‘This is too good to be true!’
A gap year
“I didn't know what I wanted to study, so I decided to take a gap year. I really didn't feel like being stuck at home for a complete year, so I figured I had to go abroad. At the end of high school I was brainstorming a bit already, about what to do. First I was thinking to become an au-pair, but then someone told me about EVS. I had to google it, but really liked the idea. I attended an open day from SIW, my sending organisation, to talk about all kinds of volunteering work. Afterwards, I searched through the complete EVS-database and sent lots of emails, but often didn't get an answer back or an answer saying there was no space for me. I almost gave up, but after two months I received an email from my mentor at SIW saying "we have a project in Iceland with kids". Exactly what I would like to do! It was almost too good to be true, so I decided to write one more application and see. In the end I got chozen, which was really nice!"
“I will work in an elementary school in Iceland and help out with practical subjects like arts, sports and cooking. They are way more into that kind of subjects in Iceland than in the Netherlands. During the breaks I'll have to go outside with the kids, and also after school there's activities like movie, sports and game nights. I like working with kids and I like sports and arts as well. Icelandic is a really tough language though, it's impossible to understand! But I'm not too worried about that, as they all speak English well. I'm very excited to be there, be a part of them. I'll be living in a village with 500 inhabitants, so I expect it to be very inclusive. After my EVS I hope to be happy about going there and that it'll be an experience I'll never forget."
Tips & Tricks
“I would advice to get in touch with people who know a lot about EVS. My SIW-mentor helps me, but it's important to get in touch with your hosting organisation as well. I really like Skype conversations. Suddenly everything gets clear! It's also nice for your sending and hosting organization to see you're busy taking steps, and I'm happy to see how my English improved during those calls. In the first Skype-call I was basically just saying ehhhh, but right now it's way easier already."