with, Giulio who has the biggest patient and a good heart and Juan whom can make you impressed with his personality even within a short time. These are the persons whom were with me until the end of the EVS, but I am very grateful for those who helped me at the beginning not just with advices, but with entertaining programs and their open-mindedness. I especially would like to thank Cecilia that she was a very conscientious mentor!

My EVS-time was not perfect and just pink with unicorns and rainbows: it was a mixtures of everything, just like life. I know some persons whom are afraid to try this, because of several reasons, one of them is missing the loved ones who stay at home. I won't say that missing birthdays, happy or sad moments was easy, but I would say that the EVS worthed it.

Everybody knows that voluntary is giving; at the same time many people misses that EVS is also receiving. I gave up my potential good salary, but received the opportunity to explore a whole new country at a fantastic price. I gave up on my family and my friends for a while (even if we Skyped and chatted a lot), and I get a new “pack” of very diverse EVS-friends and family. I gave one year of my life, and I received at least three years of experience and emotions. After this, I would suggest EVS without hesitating.

Because I think I made a perfect deal. ;)