My EVS story
March 2016. Right after the end of my first semester, and the beginning of the new one, I started asking myself what could I do the year after. What can I do after finishing my bachelor degree in June? I already knew some things: first, I had a summer job in a bar near where my parents are living; second, I didn't want to continue my studies. Actually, I didn't find a master which was like a revelation for me and I didn't want to do something by default. And suddenly, I had a really big wish to travel. One of the problem was that I didn't have money, and also I didn't want to travel and work in a restaurant or in a bar. I wanted something that could make me evolve professionally at the same time.
One day, with two friends we went to the youth center in Saint-Etienne, the city where I was studying, and the woman we met there gave us a lot of papers about different options to go abroad. It's how I heard about EVS, and how I found what I wanted to do after summer. So I had the idea, I had the name of the program and some basic information about it. I decided to know more about it, and find an organisation which could send me abroad. I went there and started asking questions. They gave me a paper with all the information, answered my questions and asked me some questions also. And this is how it started.
Right after this, I started sending mails all over Europe. First I focused on the northern countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and also the United Kindgom. There were so many missions which could fit me. After more or less one week, I still didn't have any answer, so I decided to open more my search field. I was looking for any mission which involves culture and art and I started sending my CV and motivation letter to oranisations in Greece, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, and Croatia. And the week before the due date, Carpe Diem contacted me. After it, everything went superfast, Skype interview, the answer, summer and the time to go!
October 2016. I was nervous. Excited. And I had no idea where I will arrive. Karlovac. I arrived on the first of October after two days of traveling. I arrived at this blue and yellow bus station where they picked me up. I was the first to arrive, and the first thing I did was to go to sleep. Since then, months passed. It's been almost a year I'm here in Karlovac, this city I didn't know anything about before, in this country which was for me mostly famous thanks to the coast, the sea, the sun, the beach. But I discovered it's way more than this. And I had a lot of fun.
September 2017. So we are here 11 months later. I arrived last October, and in less than two weeks, I will be home again. So many incredible things happened during this year. I met so many different people from Karlovac, from Croatia, but also from other European countries, like Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, France, Hungary and some of these people I consider as friends and I can't wait to see them again. I realized some projects from the beginning to the end and I'm really proud of it, because I came right after my studies and it's my first real professional experience, even if it's volunteering. I travelled more than I ever did. Actually this year, was the first time I went away from France for such a long time and without my parents or friends, or not for a school trip. I went to Munich, Belgrade, Ljubljana (many times), Vienna, Skopje, Thessaloniki, Ohrid, Zadar, Šibenik, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Pula, Poreč, Trieste, Koper, Bohinj, Bled. I only missed Bosnia, so I will definitely return to the Balkan countries.
Will I miss Karlovac? Of course. It's so weird to imagine going home now, after one year where you were working on yourself, with new people, talking English all the time, learning a new language, meeting different new people, making new friends. Having to go back home is on one way super exciting, see my family, my friends, and my cat again, and at the same time I'm sad to leave other people here. But I will come back. Definitely.