My name is Agata I’m 23 years old and I just finished my EVS in Spain in ACD La Hoya organization. I started the project 9 months ago, after finishing university with any bigger expectations and now, in the end, I feel that it was an amazing time. I had an opportunity to get to know a new culture, traditions and customs, to feel what the Spanish style of life really is and just to make myself a part of a new society. Not everything is easy when you live for almost a year in a foreign country, far from your friends and family. It can be quite a big challenge but in the end, you know that you’ve made a good decision, have learnt a lot and had loads of fun.
The main goal of my project was to help in kindergarten and primary school CEIP La Marina. I was helping during various classes, during the lunchtime, working in the library and giving extracurricular English lessons. Except all this, with other volunteers, we were organizing different type of events and workshops for the village community, such as Halloween, Christmas market, handcraft activities for children and many topic days. I also had to run the FB page, promote the activities and from time to time write articles to the local newspaper. The best part of my project was that the activities were very diversified and it never was boring.
During these 9 months I have learnt a lot. Firstly I got to know what does it really mean the culture differences, what let me see my own culture in other light and learn much about myself. I noticed what is what I like about “my reality” and I begin to appreciate it more and at the same time, I saw what is what I prefer in the Spanish life, what I can put into my life here. Moreover while being a volunteer you can observe the influence of the EVS projects in the society, especially in a small village. Thanks to the time that I’ve spent in La Hoya y La Marina I could notice how this kind of initiatives teach the tolerance not only the volunteer but also all the people who have the contact with him/her.
My EVS gave me the opportunity to work in school what let me gain the experience that can help me in the future even though the Spanish school system is totally different than polish. Before the project I was working with children nevertheless this part was the most challenging for me precisely because of the system differences. Sometimes it was very difficult and frustrating, but that is what was giving me more motivation and inspired me to try new things over and over until I found a good way.
The other thing that I consider very important is that the project helped me develop creativity. All the workshops and activities that we were preparing at school and for the village children require a great dose of creativity from you, what was perfect for me after 3 years of regular studies at the university.
Finally, during the EVS in Spain I could practice my Spanish, but not only, thanks to the multicultural environment I developed my English skills and I started to learn German. I also have enough time for my hobbies, for travels around the country and, last and the most important, for making new friends that I hope will last for a long, long time.
Concluding, doing the EVS gives the opportunity to help others and to improve yourself. It is an amazing experience to live for a year abroad and a great challenge that gives you a fresh view of your life. How much will you learn and gain from the project and the time spent abroad depends only from you. And even though it sounds like a cliché I really feel that is true. I feel I squeezed the best from my time in Spain and I really recommend EVS to anyone.