Buna siua! Ce faci? My name is Karima. I´m 24 years old and I´ve been in Resita (Romania) for almost 10 months.
The typical question that everybody asks me is: “why Romania?” My answer always is the same: “and why not?”
Well, let´s start from the beginning of the story.
I’ve been a volunteer in different NGOs since I was 14 years old, but when I finished university as a social worker I really wanted to be an international volunteer.
The problem is that the EVS program is very unknown in my country. I tried a lot of other ways to be an international volunteer, but it was so expensive. But one day, I was on Facebook and I noticed that one of my friends had posted a photo with a lot of people saying “Happy volunteers in Arad.” Immediately I wrote to her to find out more.
So, if you are reading about me, first allow me to tell you that you are lucky because at least you know something about EVS. I wish I had had information about this amazing program right from the start.
Now I´d like to make information about EVS public. I’d like to encourage everybody to embark on this valuable experience.
After 9 months experience, I’m quite certain that I wouldn´t be able to explain here how many things I´ve learned; the list is endless.
At the professional level, you learn to work in a different environment, in a totally different community, and in a society with a different language and different writing system. Because of this situation, you are motivated to improve your in English, and thereby become more proficient in the language, christened “Erasmus English”. In addition to this, you learn the host country’s language (in this case, Romanian).
You also grow on a personal level. You become more open minded, you discover your personality more and more, you are more self-confident, you build trust in yourself and your self-concept increases.
Another amazing part of EVS is the possibilities it offers you. In my case, this has meant attending seminars. I have participated in some seminars and my best experience was when the profile of the participants was “Roma and non Roma”. It has given me the opportunity to make really good friends and also get along with Roma culture in a totally different way.
You might prepare a brilliant project or a mediocre project; you can end up living in an amazing city or in an ugly village; you may fall ill, you may argue with a local, but nevertheless, this lifetime experience is priceless and can only be had by way of the EVS programme.
I know it is not an easy decision to join an EVS programme, and the same questions will come to your mind… “What about my studies/job?”, “what about my family/my friends/girlfriend/boyfriend?”, “am I not old for this?”, “another country? OMG”.
Nonsense. Everybody asks themselves similar questions. I still believe I’ve never made a better decision in my life.