Ivelina: a Bulgarian volunteer in Germany. An end of one incredible journey

Ivelina: a Bulgarian volunteer in Germany. An end of one incredible journey

My one-year ESC volunteering has come to an end. I had a year full of learning opportunities, realisations and plenty of emotions.

During the time spent 2000 km away from home, I got one step closer to achieving my personal and professional goals. There were times when the sadness, depression and nostalgia prevailed over my motivation to better my life, but in spite of these moments I reached a level of self-awareness unknown to me before. The obstacles I encountered while living in a completely foreign place with zero knowledge of the language, definitely toughened me up. Before leaving, I was used to my family to take care of everything. But in Germany I had to take the matters in my own hands and learn how to fix my own messes. I had a lot of situations encouraging my self-reflection and self-evaluation. When you meet so many people, every one carrying their own individuality, personality and skills, one has no other choice but to derive life experience.

I bettered my English and learned a decent level of German. My team work approved significantly as well as my communication skills. I undoubtedly grew as a person. A year lived in a place where citizen duties, ecologically friendly habits and personal development are at a upmost position, I feel a lot more integrated and much more a European.

Regarding the work knowledge I acquired in the kindergarten, it is irreplaceable. I learned how to interact healthily with children and discovered methods in the pedagogy field useful for my future child work. My colleagues were incredible professionals from whom I “stole” a lot.

They were my friends and teachers at the same time. Having their support and the support of my organisations made me feel much safer abroad. Actually, this fact gave me the strength to apply for the program. The support from the ESC program and everyone involved. I found it less scary having them behind my back than a solo-initiated travel and a search for work experience. I am more than happy that I made the decision to sign up for ESC and explore both new cultures and new sides of myself.

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