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I’m looking for more than one year behind me, trying to get back my feelings through the idea of going alone to participate to an unknown experience in an unknown country.
That thing necessitated courage confessed my friends, but I was fuller of curiosity, unconsciousness and expectations, than fears.
Of course, I consoled myself thinking that this travel should be only one bracket in my social, friendly and family life in France.
I can assure today that the EVS and all what it confers, wasn’t just a passage, because it takes and will always takes a part of myself.
It is a hard exercise to resume my nine months in Romania through the EVS.
I can only try to offer a few vision of this experience, even to my closed friends.
Human’s relationships and feelings are exacerbated in such context, but I think that I found a natural way to exchange ideas, way of working, way of playing, way of laughing, way of communicating.
15 volunteers united, 9 countries represented, hosted and welcomed in a very warm place which is Romania with a common envy to give and share all what we could, in formal or informal ways.
Intercultural knowledge is a very big concept, an experience of a all life ; we tried to give something good or something different to the community in which we lived.
Between doubts, joy, nostalgia, motivation and craziness, we learn a lot and I came back with more projects, more energy in order to continue in this way. The mutual learning is one of the step to go to more tolerance, understanding, exchanges and cooperation. It’s what I am doing today, I’m working in international solidarity. My ambitions has been conferred by what I lived through the EVS experience with Romanian people, with my working team, with all the people whom contributed to enrich this part of my life. I will be always grateful to all of them.
Geraldine, France
EVS volunteer, Networking for European Citizenship, 2007
EVS is  a nice opportunity to meet new people to know new culture and to find new frineds. From this point of you it was quite helpful for me. I found new friends all over the world I learned romanian culture which was very interesting.
EVS is a chance to understand and to make clear for you what actually you want form your life what you want to achieve. You have time to think, you have chance to try yourself in totally different area, to understand your strenght and weaknesses.
You live in a totally different country with a people you never met before... This is a great chance to know people better to improve your skills.
EVS is a small life in your general life....
Arevik, Armenia
EVS volunteer, Networking for European Citizenship, 2007
I came home, everything as normal. glad to be here with my friends and my mum made tradidtional FINNISH food yesterday, mjam, but I miss all the people around in Bustuchin! And yooooooooouuuuu all! oh my god. even if Im so happy to meet my friends and everyone in my hometown. Gosh Im happy I had this experience that DID change my life in smaller and a little bit bigger ways. wau.I ve learned so much, and from u all. I dont wanna imagine my life now without having made this EVS.
I learned that it's good to plan everyday something. At least something that you should do every day, something to achieve every day. To always have a plan B. To plan in small details even small events that might seem small but you have to think about a lot of things. Much more things than you even can imagine.
On a personal level I learned a lot. A little bit about who I am, maybe what I am could do in the future but also a lot about who I am not. I mean I thought I can do this and that and that I am this person,but I learned now that no, this is not necessarily my thing. Which sort of leads me in to what I am more, by excluding things, about myself. And I learned to work with kids, which I haven't done before.
Thanx thanx all! I cant even say how much. But it aint over yet!!! we have to meet, whenever u have the possibility - please come to Finland! it's and order - not a request! ;)
hugs and many kisses, u cant even imagine how many ;) semi finnish / romanian girl
What does this EVS mean for me? EVS? Extra Wollen Socks... Energy Vodka Shot... Eminem Versus Shakira... ah no: European Voluntary Service!
But Astrid, what is that? Well. For me EVS in Romania in 2009 was...
... To be a stranger in a strange country... to learn how to welcome and open yourself, your home and your culture to a stranger so that the stranger feels at home... to learn the difference between planning and putting in action... to lose yourself... to find yourself again, but with something new inside... to fall in love with people... to begin to appreciate new things in life... to learn to play chess... to learn that it's not the place that makes the people, but that it's the people that make the place... to learn how to dance traditional dances... to watch things going in a totally different direction than the way that you planned them... but to let it come and realize that it's ok... and to adapt yourself to the new situation... to learn learning by doing!... to notice that you are still that lazy and disordered pig that your were back home... but that it's also nice to do things in a different way... to learn how to work with children... to meet ten different new cultures... s learn how much you love your own country, your own family and your own home... to realize that people are not so different around the world... to realize that you shouldn't try to be someone that you are not... to learn a new language... to be afraid... and to overcome your fears!... to learn to always have a plan B in your pocket... to open your eyes and to realize which are those things that actually makes life worth living... to realize that you can do things you earlier just had watched others do... but to discover that u weren't either exactly the person that you thought you were... and that you aren't good at everything... but to realize what especially you are good at... and to get a hint of what you could imagine doing in the future... to bring with you new habits back home... to plant a piece of your heart in another country... and to just wait for coming back!
You did your EVS because you wanted to change something somewhere else in the world - when you came back you wanted to change your own country.
