For those of you who don’t know what EVS is, it’s the European Voluntary Service which allows young adults to go to another country for a set number of months (less than 12 if doing long term) to volunteer in a certain NGO.
I had just finished university when I decided to apply for a EVS placement, it was out of the blue and I definitely didn’t think too much about it. But literally the day after I sent in my application I received an email, an email from my now sending organisation explaining there was a place for me in Thessaloniki, Greece. Just a few days later I had my skype interview and was accepted by the United Societies of Balkans to volunteer in the organisation for 10 months.
Fast forward six months and I am now sat in the EVS flat that I share with a few other volunteers. SIX MONTHS. It feels so strange to be away from what I am used to for this long, yes I left my home town for university but nothing compares to travelling across the world to an unknown country to live with a group of strangers who all speak different languages.
Speaking of languages, I am both lucky and unlucky in this aspect. The organisation itself is English speaking, everyone must speak and write and publish in English, so for me doing any task is extremely easy and I can do more than the rest due to it being my native language. But on the negative side, I am the only native English speaker so.. “go ask Georgina for help”, “Georgina will check your spelling” etc etc etc. But also, there are many country groups, so the Italians (especially now) speak Italian a lot, and the Spanish with the Spanish and so on, so many times I’m sat like “erm whats going on.”
EVS definitely isn’t for everybody and I am saying that from past experience, I have had moments during these past few months when I felt like going home, giving up and throwing away this opportunity. Trust me, there’s hard time, there’s argument and there’s plenty of tears. There has been drama, fights, and bitching but also a lot of smiles, memories and development. I could talk for hours about my EVS experience, but right now all I want to say is if you want it, keep fighting and go get it.