Discover the testimony ok Katia who is now doing a EVS in France:
Can you present yourself and tell us where you are from ?
My name is Ekaterina. I come from Russia and I am on the EVS project for one year in Nevers, France. I arrived on the 1st of September 2015.
What did you do befre your EVS ?
Since a long time I was working with EVS projects and EVs volunteers in Russia, I gave Russian lessons to Slovakian volunteers, cooperated with Italian, Austrian, Polish and French volunteers. That was a good experience and I think, with the help of them I got an idea to do it myself. They gave me a good example how environment and different country can influence on your self-development. It helps to grow and to gain incredible experience. It is not just being a foreigner and try to speak the language, it is also a great story of self-identification as a part of a particular culture and nation, respect to others and discovery.
Why Did you choose France ?
The two first volunteers we hosted in Kirov were from France. With both of them we stayed in a good contact and opened associations. The aim was to promote culture and organize different intercultural events for people to get used to see foreigners around, gain sense of tolerance and respect. In any case it was well working in Russia and I have already idea how to do it there, so it was not a problem. But to develop more and do it also in France I had to understand how it was working in France. So I started to look for a project, what was not easy, and after two years I finally found what I wanted.
What are your missions in your hosting organization ? What do you learn there ?
I work in the City hall of Nevers in the international department. I help people to find EVS, I tell them about it, make presentations, help to translate in English and to write a good motivation letter. Also I give English lessons and this works also well. That is a great experience to explain English in French, to find analogies not with Russian but with language which is also not my native. I learnt many interesting and useful things about how the French system works and how manage with projects. No doubt that I would never learn it anywhere else if not here.
Does this EVS helps you for your future?
For sure! I think I finally found the right direction. I decided to stay in France and to study one more year in the university, to have the opportunity to speak better French and maybe to find a job here. I like France and why not. But in general this year for me as a year to take a deep breath, to have some rest, to make a pause and to think what I want and where I go. I am 27 and I think, it is one of the last periods when I have this time to think and not act without any reflection. I needed it. I have it. I am happy.
Would you recommand EVS.? And if yes, why ?
I think according to my duties here I need to do it quite often, but I do it with pleasure. I try not to recommend it, I try to inspire people to want it. Every chance has to be taken, and if this chance can educate you, can make you grow personally, can open your mind it has to be taken without any doubt. It is hard to say that you do not want to have informal education, and you prefer to stay closed but earning money. We do not live for money, we live once and for some things what are not material and measurable.
What is your futur project for the futur?