Dolce vita in Molfetta Blog dei volontari

04/07/2022 Sophia Christensen

Ciao a tutti,

my name is Sophia, I´m 19 years old and I´ve spent 10 months in the beautiful region of Puglia and experienced life in Molfetta. 

I am really thankful for my experience in Italy because I always wanted to go abroad after school and this year has showed me that it was definitely the right decision. I arrived in Molfetta at the beginning of September, it was still super hot and after a cold summer in Germany I was happy to experience some warmer temperatures.

My project in the school started a few weeks later and I was really motivated to get involved with the children and teachers. But soon I had to realize that it´s harder to structure my own working day and to collaborate with the teachers than I thought. But I also learned how to create my own projects and to work independently. Throughout the year I worked in kindergarten, primary school and middle school, so I could experience many different forms of teaching and learning. In total, the children at school were very cute and always thankful to have a volunteer around. This made me feel very appreciated and with some students I built a strong connection.

Nevertheless, I would say that my free time was the more exciting part of my project because I discovered so much about different cultures and traditions. Since I was living in a house with 11 people in total, I can now say that I´ve never learned as much about Europe and other countries as during this project. We celebrated holidays, birthdays and other events together and grew so much closer throughout the whole time. Of course we also had to face some conflicts and discovered differences between us. But for me this is also a part of diversity and living with other internationals. 

Besides, also the Italian culture became (obviously) a very important part of my life. I discovered for example that Italians love to go out in the evening, they are very strict about how to prepare the perfect pasta and their way of parking is horrible. But after a while I also started to feel a little more Italian myself and I was very happy to see some improvements in speaking the Italian language. This project has also motivated me to go for another Erasmus program in the future (probably again in Italy but maybe also some other country). 
Obviously, I really appreciated the Italian food and back in Germany I will miss the amazing pasta, pizza and focaccia. But also little things like the typical gestures or Italian slang words like "boh" I will miss a lot. 

All in all, I can say that through this experience abroad I became more open-minded and aware of cultural differences. I now have friends all over Europe and also I´ve built some strong connections with Italian people. I think these memories are something that will last forever and I´m hoping for many more to come. 
To all other people I can only recommend going abroad and experiencing Europe in a new way!