The most interesting note is that actually during EVS you will help yourself more than you will help the local community. You are going to live in a foreign country for up to one year trying to interact with the locals whom you cannot understand when they address you, and trying to stay alongside your colleagues from all over Europe whose behavior can oftentimes shock you. But that’s the whole point of EVS. Get out of your homeland, out of the day-to-day routines, pre-learned behavior dictated by your local society and throw yourself into the lion’s cage.
It might be tricky at the beginning, but with time you will adapt and break out of the prison. When you live alone for a while, some new responsibilities come to you. In order to stay present, you have to manage the time (cooking, shopping, meetings, reports, planning, the activities, free time) and the resources which don’t come at abundance there because don’t forget that after all you are a volunteer.
During your service, there are possibilities to learn virtually always and everywhere: while you have a small talk in the kitchen waiting for your food you can learn about the problems that young people are facing with in another countries and compare it to your own; while free time in a more meaningful way; when you prepare your next event you grasp the idea of being a team member and collaborating with people with diverse opinions; whilst executing your activities you are confronted with the reality of life (harsh conditions, kids who scream at you and don’t want to listen to you, lack of motivation); when you reflect in your next meeting or alone in your private space about what happened you are becoming better person and a planner for sure; or when you meet some local hero (within or out of your hosting organization) and his attitude strikes you so hard that you promise to yourself you will imitate his actions in your life. Once a volunteer – always a volunteer. It is a material by which you are building your character.
To summarize, I want to warmly recommend you the Youth in Action Programme/Erasmus + and if you decide to volunteer make sure you pick up the right opportunity for you. I would like to finish with one very wise thought said by somebody, somewhere, at some point of his life: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” Darko Dimeski, former EVS Volunteer