Dates: 1. 3. 2017 – 28. 2. 2018
Venue: Valencia, Spain
Programme and action: Erasmus+, KA1, European Voluntary Service
Volunteer: Zuzana Jurašíková
Hosting organisation: Centre Específic d’Educació a Distancia de la Comunitat Valenciana (CEEDCV)
You can follow this EVS story on the blog: https://evsvalencia.wordpress.com/.
It was exactly two years ago when I started to look for the EVS Project. I was bit tired of my job, completing another excel spreadsheet and I just felt like I would really love to experience life in yet another country and work on something I am truly passionate about – international educational projects.
As I knew exactly what type of volunteering experience I wanted, it took me quite a long time to find the right fit. However, the wait was definitely worth it! After months of research, I was accepted as one of the three volunteers to CEEDCV, Valencia – Educational Center for Adults, and one of the best experiences of my life was about to start.
CEEDCV is a learning institution, which offers a wide range of courses to adults in beautiful and sunny Valencia. For many students it is a second chance to complete their education as they haven’t had a chance to do so before. Some of them are experiencing unemployment issues as their job doesn’t exist anymore and they have to change their field completely. It was very inspiring to see people really taking life into their hands and trying to change the unfortunate situation.
What I really loved about this project was the variety of activities could participate in. The organization really encouraged us to be pro-active, bring our own ideas and engage within tasks we were really interested in and actually enjoyed.
As I believe, the international mobilities and EU educational projects are the best part of the current education, I was mostly involved with that. During this year I supported students and teachers who wanted to get out of their comfort zone and apply for Erasmus exchanges or trainings. It was incredible to see them coming back from all parts of Europe, full of excitement, new knowledge and confidence! I also had an opportunity to promote Erasmus+ at several conferences, which helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking and allowed to meet new people interested in a same topic.
CEEDCV also supports migrants and refugees in Spain and I was lucky enough to arrive when an incredible project ACT in TIME was about to start. The goals of this project is to help refugees and migrants who are already residents in Spain to improve their Spanish, get a job or start their own business. The stories I heard from them were really eye opening, sometimes heart breaking but always full of strength, aspiration and hope. And that was very powerful.
During this year I had an opportunity to deepen my knowledge about international projects and thanks to this experience I have just gotten my dream job! But apart of my skills, I gained so much more. I have met incredible people, who have completely changed my life and who are my friends for life now. I learnt a new language as I hadn’t spoken much of Spanish before, I swam in incredible bays, saw many sunsets from peaks of beautiful mountains, gained approximately three kilos from all of this delicious food and got sunburnt approximately 20 000 times.
I cannot really list all of the year in these few lines but I would just like to encourage anybody who is hesitant about doing European Voluntary Service, please do yourself a favor and just go. Especially with such an incredible sending organization like European Youth Center Breclav!