European Youth Portal

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European Voluntary Service - another way of understanding the world.

When I was asked to write an article about my European Voluntary Service (EVS), I did not think twice. I want to pass to the others how much this experience meant to me.

Well, everything started as usually start these things ... I am a curious and restless person, I want to move, do things, and I did not know how ... and suddenly a friend of mine told me about EVS. When she was explaining me what is European Voluntary Service my face was to remember... I did not understand anything. I was thinking, I will go to foreign country, but I have no idea of the language! Anyway I wanted to do something useful, so I decided to try it! I went to the Youth Department of the city hall of Elche where they advised me how to look for projects according to my interest. When I saw the amount of possibilities offered, I wanted to do all of them. I struggled to make the decision, but in the end I think I did the best choice. I did my volunteering project with bears in a small village in Croatia.

If I start to think how this experience had changed me, I think it was the best decision I ever made in my life. During my volunteering I had the opportunity to acquire new knowledge, things that are not taught in books or schools. I learnt from others, from their experiences, I learnt the tolerance. It is an experience that breaks barriers and connects people. I already have friends all around the world and I know that all over the world there are people willing to help, who wants to develop ideas and create awareness around the world.

This experience has guided me both personally and professionally. It made ​​me realize which kind of things I want in my life or not, how much some people mean to me and made me understand them in the context of past and present. It made me understand that the world in which we live is only one, that is for everybody and we should respect it for all the generations that follow us to allow them to have same opportunities as we have. It definitely helped me to develop as a person.

I have to admit that it was not always easy. You face new language, new culture, new ways of living that sometimes conflict with what you're used to. You miss your people when you are away and winter in some countries is really hard. But by speaking with other friends who did EVS in different countries, all we agree that is an undoubtedly recommendable experience that changes you.

Zoe Egeda Pineda, Spain.

Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Ayuntamiento de Elche.