What's up: Our EVS experience
We are sharing stories of two EVS volunteers who are currently doing their service with the European University Sports Association (EUSA) through the EUSA Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Marianna from Poland and Nenad from Serbia share their experiences in EUSA so far and invite also others to explore EVS/ESC.
European Voluntary Service (EVS) and the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) are EU-funded mobility programmes for young people. Please the European Youth Portal at https://europa.eu/youth/volunteering/ and https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/ for more details. The next opportunity for young people to apply for an EVS/ESC service in EUSA will open in the beginning of next year for project starting in September 2019.
My adventure with EVS started already 3 years ago. It was just after European Universities Futsal Championships in Poland, that I've heard about this opportunity for the first time, and knew I would try to make it happen for me one day. 3 years later, few other EUSA events on the way, and I arrived in Ljubljana for my first day as an EVS volunteer in EUSA office.
This experience could not get any better. In EUSA office I'm constantly learning new things and improving my skills. As a person who few years ago could only dream about working in sport, I'm living my dream. I've also had a chance to go to Madrid for the General Assembly & Gala, which has been an amazing learning experience, but also a great chance to meet more people involved in university sport. Besides that, I have time to travel through Slovenia and nearby countries, discover beautiful places around Ljubljana and of course, be active and do some sports in the afternoon.
But EVS is not only about work! It gives you many other chances, like participating in trainings, meeting new people or learning the language of the country you are in. It's a very unique opportunity, to not only gain work experience, but life experience as well. You find yourself in a different country, with different people and traditions. There is no better way to get to know yourself better and grow as a person. So if you got a chance to take part in EVS, do not hesitate, you will not regret it!
After I gained my bachelor diploma in psychology and working for two years as a marketing manager in a company I wanted to try something new. My goal was to challenge myself in living in a foreign country and working in a serious organization where I would have an opportunity to check my abilities and to re-evaluate my career goals. For some time I knew about EVS program and I really wanted to use that experience, because as I see now, it is crucial for my further development.
Since 2011 I was thinking about applying and for 6 years I found excuses stronger than my desire. Personal issues, work-related issues, college, etc. Luckily, I didn’t allow my fears to be stronger last year.
I choose to apply for EVS at EUSA because I had experience working at EUSA events and I really think that I can learn a lot from every single person working there. And I have to admit that I did not make a mistake. Amazing thing was that everyone respects our opinion, give us more important tasks than I imagined them to be, and they are all really nice. For now.
If you are thinking about going to EVS and if you have any doubt whether you will go or not, I personally advise you – GO! There is not a single excuse why you should not use the opportunity for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You may confirm or change your goals and to have a wide perspective towards people because you are going out of your comfort zone, in an intercultural environment. There is nothing better than that.
The authors Marianna Pikul and Nenad Ruzic started their EVS service in EUSA in February 2018 and will conclude it end of August. Marianna is due to graduate from her Master Degree studies in Sport Journalism and Sport Management as well as Philosophy – Social Communication at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. Nenad is a Bachelor of Psychology, graduated from the University of Belgrade.
Are you a student with an opinion? We are looking for new contributors for our student column every month. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to offer a piece or propose a topic.