My name is Luc Parez, I am 24 years old, I am from France and I’m a volunteer for Zury Association in Timisoara, Romania.
After finishing my studies, I did not want to stay in France. But the thing is that even if I have a good diploma, I had no real work experiences (excepted an internship and we all know what an internship means) and I also had a very bad level in English. Finding a job abroad is quite hard so, as I am still young, I wanted to do something useful for the world and for people who need some help. That is why I’ve searched some information about European programmes and after few days, I found my happiness: The European Voluntary Service.
To encourage the mobility of young people between 17 and 30 years, the European Voluntary Service allows you to serve a public interest project abroad from 2 weeks to 2 months for short-term EVS and from 2 to 12 months for long term EVS and live a formative experience. It also helps you to develop active citizenship and to show solidarity, to discover another culture, another language etc. But the objective is also personal: develop your competences, take initiative, be able to manage your money (here in Romania it is 160€ per month but it depends of the country), learn to live alone, or (most of the time) with other people who come from other European countries. EVS is the best way to meet people and improve your English speaking skills (or the language you want to improve).
That is why I contacted Zury, my aim was to found a good project but also create my own. Do what I want to do later while being useful for the association. After some meetings with my sending organisation (called Adice), and when all the administration process was done, I took the plane to Timisoara. On my arrival the association welcomed me in the best way possible. I met the other volunteers, my mentor (the person who helps you to integrate in the local community, helps you to become comfortable in the city, found the best places etc), my coordinator (the person who helps you with your work) and other members of the association.
My studies were focused on creating sport or cultural events so I think that I have found the good place to practice and develop my skills. I have to organize events, workshops and presentations on various topics like healthy life, environment, and prevention about blindness. For example, about the healthy life topic I have to prepare some presentations about the dangers of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and go to different schools to advise teenagers regarding the risks of these substances. About my personal project, the blind awareness campaign, I am really interested to organize a meal in a restaurant in the dark with the aim to make people feel like a blind person. It is a funny way to raise awareness about this topic. My mentor and the coordinator will help me to found a restaurant where it is possible to do this. I hope it could be possible. I am glad to have this opportunity and I am sure that it will help me for my future career.
On the other hand, EVS is a really good opportunity to make new friends and to develop a good professional network, to discover the culture, the tradition and the history of your hosting country. And the last but not the least, become another man: more open-minded, able to live in another country by your own, leave your parents if you still live in their home and confront your fear of the unknown.
Finally, you have all the reasons to try the EVS adventure… you only need to start searching for a project !