segunda-feira, março 18, 2019

Community Goes Europe – Julia

I am from Germany and participating in my EVS project in Cascais, Portugal. I have just graduated from high school last summer and wanted to gain some experience abroad before going to university. My project is called “Community Goes Europe” and lasts 10 months. My sending organization is “Culture Goes Europe” from Erfurt and my hosting organization is “Associação Juvenil Rota Jovem” in Cascais.

Before coming to Portugal, I have never done voluntary work and did not have a clear picture in my head on what to expect but I was and I still am positively surprised by the variety of tasks my volunteering experience offers to me. I would therefore like to give you an insight in my possible tasks. Rota Jovem, as a youth organization, is involved in the planning and implementation of events, workshops, youth exchanges, training courses, seminars etc. My contribution here is supporting my colleagues, which means for example doing research, helping with administrative tasks, coming up with new ideas or suggestions and familiarizing myself with the topics and different methods used in the events.  As a result, I have already learned a lot about methods like peer-to-peer education and non-formal education which I keep in mind when suggesting new workshops.

Apart from that, I also participate in the so called “Move-te” sessions, where we directly address the topic of volunteering opportunities with Erasmus+ to young people. During these sessions, the youngsters can ask questions to me and the other volunteers to get a general idea of how life as a volunteer abroad is like and how application processes work for example. In my opinion these sessions are very important because they provide information and insight on a different level than dry facts on the internet could.

Furthermore, I also do Tandem, which is a method of language learning that is based on the exchange of languages between two people. In practice it means that I teach German or English to someone and this person teaches Portuguese to me in return. I have already found different Tandem partners and I am enjoying these lessons a lot, because I believe that this method is a very effective way of learning languages because you learn from native speakers.

All in all, I can say that I am enjoying my volunteering experience in Portugal a lot. I consistently learn on different levels which enables me to create consciousness for multiple aspects in different areas which will surely be helpful for my future. 

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