European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Cosmin Romania
Photo by: Cosmin

European Voluntary Service in the Netherlands! "I have been inspired"

Cosmin (23 years, Romania) has been unemployed for a year now. He came to The Netherlands to participate in an EVS project and by being part of this project; he aims to develop certain skills which will give him more opportunities...

When he was living in Romania, he has started to specialise himself in web development. He has been in The Netherlands for 6 months already and web development skills aren’t his only main skills anymore. This experience has changed his life already. He even loves to cycle through The Netherlands!

Cosmin: "I wanted to do voluntary work with EVS because I was unemployed. The EVS programme is focused on developing professional and personal competencies in order to find a proper job more easily. I really want to work on my professional skills so I could find a job as soon as I have finished this project. One of my main tasks is updating the website for my host organisation, Olde Vechte, and develop websites for other organisations near Ommen.

 

My experience

I have developed websites for a kindergarten and a horse riding school, where they offer therapy courses with horses for autistic children. The kindergarten asked me to develop a new website design and an online administration system. For the riding school I had to update the website’s information and adjust the layout by placing new photos. There were several requests coming from organisations who wanted to develop or redesign their websites.  But the volunteering work I do is not only focused on developing websites. I have also volunteered at a bike shop where I received the opportunity to find out more about bikes by assembling and repairing them. This was a great opportunity for me because cycling is one of my hobbies. Working there brought me in touch with many locals. This was very interesting and useful, because, in general, I haven’t had that much contact with local people.

During my time here, I have noticed that The Netherlands is different from Romania. In The Netherlands everything is systematically easy and structured. In the beginning I had to get used with the Dutch culture: the way they talk, behave, party, and spend their free time. I also noticed that some Dutch don’t seem to be very open to spontaneous activities. However, in a relatively short time I discovered that the people here are very nice and friendly and I see that they have a good, healthy lifestyle, which I admire.

 

Travelling during my free time

I like to travel in my free time. The Netherlands has a well-organized infrastructure. A lot of places are easily accessible and I experience my trips as comfortable. Besides that, I find it easy to travel to and from other countries. I have been cycling a lot on picturesque bike paths throughout the country.  Once I crossed the border to Germany as well and where I got a free drink from a local bar. I did some trips to other countries as well and visited cities like London, Marseille, Budapest and Lisbon. As part of my free time, I joined a local football team where I trained and played football for one month. This was a great opportunity to get to know some local Dutch people. I am also enrolled in a Dutch language course. I have already noticed that when I have more interactions with local people, I’m constantly improving my Dutch language skills day by day.

 

A huge impact

I have developed many skills here, especially those related to web development. That’s good for me. I have a better chance to get the job that I want. Participating in an EVS project has brought me a lot of opportunities. I learned a lot about myself, I worked on my personal skills by interacting with people from different countries and cultures and I also participated in personal development trainings. I already fulfilled some of my goals here during this EVS project. Even my lifestyle has changed. I have become a more active and productive person and my confidence level is much higher compared to the beginning of the EVS project.

 

You should do it too!

You should do EVS. It’s all about getting to find and know yourself. You have the time and the space to think and work on your skills. I am looking forward to the next six months of my EVS project!"