With regard to the time remaining (sadly it's not that much) I wanted to ask a previous EVS volunteer how things can go after an EVS and how he reflects his stay abroad. I chose Rocco, Italian now working in Bremen (Germany). He is a former volunteer who was doing a research project within the SLovak National Youth Council. I met him on my EVS on-arrival training and he used to live in Bratislava as well. And now he volunteered again – he answered me some questions, how it feels to be out of EVS and how he experienced his stay abroad. Even though there is a certain distance between Bremen and Bratislava it feels like we reconnected with each other.
1. How did you experience the transition (friends, family, work, hobbies etc.) between EVS and presence
- I know even more how much I must negotiate with people in day-a-day life and yet being self-coherent, knowing what I want and how much I am available to negotiate.
2. Have you changed (like character traits, behaviour etc.) ? How would you describe it if yes?
- I don’t think there have been major changes, as I had already been abroad some time and not a freshman any more. But I think that after the experience of EVS I came back more confident of what I want and to realize myself.
3. Did EVS shape your future / changed your world view or view of life?
- Yes, I am longing to find other opportunities of volunteering, so to have an impact through my job, it is a quality of life and self-realization, as well as I am confident it will have an impact on my attitude in research, the career I want to pursue.
4. What do you miss the most when talking about EVS?
- That everything was supported by a community, from the house to the office, and that all I did had a sense, and a benefit for society and my personal improvement as well.
5. What are you doing now? To what extend is your EVS experience helping you?
- I am in a PhD now, I think EVS showed me that research as it might be in a NGO can be more practical and keen on action than theoretical models and formal research as it might be pursued in academia, although relevant but more difficult to have an immediate impact in short term. I hope EVS will help me to combine both in the future.
6. If yes, why would you recommend EVS to others?
- It is a mix between Erasmus and a Traineeship. Responsibility of your position with a clear aim, yet in a collaborative community and keen on exploration of a new culture and consideration of the common European framework. It can surely be an asset in your attitudes and originality.
7. Do you plan to volunteer again (on a regular basis locally or internationally) ?
- Yes, I would love although I am not doing for the time being due to my PhD started few time ago and not knowing the local language yet. Due to my work, local volunteering is what I expect, perhaps serving as mentor to incoming EVS, might be nice, or anything else.
8. What is your motto of life and how do you plan to live your life (if you intend to actually “plan” your life) ?
- My motto is “Get the best of what you have”, meaning that you have not control on everything in your life, but you can strive for adapting to adverse situations and with dignity pursue your happiness, and eventually try to change.
Luka Paul Vethake
source of intro image: https://goo.gl/wHrPDV
quick note concerning the image above:
Rocco's goodbye party with Rada Mladeze Slovenska (Slovak Youth Council), he is the one in the middle of the photo.
Quote of the day:
"Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another."
~ Erma Bombeckspäť na zoznam