Farewell ESC volunteers
Over the past year, EUSA hosted yet another amazing team of long-term volunteers through the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programme. The time has now unfortunately come to say farewell (for the time being) and thank you to Amelie, Tomasz and Zrinka.
At the end of August, the ESC project concluded, and the three volunteers which were hosted by EUSA, returned to their homes. Before leaving, we asked them to share their experiences and offer some highlights of their engagement with the EUSA Institute and the European University Sports Association over the past year.
Amelie Bury (FRA)
After quitting my job, I started my volunteer experience at EUSA last year in October 2019, and I can’t believe that it is already finished. I had such a great time working at EUSA and living in Slovenia that time has flown. And now I know I took the right decision to come here.
During this almost one year of volunteering, and despite the Corona crisis, I had opportunities to work on and travel for several European projects, meet interesting people , and I gained a meaningful experience for my future professional career. I feel lucky to have lived it, and I would definitely recommend it, so don’t hesitate to apply! This experience enables you to develop new skills in the field of sport, create a network, and discover Slovenia which is one of the most beautiful countries I ever visited.
We, Tomasz, Zrinka and I, were warmly welcomed, and the goodbyes were heart-breaking. However, we know that it is not completely over, because the many events organised by EUSA will definitely enable us to meet in the coming years. We experienced the feeling of belonging at EUSA and this will remain longer than the final date of the volunteering contract. For all of these reasons, I am very grateful to EUSA.
Tomasz Olszewski (POL)
I really wanted to get to this ESC/EVS opportunity for over a year and I applied, really thinking through my decision. I knew it is going to be the biggest career opportunity, if I want my future job to involve sport.
The time in the office and in Slovenia was even better than I imagined it to be. Not only were my expectations met, but even exceeded. People in the office were super helpful, friendly, professional and experienced. Also the people we met during our stay in Slovenia both workwise as well as other EVS volunteers made the time spent there even better. The time there helped me hone my skills and was a perfect transition between university and adult work life.
Sadly because of Coronavirus some opportunities were limited, but during this tough confinement time we were supported by EUSA. The country itself was also the pleasant surprise. I think Slovenia was the best country to explore post quarantine time, it has every landscape you can imagine and everything is very close. This EVS was the best decision I could have made.
Zrinka Tabain (CRO)
I have known EUSA for a few years now and making the choice of joining EUSA through the ESC was absolutely the right one. Even if my expectations were high to begin with, they were definitely surpassed; everyone in EUSA was kind, welcoming and every day was a new experience.
I got a chance to be a part of the story of the European Universities Games, as well as an opportunity to take the lead and be creative, contribute to different projects in different countries and I am grateful for every opportunity. I have received continuous support and guidance and working towards a huge event such as EUG was exciting despite the pandemic situation that postponed it to 2021. Even if the unfortunate situation changed the work schedule, we kept busy; wrote an Erasmus+ project and participated in the FISU World Forum 2020 that was a memorable international experience.
Moving to Ljubljana was the first time leaving home for me, so it was filled with challenges and things to learn. Living and working in an international setting shaped me, throughout the year I met new people, got out of my comfort zone and learned a lot about myself. I travelled, discovered Slovenia and other countries, and made friends for a lifetime. Looking back, I would not change a thing and becoming a part of EUSA Family is something that will stay with me forever. I got to spend an amazing year in Slovenia and highly recommend the ESC experience to anyone that wants to experience something new, meet wonderful people and have a year to remember.
EUSA is very grateful and have been honoured to work with all three volunteers, helping them grow and at the same time learning from them. Thank you Amelie, Tomasz and Zrinka for your time and dedication, and we look forward to meeting you again soon! We would also thank the funders and supporters – the European Union and national agency Movit, as well as the sending partner organisations - CIDJ (Youth Information and Documentation Centre) from Paris, France; Secretariat for Youth of the Westpomeranian Region from Szczecin, Poland; and Ocean of Knowledge from Zagreb, Croatia.
EUSA Institute in an accredited organisation with a quality label for receiving and sending volunteers through the European Solidarity Corps initiative. We plan to host the next ESC volunteers next year; follow us and keep an eye on our website to see when forthcoming opportunities become available.