17 March 2014

The European Voluntary Service or how to create a European family

Do you feel like packing your bags and moving to another country in order to develop your intercultural skills and competences while learning by doing in a non-formal education environment?
The European Voluntary Service might be your cup of tea. Find out of more about what it represents from a former EVS volunteer. 

 As being one of those Europeans that fully took advantage of the youth mobility opportunities across the continent by participating in various seminars, conferences, student weeks and youth exchanges, the decision to embark in an EVS adventure came almost naturally. 

Before engaging in my one year long journey to Poland, I didn’t have much knowledge of the social reality of the country and for most part, Poland was just a section of the European map, with a tumultuous history.

 When people ask me how my EVS was, I still find it difficult to describe it in a single sentence, because looking back at the whole experience, I realize, now more than ever, that EVS will always be one of those stages in my life that helped me to truly connect, in an insightful way, to my own cultural identity and on a more larger extent, to my European one. 

Even today, I consider that EVS is and probably always be a big part of my becoming as a more responsible and engaged citizen of an international community. In Poland I discovered that even if a society seems to function completely different, you will still find familiarities within bits and bobs of multiple cultures, that will give you a total sense of belonging. I discovered that people from different places, with different social and cultural backgrounds can be united under the same roof by curiosity and the desire to share your own customs and traditions while contemplating the delights of this European mosaic of cultures. I discovered that no matter how different you may think people are, we are all connected by the same values, fears and expectations of life. EVS made me realize that boundaries are just an administrative aspect and that nowadays people in Europe are more in touch with one another then they’ve probably ever been. 

The best part of this experience and the one that I probably cherish the most, among the great friends I now have all over Europe and the great memories from amazing European cities that accompany me wherever I go, is this desire to get involved in all the projects that will give the future generations of European citizens the same opportunity of becoming curious about Europe, a curiosity that would eventually lead to the developing of a true European identity. 

So take a chance, enter into the EVS world. 

Check out GEYC’s website and facebook page for regular information about EVS opportunities.