I didn't change Romania - Romania changed me
PS: EVS is also new hell of a good friends!
Astrid, Finland
EVS Volunteer in A.C.T.Y.V.E project, 2009
Romanian language then the people here, the culture, to see their group life, ALL THE GOOD WAYS. To love children, before I had really no interest - but now aaah children! Really I never thought it could change like this. How education works in the practice. I learned how it's good and how it's not good.
Jasmine, Austria
EVS Volunteer in A.C.T.Y.V.E project, 2009
Really I found just one boy but I guess it success, because I told him to make some pictures and I made some remarks and I said that you are very good and I saw that he was proud and I saw the fire in his eyes. Maybe it will push him in his future. Anyway I made something and like a small plus for his life maybe. For me it was a very selfish project. I came here to improve my personal skills, and I feel that I made it very well. For example when I see some comments for my group blog guys say that they like my pictures! I could not imagine this one year ago. And it's very nice for me. And I look at my work and I understand if I go through much and also to compare my pictures and what I am now... When I went back to Ucraine my friends first said: "Where is your stomac?" It just disappeared and these physical changes are just a chain reaction from the personal changes. I like it very much. As a person I cannot even imagine that I can go as a volunteer somewhere. It's very good because I have become much more European. I was much more short minded. Thanks for Jasmin that I opened my eyes for some prejudices that I had before. I changed it.
Veniamin, Ukraine
EVS Volunteer in A.C.T.Y.V.E project, 2009
it is my last mounthly evaluation.
thanks for everything.
I have spent in Romania my best time .whent i arrived here for me was dificult to stay but now it is difucult to leve Romania.
i am cheancged by EVS.i will go home another person and i can see this now.
Nik, Georgia
EVS Volunteer in A.C.T.Y.V.E project, 2009
well, now i am eating good and too much, I drink less because here is not a good home made wine and... I miss you!
Every morning I am waking up and thinking about, was it a dreAM?
Vero, Germany
EVS Volunteer in A.C.T.Y.V.E project, 2009
For me this EVS is a learning experience of life as well as an opportunity to gain new professional skills.
On one hand, due to the style of my accommodation, I mean to share a little flat (and bed) during six months in a village with foreign girls too. On the other hand by cultural differences and daily life in Romania.
I am delighted because it is difficult to change and adapt myself to a lifestyle that I enjoy more or less, but now I know that I am able to do it and all the negative points will be positives in my mind. And the greatest thing is that I have new friends in Europe and Caucasus and more reasons to travel again !!!
This project allows me to practice my skills, to develop according to cultural differences but also to face my weaknesses and my mistakes. However I have started this project with ambition and motivation coming from two sides: myself and my community, and experiences of this project makes me think that it is really difficult to integrate in a foreign country and to position oneself as a promoter of a project goals. Rural Development, especially if you don' t find a really helping hand in the community to give run up to your ideas.
But in all cases this experiences will be positive for my future, and I hope they are going to be useful for my community.
To conclude I have 3 words to characterize my EVS : Tolerance, Open minded, and be Active !!!!!!!!!
Amelie, France
EVS Volunteer in A.C.T.Y.V.E project, 2009
Good question!! EVS has a lot of meanings for me, honestly this opinion has changed a lot from the beginning until now.
EVS changes your view about this world, it makes you open your eyes and see that all is in our hands, but it is necessary to pay attention to the small things that for a shallow mind it seems like they don't mean anything but they can change all. It is to wake up every morning in a different world and know how to adapt, it is open your eyes, ears and HEART. Plus, you learn to be patient.
A lot of times in our normal life we are so absorbed for our daily life and we forget all the things that we can do, and also that we can do it without needing so many things.
With this experience I have developed myself more than I had imagined. I have understood a part of myself that was hidden, I have seen my possibilities...some of them that I didn't know that I had.
Let me say some important words which summarize this EVS for me: Friendship, Tolerance, Patience, Intercultural Exchange, Open Mind, Open Eyes, Open Heart, Learning...
Almu, Spain
EVS Volunteer in A.C.T.Y.V.E project, 2009
And overall, I thank you for such a challenging and sincere experience in Romania. I only felt what I had changed when I came back. I believe all of us had a very positive growing-up experience there and it definetely helped us to face our challenges back home with a totally new perspective.
Ana Coutinho, Portugal, YES for EVS, 2008
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Hello, my name is Justina, I am 24 years old, I came from Druskininkai, Lithuania. I volunteered in NGO Lietuvos Atgaja and worked as journalist before EVS. And now I came in Romania, Gorj county to be part of W.A.V.E.2 project. I live in very small Musetesti community (there are only 2000 people, but they are so friendly and open-minded). I would never change this place in any other. Other here I work with different age kids (from 4 to 16): teach them English language, different kids of painting, we are playing, acting and more other. And this is only start of project, but I know that this experience will change my life
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