In september 2015 Laura Palacios went to Bulgaria to gain new experience through the Erasmus + programme. Currently she is doing her European voluntary service and now she shares her experience with us showing how delighted she is.
Hello! I am Laura, I am 22 years old and I come from Burgos. I graduated in july, my major was Psychology in University of Salamanca and I felt very lost. I had no idea what to do in september! Since I was 2 years ago on Erasmus in Brussels, I knew what travelling around the world and meeting people from other countries means. I had it clear that I wanted to repeat a similar experience. So I started searching like crazy. Scholarships abroad, volunteering opportunities...there were many opportunities but the best, without a doubt, was EVS (European Voluntary Service). The opportunity to participate in a volunteering project in another European country, to be in contact with so many people from different cultures, to be able to help others and on top of that to receive a small payment every month sounded like a dream.
And here I am, in Bulgaria, without ever imagining it. Now I have the time to think about what I want to do in the future and, of course, I am in the perfect moment and place to enjoy and to learn the most.
My project consists of the inclusion of adolescents and children at risk of social exclusion. Young people that don't have parents or were victims of domestic violence. Our work consists of carrying on activities with them, in the centers where they live or outside. But we are versatile. We were also selling tea at the Solidarity Festival, promoting EVS at schools and now we are reconstructing the Social Tea House, an alternative space that offers the opportunity for professional and personal development to those youngsters coming from difficult environment. Cutting wood, putting nails and painting walls have been my last tasks for this week. Who would have thought it!
For now, my EVS experience has been very enriching. In the first place, to get to know myself. I have time to understand my emotions and my wishes, to read, to write, to walk by the beach (I am lucky to live in Varna, a beautiful city situated on the coastline of the Black Sea). and to learn English. In the beginning it was complicated to communicate because I was not speaking it very well but once I realized that the important thing is not to be afraid and to try, I learn a lot! What's more, I am meeting a lot of people from around Europe, I am learning from them and I enjoy their company. Of course, I travel as much as I can. During these months I have seen different places in Bulgaria and I have travelled in Turkey and Greece as well. These countries are amazing!
I recommend to everyone to do an EVS. Really!for those who have any doubts, simply donñ t think too much and jump! dare to make the step! In the beginning I was also very undecisive and I didnñ t know what to do but now I am convinced that coming here was the best decision that I could have taken. travelling, helping those who need it, growing as people, learning from the others, enjoying, reflecting about who we are and who we want to be. What else can you ask for?