What's up: Experiencing ESC through volunteering in EUSA
In August, we said goodbye to Mariano Carcatella and Kieran Slocum, European Solidarity Corps (ESC) volunteers, as the last ESC project concluded at the EUSA Institute in Ljubljana. The programme, formerly ran as the European Voluntary Service (EVS), enables young Europeans to contribute to the society through carrying out activities in licensed organisations abroad.
We spoke with Mariano and Kieran to share their experiences.
After volunteering at European Universities Games 2018 in Coimbra, I had the opportunity to do a European Voluntary Service at EUSA.
I have mainly worked in the Sports Department assisting in the preparation and organization of the European Universities Championships 2019. Furthermore during last year I have been involving in preparation and organization of EUSA Seminars, Conferences and different Projects. It was a great year and I was lucky to learn from one of the best organized Sports Association in Europe.
After studying Sport Sciences and Sport Management at the University in Italy, it was crucial to practice and understand the various phases and aspects that underpin the organization of an international sporting event.
Working in an international environment was also really important to improve my English, speaking it every day. Of course apart the professional part, I can also say that it was a significant personal experience since I had the opportunity to live one year abroad, travel and meet new people from all over Europe.
Definitely this experience was vital for my career development in the Sport Management field.
I heard about EUSA through my EVS sending organisation and was immediately intrigued. I didn't know a lot about Slovenia or even the Balkans so for me it was a very challenging experience to live and work here. Thankfully the office were extremely welcoming and friendly to me as I always felt at home in a country far away from my own.
The experiences I was able to be part of with EUSA are ones that I won't ever forget as I got to experience sports I've never seen live as well as learn the rules from the athletes and try things for the first time like skiing! I grew to love the Slovenian culture, food and customs throughout my time here and as my time here draws to a close I really am going to miss the people and the country.
If you were looking to do your EVS in your Slovenia, EUSA will treat you better than no other. To see how European projects and championships are run from start to finish is a second to none experience and is an extremely valuable experience for those looking to work in sports. The freedom EUSA gave me to pursue other passions such as hiking (began in Slovenia), volunteering with the local community as well as the greater Slovenian community and to explore the Countries surrounding Slovenia are ones I really appreciated.
I plan on returning once again to climb Triglav to become a true Slovene but as my time here ends I can only say I'll cherish the experience and miss more than I thought I would when I originally came here, nasvidenje!
On behalf of EUSA Institute and the European University Sports Association, we would like to thank Mariano and Kieran, as well as other ESC and EVS volunteers we have hosted in the past, and look forward to new experiences.
ESC Volunteering is funded by the European Union and is in Slovenia supported by the National agency Movit. We have annual calls for volunteers (only) in the beginning of the year, for projects usually starting in the fall of the same year. Please see European Solidarity Corps in EUSA for more details.
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