My volunteering experience in Molfetta Blog

14.07.2021 Amelie Bey

Reflecting on my ESC experience :)

Hello everyone. My name is Amelie and I am 19 years old. From summer '20 to '21 I spent 11 months in the beautiful city Molfetta in the South of Italy.

This ESC has truly been an amazing and crazy adventure for me and it's rather difficult to summarize my year abroad in a few lines. However, there is a few things that I would like to tell you about and hopefully excite you for this experience as well. When I started this ESC I had just graduated high school and turned 18 years old. Basically I was leaving the nest for the first time for such a long time. This was obviously also scary for me but it gave me the opportunity to use this year to grow in so many aspects. I feel like I have gained so much independence and grown as a person. I had to learn to do things on my own, live with other people, cook, clean and do the laundry and take on responsibility. All of which made me gain a lot of confidence in myself.

I met the most amazing people from all over Europe. Not only did I learn to love the Italian culture but also so many other cultures and people. We would cook for each other, exchange traditions, teach each other our languages and so much more. Living in such an international environment made everyday activities a lot more fun than usually and often caused funny moments. A whole year will never consist of only ups, but being able to deal with the downs is also a learning experience. And even though we spent some time in lockdown, unable to go out and enjoy our ESC the way we would have wanted to, I really feel like we made the best out of it. And that is really what it is all about. We would organize dinners, movie nights, water ballon fights, birthday surprises etc.

Enough about that, I want to talk a little bit about Italy as well. The fact that I ended up in Italy was rather a coincidence - or maybe destiny. I applied to several projects in Scandinavia and only to this specific one in Italy. In the end I am so thankful that I ended up in Molfetta, out of all the places. The South is special in a lot of ways: everything is filled with life. The food is amazing and the people and kind and open-hearted. Without a doubt you will be greeted with open arms. What I loved most about it was the way the people are 'enjoying'. They live in the moment. In the north life can be quite hectic and it feels like people can sometimes forget how to just enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like drinking a coffee in the sun. 

There is a hundred reasons why I fell in love with Molfetta and Italy: the sunsets at the sea, the good and fresh food, coffee, the people and culture, the calmness, how the streets come alive at night and how they're empty during siesta ... and the list goes on. 

Now being back home my heart feels very heavy. On the one hand, because I am sad to end this chapter of my life and leave behind Molfetta. On the other hand, it feels heavy because it's so full of memories, amazing people I have met and places I have seen. 

So, if you are reading this and find yourself in a position where you are contemplating whether to apply or not - do it. There are so many exciting, new things waiting ahead of you and with a little bit of luck it could turn out to be the best year you've ever had.