Eleni is 22 years old and is doing EVS in Spain. She has studied teaching for people with disabilities. For her it was interesting to go and see how people with disabilities are treated in other countries of Europe.
Even if Spain is not so radically different from Italy, some surprises may occur. “One of my surprises was that I didn’t know that Spanish people like so much the fireworks, it’s nice but sometimes I feel a little afraid of the sudden noise! Another surprise is that very few speak English, even at work but they are very helpful. I am learning a lot every day, the disabled people help me also if I don’t understand and its quite a fun because I didn’t expect it!”
But if it is not the country itself that brings you totally different cultural experience, it is the people. Through people you meet, world will open up to you. You may meet people from countries which you didn´t know more about that they exist. But now you can ask and get to know their history and their culture.
“The biggest change for me here is that I share an apartment with 4 people from different nationalities, so far it’s interesting! One of the most interesting things about living with 4 people from different nationalities is the different recipes of cooking because I enjoy cooking. This doesn’t mean that everyone cooks or if it happens it is always delicious but it is worth a lot. I think when people meet to share food it’s a good way to get closer and share thoughts also! The bad thing of living with different nationalities is that you have to talk about how many things should be done. I can say that common sense is not international. What is dirty for you might be clean for someone else. Sometimes people are not used to share things for example if I take 3 of the 6 apples the others won’t have one but I don’t think that in this occasion maters the nationality! In the end you live with 4 people more that it would better to have a good relationship, we live together!”
EVS is a good opportunity to see different approaches to the same work, especially if you are working in the social field, when sufficient and not sufficient way is not so easily distinguish. If you work with people, the results are not equally to be measured. Sometimes the real result occur years later.
“I would definitely recommend the EVS to others because I think through non formal education you can learn about the work that you might be interested or find out that you are good at something that you didn´t expect! Also it is very important that it’s not only studding or working but you have the opportunity to get involved in the local community, which for me is very important, to feel the culture!”