di Helene Viel, volontaria nell’ambito del progetto Youthquake
I have been in Italy for 2 months now doing an EVS project called Youthquake. And out of all the activities related to the EVS, the thing I liked the most was the arrival training I did a few weeks ago in Rome.
When you start an EVS, usually you are a little to completely lost. You discover a new country, meet new people, learn a new language. It’s quite a challenge!
About a month after my arrival in Italy, I had to do my arrival training in Rome. At first I did not think so much about it. I mean, I knew I would have fun for a week, because everyone in my organisation told me how great those training arrival is, but I didn’t have the full picture.
Well, now I have. So let me tell why as an EVS volunteer in Italy, I liked my arrival training so much, and why I think it is the best thing that can happen doing one’s EVS.
What is an EVS arrival training?
For a week, 30 people or so doing an EVS in one country meet in a hostel where they do all kind of activities relating to volunteering abroad, cultural shock, intercultural knowledge. They also receive intense Italian classes depending on their level of the language.
I was doing my training in Rome with 31 other people aged from 18 to 30, who came from Germany, Spain, Croatia, Portugal, Slovenia, Russia ( and many other countries but naming each one of them will take too long.
The all arrival training is intense because:
- you do so many different activities everyday
- you meet so many people
- you want to make the most of this experience and soak up in every moment, with all the other
But for me, the training was actually so much more important when it actually ended. Because it is when I realized that I made so many great friends that I could now rely on while in Italy ( even if we live hundreds of kilometers away from each other)
Why I liked the arrival training so much!
Of course I liked the training because of all the fun activities I did and all the things I learn doing this week.
But I really liked it so much because it was an opportunity for me to meet people, who just like me, have to deal with living in a different courtly (which can lead to some daily cultural shocks). I could speak about my fears, my apprehensions, but also my excitement of being an EVS volunteers in Italy.
But also, it gave me the opportunity to meet great people I can discover Italy with! And that’s probably the best thing!
Less than a week after the training was over, I met this wonderful girl from Bosnia who I bounded with doing the activities. We decided to spend the day in Bologna, quite far away from our respective cities, and discover together this beautiful city. It was so nice.
Then, only a week later, I had a couple days left from my vacation time. So I met 2 volunteers from Byelorussia and Greece in their eco-village in Liguria. It was so interesting because I was able to see what their project was and I learned so much about community life in an eco-village.
Lastly, I met two volunteers from Sweden and Armenia in L’Aquila, which happened to be the home town of one the arrival training facilitators; naturally we also met with her and she was kind enough to show us L’Aquila and explain us so much about this town that was badly hit by an earthquake in 2009.
With all the other volunteers I still haven’t met again, however we still manage to talk, even daily with some of them on Facebook. We share our experience, our doubts, everything, and still learn about each other culture, even hundreds of kilometers away from each other !
So to sum it all up, the arrival training is way more than the training itself. It is about meeting so many incredible people, from different cultures. It’s about making new friends, friends that you will be able to rely on in hard times, but also to share fun time with. It’s about making memories together, in one country, when we all come from so many different countries, and would have probably never met if it hadn’t been for the EVS training.