Testimony of a French girl volunteering in Spain
My name is Emilie, I’m French and I did a European voluntary service in Juvenil Intercambia association in Malaga.
Everything started on 1st April 2014 at Paris-Orly airport. While I was in the waiting room, I felt fear engulf me and the only thing I wanted was running home. Suddenly, the idea of going to Spain didn’t seem that nice. I couldn’t speak a word of Spanish, didn’t know anything about my flatmates, neither about the work I was going to do... Ususally, I am not afraid of the unknown, but being alone in this big airport, taking a plane for (almost) the first time, terrorized me. I had lots of questions in head and my heart was beating widly.
Later on the same day, in my new home of Malaga. It is a warm Spain I have found. My flatmates were waiting for me with something to eat, to drink, and with large smiles. At this moment, I knew that I was about to live nine incredible months… and that is exactly what happened!
I had an amazing time on both personal and professional levels. I don’t think something bad happened to me. I got along very well with my flatmates and the other volunteer who was working with me. Thanks to them, I am now living Malaga with more energy and strength than ever and I really don’t know how to thank them for all they did to me.
Sharing my EVS with so many people from different nationalities was very enriching! I learnt a lot about cultures and I really want to continue in this way.
I have worked on several projects (labour camp, festival, exchanges, etc.) and I have taken every experience as an opportunity to learn something new, which helped me to gain confidence.
Finally, I didn’t expect French and Spanish cultures to be so different. I felt in love with Spain, especially Andalusia. Its heat, landscapes, fiestas and inhabitants… This region exudes happiness and I’ll bring back with me the smile of every person I have crossed paths.