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A year in Salzburg

I'm writing this blog pretty late in my European Solidarity experience, as my time in Salzburg is slowly coming to an end. I'll be staying another month more. 11 months are already behind me.

It is a strange experience going somewhere for an exact set time period, 12 months to a dot, knowing exactly the day of your departure months before, because already you feel like you are one foot out of the door very soon. Some of my very good friends have just left Salzburg, to continue with their lives elsewhere and my usual Salzburg routines and reality are slowly falling apart. But that is life. That is life, anyway, if you go to do an ESC project, or Erasmus, or study for a year abroad, or just travel a lot in general. Things don't stay constant.

For me this movement is nice. Change is life, and I do so enjoy life. And changes, even though they are sometimes sad. 

But let me start at the beginning. I am from Slovakia, though I have spent a large portion of my 24 years on this earth in Czech Republic (6 years to be exact). After getting disillusioned with my degree and job in Brno, I decided to move and change directions in life somewhat and ESC proved to be the right fit for me. Austria too as I wanted to practice my German.

I volunteer at a youth organisation (not a youth centre, e.g. no daily contact with kids) akzente Salzburg. I will not go into detail of what all they do, but basically they organise various projects for young people, inform and provide advice, with going abroad, studying, volunteering  and many many other topics. I am mostly by the international department (which handles Erasmus and ESC projects), sometimes at Jugendinfo (where the information part happens), sometimes by my colleague Johanna (who organises a mega cool yearly project Girls' Day) and sometimes at random events and projects organised by anyone else, where akzente takes part.

My tasks vary therefore quite a lot, but mainly, I can say, I am managing the website, social media, creating designs, some audio/video/photo editing and just anything that needs to be done that day. I also, together with some of my other volunteer friends, moderate a radio show! The journey to that was very exciting for me, first being a guest on the show with my friend Alicia a moderator, then doing the workshop to learn all the radio basics and how it all runs in there, and finally taking on the torch, when Alicia had to leave Salzburg. We are doing one episode a month, interviewing and chatting with other volunteers from the Salzburg region and just having a good time. If you want to have a listen check out the United in Europe show on the Radio Fabrik website.

All in all, my time in Salzburg has been great and I’m very happy that I chose Austria for my project. The nature here is stunning and I try to spend a lot of my time outdoors. Especially now in the summer it is perfect to go swim in one of the many lakes around Salzburg or take a train down south into the Alps and climb some outrageously beautiful (and high) mountain. Or just chill in the city, in a cafe by the river. There is a lot to do here in Salzburg. I would in any case recommend anyone to come here and would definitely recommend people to do an ESC project. It helped me quite a lot to orient myself in life, check in with myself what I want to be actually doing (and what definitely not haha) It’s been just a really great year in general, when I met a lot of cool people, made many good friends and experienced a lot of new things.

PS. For people considering the Salzburg region in particular, the ESC coordinator (as I am writing this) and my colleague Duy Le is the most motivating, positive and helpful person ever, and he will make your time here so much more enjoyable by organizing a lot of cool stuff for the volunteers to do together! Really good support from his side.

Text a foto: Viktória Kákošová

Viktória je dobrovoľníčka programu Európsky zbor solidarity na projekte v organizácii Akzente Salzburg v Rakúsku. Projekt bol podporený z programu EÚ Európsky zbor solidarity.

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