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23Maggio2018 5 reasons why you should do an EVS project

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di Helene Viel

My desire to do an EVS came somehow late in life. After finishing law school at 25 years old, I understood that there were many things I needed to learn that law classes didn’t teach me. Don’t get me wrong. I loved law school and I am happy I attended university, but the thing is, as a law student, you don’t really have time for anything else than studying. In my case, the one thing I feel like I had missed the most while being a law student was travelling. I am not talking about going away on vacation for 2 weeks kind of travel. No, I am talking about real travelling.  That kind when you go to another country for months, to do an internship, to work or to do volunteer work. This became also impossible for me to do when I faced some real family problems and that I couldn’t even imagine leaving my country.

For me, this was definitely something I felt like I needed to do in life. And I knew that after doing it, I would somehow be different.

EVS seemed like a great way to discover a new culture, meet new people, while working for a non-profit organisation, so for a good cause.

I am now doing a 4 months long EVS in Italy, and I would like to share the 5 reasons why every young European citizen* should, in my opinion, do an EVS project:

Number 1: The possibility to spend some time in another country without having to worry about money.

Let’s face it: travelling can be expensive. But what if I told you that there is a way to travel to another country, live there, learn a new language, without having to spend a dime?

Well EVS project allows young people to do all these while working in exchange for a non-profit organisation in the country they go to.

Volunteers also get what is called in the EVS lingo «  pocket Money ». The amount of money varies from one country to the other, depending on the cost of life there. But it usually is enough money to buy food and travel during your free time. Sure, volunteers cannot expect to spend 1 week in a 5 stars hotel with that money, but if they are careful, they can spend some time in hostels, where they would get to meet other young travellers, which is, let’s face it.. so much more fun that luxury hotel.

Number 2: The opportunity to learn a new language

As an EVS volunteer in another country you will of course have to learn the language of the country you now work in.

First of all because, depending on the association you work for, you might have some language classes provided by the association itself.

Second of all, as an EVS volunteer, you have to take language online classes provided by Erasmus plus.

And let’s not forget the fact that there is always the possibility to learn the language by speaking to locals, making new friends etc..

Number 3 :The opportunity to meet new people 

You cannot even imagine how many new people you are going to meet while doing your EVS.

Whether they are other volunteers in your project, people who live in the city you live in, people you meet while traveling, or people you met during your EVS training, they are all people who are part of the EVS experience, people you can become friend with and rely on while doing your EVS and keep in touch with after the project is done.

Number 4: The time to reflect on your future

Even if EVS volunteers have to work for a non-profit organisation,  they do not work there full time.

They can choose to spend the time they don’t work learning about their new country’s culture, practicing the language, travelling, or, as I see it, «  reflecting on their future ».

EVS project is for people aged 18 to 30. While some people decide to do an EVS project right after high school, others, a little older , decide to do one after having attended university or even after having worked for some time.

EVS is a good way to «  take a break » ( from school, work..) and to discover a new culture while working.

Having some time off while working in another country can be a great way to discover new fields of interest.  It can allow you to « discover a new you » and therefore, help you decide what kind of studies you want to pursue, or what kind of work you want to do once the EVS is over.

In some cases, EVS project can also lead to a job opportunity in the country you work in. First of all, your organisation can ask you to stay to work for them after the project. Or you may also simply find some work in the country you did you EVS in.

Number 5: An experience abroad is always a plus in your resume ! 

We all know how much knowing many languages is important today. We also know that flexibly, adaptation and autonomy are some qualities that many recruiters are looking for in job candidates.

Well, being an EVS volunteers gives you the possibility to acquire some significant qualities such as those.

Because there is nothing like living far from home, in another country, in which work habits are different from those in your home country, to master the art of adaptation flexibly and autonomy !

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