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EVS in Tallinn, Estonia

The first time for me to get in contact with volunteering and working on Youth field was back in 2009 when I came back from China and had finished my studies there. I didn’t know what to do, so I had accepted the invitation from a friend of mine to go to VCS’s office in order to attend a small session about Inter-Cultural Learning and YiA Program. At that time I was really skeptic about this Volunteering stuff so I wasn’t interested that much in it. But, on that session, one Czech volunteer who was an EVS volunteer in Macedonia at that time, had left me big impression and had raised a lot of questions about YiA Program and EVS experience in me, so I continued with attending other sessions and workshops held by Volunteer’s Centre Skopje.

At that time, I was thinking: “Ok, this is kind of interesting stuff and I should be more active in it in order to understand it better”. So, I got involved in more activities and I found them interesting for me to do them. I started to write articles for its magazine “VOICES”, to work with the children from street in the Daily Centers in ShutoOrizari and SOS children’s village and also I took the advantage of making and holding workshops in VCS. I first heard more details about EVS during a session held in EU Info Center in Skopje by former EVS volunteers in Macedonia, from Latvia and Czech Republic, 4 years ago. When the session about the YiA Program and EVS possibilities ended, I was asking myself whether this is a great opportunity or not, I still wasn’t sure about taking this advantage and being volunteer somewhere in Europe. At that time I had just basic knowledge about what exactly EVS is, so I said to myself, “Maybe I will, but not yet.” After this, to be honest I really didn’t know what to do with myself so I started to explore a bit the fields which I might be interested for doing it for life time.

So, first I tried to work in one local TV station as a Program Assistant, and then I worked on a cruiser as an assistant stateroom attendant and as a teacher in one private school. When I saw that none of this is not the thing that I want to do I said to myself to try to do my EVS because while I was searching my “dream work” I was also volunteering in VCS and I found it most interesting for me working on Youth field. One day, one of the staff from VCS proposed to me to go on a short-term EVS for one month in Sandanski, Bulgaria and to be back up staff there on Balkan Youth Festival. At that time, still I had many doubts about EVS but I took that opportunity because I thought that it’s not long time and I will see actually what is to be an EVS Volunteer.

I went in Bulgaria and I joined to the Media Team, which was in charge of promoting the whole event and updating the news about it. For me this was an unforgettable experience and also very useful because I was developing my skills there and I have learned many new and useful things. After this experience I said to myself that I want to go on a long-term EVS because it’s very useful and gives you many opportunities in developing your character and your skills.

And now, here I am, in Tallinn, Estonia doing my long-term EVS as an Assistant Teacher in one Russian Private Gymnasium and I’m really happy about it because finally I’m doing something that I like to do. Currently, I’m working with students from 5th to 9th grade and I’m helping them in their English. Also with older students I’m providing for them different debates and workshops on various topics based on non formal education. But not only that, in order to explore more about Estonian Culture and better to develop my singing skills as well, I started to sing in chorus in the Estonian National Music Academy which is my biggest achievement for now in understanding better the Estonian Tradition and Music.

I would like to suggest to everybody: “Do not miss this chance!” Really, it gives new perspectives, ideas and possibilities to explore and develop yourself on what oneself is most interested in. Take the chance in your hand and make the first step. You won’t regret it!