Wiktoria in Hungary
I’m Wiktoria, born and raised in Poland. My project has started on September. I’m volunteer in Waldorf School in Debrecen, 2nd largest city in Hungary.
There are so many questions before making such a decision about moving to another country. I would like to shortly explain you that there is nothing to be worry about, really. No matter whether you are 19 or 29 years old or if you graduated a high school or a university. Till 30 years old you can be volunteer somewhere abroad. The most important is your curiosity. This kind of an adventure often helps to make decision about future choices. It’s totally fine if you don’t know what exactly you’ll do in the future.
How to find the best project?
The easiest way to find the project is searching on one of the Facebook groups or on the European Solidarity Corps website. Usually, projects are dedicated to educational, cultural, ecological or social placements. So, basically, everywhere where your help could be useful for the environment or society. Apart from the project, it would be good for you to check the place. Regarding to your personal preferences, you should take a look if your project happens in the big city or small village.
Seminar – city games with other volunteers
When you’ve chosen the project which you like the most, you need to send your application. The application including a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, sometimes you have to answer few additional questions. Later on, probably, the receiving organization will call you via Skype so there is an opportunity to ask about everything what you want: money, accommodation, transport. They will explain you everything, for example, you, as a European citizen, have to make The European Health Insurance Card. It’s completely free and easy to do but it’s extremely important if you are sick and you have to visit a doctor abroad. You need to find also sending organization in your own country so they would provide you an extra insurance, just in case.
Don’t worry about your language skills. Voluntary service exists to help you improve your language so everyone is patience and understanding. If the organization is not helpful at all, they are not in the contact or they don’t care so much – don’t choose them. As a volunteer you will get monthly pocket money. Besides that, you receive one meal and also transportation from and to your work such a bike or tickets. It’s provided by your placement. You don’t need to pay for your room or flat, that is important. Usually, the flat is divided between volunteers so you won’t feel lonely in the new situation.
In general, you won’t stay alone. In your work place you have your own supervisor. This person is responsible for your well-being at the placement and organizing your daily tasks. Expect that, you have a mentor. This person is someone out of the work, who should help you with an everyday struggle such a visiting the doctor or where to find the best coffee in the city. Also, your sending organization from your country may be helpful and of course, receiving one as well. Usually there is also an opportunity to meet with other volunteers, because responsible authority of European Solidarity Corps from every country is organizing few days meeting for people. They can share experiences, ideas, get to know each other and make friendships. Also my organization in Hungary prepared for us, volunteers extra meetings, seminars and trips which is one of the best part of the project.
Waldorf education is extremely interesting and different from “standard“ one. This system wants children to gain not just basic knowledge but also the spirit of long-life learning. Kids can experience different types of fine arts, crafts. In this philosophy there is proper time for everything so in every grade youngsters are developing new skills such cooking, gardening or organizing (events, flea market etc.). I’m passionate about alternative ways of education, that’s why I’ve chosen it. This system isn’t so popular in Poland, where I come from, so I was curious about the option.
Thanks to this project I’ve learnt how to manage communication’s issues and languages barriers. I could share my own culture with Hungarian teenagers. I’ve been practicing my English. I met so many an extraordinary, enthusiastic and kind people. I can give more examples: I conducted my own art projects, I supported English classes, I learnt so much about Hungarian culture like folk dances but also about polish-hungarian historical friendship. Every day I cope challenges which make me feel stronger and better person. Although I struggle sometimes because of missing my family and friends, I’m sure I have made good decision. I’ve created plan for future which wasn’t that clear before. If you still consider your decision – It’s worthy, believe me.