Coming to EFIL office on the first day of my EVS – one year ago – feels like yesterday. I feel a bit like an exchange student, who had a whole year in front of her and so many ambitious plans, but the year went too fast!
I am so happy and lucky to have had the opportunity to be in EFIL for a whole year. I had the time to see many projects being planned, delivered and followed-up on. My main task was the European Citizenship Trimester Programme (ECTP) – communicating with participants and offices, promoting Competence Badges and organising the plenaries at the camp itself, as well as generally supporting. I loved my role and learnt a lot regarding logistics and organising such a huge event, as well as seeing things from a different perspective than my own. I got to know some very interesting people and got many creative tips and ideas about how to make a good experience excellent. I am sure ECTP 2016 will not be my last one.
However, I did not only work with ECTP. I was included in many other tasks and events. Some of them were writing reports and providing logistical support to seminars, but also contributing to the Recognise Study Abroad Campaign with Elisa Briga (EFIL staff) in the European Parliament, being a trainer at the Chapter development seminar in Finland, managing the EPOT refreshment while Izabela Jurczik-Arnold was on maternity leave, and representing EFIL at quite a few events in Brussels. This, I appreciated a lot as I – especially coming from a non-EU country, Serbia – had the opportunity to see important conferences and how the big European institutions function. Some people and organisations I met made me think and explore not only the European, but also my Serbian reality as well. I am really motivated to apply the things I had learnt by volunteering in AFS Serbia once I am back!
Apart from work, I am also proud to say I have discovered quite a bit of Belgium during these 12 months – from skiing (yes, you can actually ski here) at the highest point of the country, to visiting the seaside, competing in (unique) sports on village festivals and tasting different beers. Belgium is a small country where you never get bored!
All in all, my year has given me a lot of fun, learning, and broadened my horizon. Also – I got new, valuable and wonderful friendships. Some of them are my colleagues, that I – apart from all the learning – got a lot of support from and had a lot of fun with. However, Belgium and Serbia are luckily not too far form each other!
See you around!