The idea of living alone in another country can sound scary and challenging at first. However, it can also be exciting for some. It is normal to face some challenges at the beginning of our adventure. It can be the culture shock when we arrive in another country, the language, public transport and many other reasons. I’m Nina, I’m 19 years old, and I have decided to share my experience with others who might be interested in doing something similar.
In my personal experience, I faced several of these challenges when I moved to Germany due to my volunteering. When I arrived, I didn’t know anyone who lived here, and that was a little scary. I didn’t know how to speak German or navigate the public transport. However, such beginnings are good for our personal development, as they push us out of our comfort zone. In addition, we increase self-awareness, strengthen our adaptive abilities and help us to discover new things about ourselves. Living in another country allows us to learn about its culture, traditions and way of life. This opportunity provides us with a unique view of the world and expands our perspectives, crossing the boundaries of what we already know. Such experiences always bring us positive results.
One of the greatest treasures we can take with us are memories – the priceless moments and the friendships we create along the way. All the experiences we share and all the places we visit are what we learn and absorb. Volunteering allows us to experience all these aspects in one place, making the experience truly special. Volunteering also gives us the opportunity to make a difference and contribute to improving the world. It doesn’t always have to be something big, transformation always starts with something small, and from us. We may not see the changes immediately, but there is always someone to remind us that what we do has a meaningful impact. This is one of the valuable lessons I’ve learned here. That I always have someone I can rely on, who can notice my work when I can’t, and encourage me to continue my work. The volunteer community is truly something worth experiencing and being a part of.
This experience opens the door to greater things, and reminds us to see the world with different eyes. All the insecurities and fears we have at the beginning are worth experiencing so that we can enjoy the further steps that follow during our stay. And it’s good to know that we always have someone we can count on for any problem, whether it’s the organisation that sends us or the one that receives us. Also, the volunteers with whom we share our daily life provide a great opportunity to discuss challenges and find solutions.
If you are unsure about embarking on a similar experience, I would recommend that you go for it because you will not regret it. We all need something to encourage us and help us decide in the beginning, so I hope my statement serves as that encouragement.
Nina is our ESC volunteer on the project “KulturHaus and sustainability” in Bremen, Germany.
Project partner: NaturKultur e.V