Dates: April/July/September 2021 – March/June 2022
Venue: Apulia Region, Italy
Programme and action: European Solidarity Corps (ESC) – long-term volunteering
Please read the infopack for Associazione “Appoggiati a meOnlus”, Battisti Ferraris, Comune Bitonto, Comune Molfetta, SOS vesničce Ostuni, Junior Secondary School Monterisi, Manzoni-Poli, Liceo Classico-Scientifico, ITET G. Salvemini and Istituto S. G. Bosco volunteering positions.
My ESC project’s name was Take me in Europe 3. I arrived at the begginning of September 2021 and left by the end of June 2022, therefore, I have spent 10 months in a beautiful town in the south of Italy in the Apuglia region.
In this town – Molfetta – I worked as a support teacher in a local high school, mostly helping out in English classes. It was a challenge, but also a very valuable experience. The education system in Italy is quite different from ours and the Italian students are used to different treatment than Czechs. Thankfully I was not alone at this school, but I was getting used to all the different things together with one other volunteer. In the end, we got along very well with most of the local teachers and most importantly, with the students. Some of them I‘ll surely miss a lot.
The English lessons didn’t have to always consist of English itself, but we often spoke about topics like: our different cultures, travelling, discrimination, European values, volunteering and anything else that was interesting/important for us. What is more, we could even open an afterschool dance workshop, which we enjoyed with the students a lot.
My working hours also included Italian lessons or different activites with the other volunteers organized by the local organization. (e.g. Christmas choir)
Speaking of the other volunteers, one of the most important things, that I am bringing back home with me are many new friendships. There were circa 20 volunteers living in Molfetta in different houses, but we had a lot of common trips, dinners and parties and each person found some people that became their great friends. We even made friends from some of the local young people we could meet in Molfetta.
All in all, thanks to this project, I have learnt a lot of things. I have learnt to prepare lessons for school, I have learnt to prepare and correct written tests, I have learnt Italian and even a few words in the local dialect, I have learnt to cook different meals from various countries, I have learnt to appreciate what I have at home, I have learnt patience and understanding and last but not least, I have learnt that spending one year abroad is one of the best things one can decide to do.