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What does it mean to be a volunteer?

What does it mean to be a volunteer? For me it means independence, getting way more out of yourcomfort zone than you intentionally planned to, being left alone somewhere with little language skills, totally tired and completely without your family and friends. It means that you will feel alone, that you will see no sense anymore, but then strive to face all of those struggles to become even stronger than you thought you could ever become.

In my 9 month I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I learned to let go of thinks I can’t control. I learned to appreciate the little things and I learned that I can trust in myself and my abilities. Yes, my EVS-experience didn't start great, I missed my family, it was hard to get used to the new living situation and I had problems with my tasks and teachers in the school I worked in. Everything was just different. But slowly things started to change, I realized that they had to get used to me as well. I started making friends and the more hard work and heart I put into my job, the more trust and appreciation I gained for it. I believe that you only face what you are ready to face to finally come out as a stronger person.

In the end I would describe my EVS-experience as life changing and I am coming out of it with a lot more positive memories than negative, but I needed these negative moments to appreciate the good ones more, to realize that I am stronger than I thought and that I can handle everything that is coming next.

I made friendships for life, I received a lot of love, I was able to travel and I will forever remember and appreciate all these little moments were I felt genuinely happy.

Anna Fritsch - Erasmus+ "European Youth in Alzira II"

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