My EVS in Italy as a Svitac (Firefly) volunteer – Sandra Đurić
Last year I had a feeling that I want to go out of my country and just explore some other place. In one way I was thinking that that is impossible, because I’m from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which means I need a visa in order to visit a place for more than 3 months; so I started researching my options. One of my friends told me about the EVS program that I could try, but I started applying to some that were interesting but unfortunately didn’t get in.
Then, in January of this year, one of my friends told me about this project in Italy, Padova. It would last for 6 months, and I would be working in this NGO that is basically writing projects for youth exchanges. It didn’t seem too interesting in the beginning, but I figured that I could apply and see what happens.
At the end of January I found out that I got in and that my journey to Italy would begin at the beginning of March. I didn’t have much time to prepare for anything, as I was working and studying at that time, so I told myself that I will just go there and try to make the best of it.
I was so excited to go there and to work, live in the completely different country. I didn’t know a lot of Italian language either. It was a good shock for me, but I enjoyed it!
In the beginning I didn’t have much to do with my organisation, so I planned trips in order to see and explore Italy a bit more (it’s a great country with so much history and amazing food). Well, the people were not as warm as I was expecting, but I come from Sarajevo — we are the warmest!
My time here is about to end — I have a month and a half left here to enjoy my Italian adventure. I have to say that it was a great experience, with a lot of challenges. It was not easy to come from one world where you feel completely safe with your friends, family, and loved ones, to another world where you have no one who at least speaks your language. But I had an opportunity to meet with other volunteers not just from Italy but from France, Greece, Spain, Great Britain, Portugal, and many another European countries — and not just meet, but make friendships, find out more about the places that they are coming from, about the art, culture, food… and many other things. I also had a chance to work on my own little personal project which had an amazing outcome.
I have to say that I’m not regretting anything; it will stay in my memory as a wonderful experience that has opened my eyes to new ideas and knowledge.
Sandra Đurić, EVS volunteer, Svitac (Firefly)
March – August 2018