8 MONTHS OF A TORINESE ESC EXPERIENCE

A few days have passed since my last day in Turin. My volunteering journey started in January this year and now I am writing this final personal reflection on my eight months of volunteering with the European Solidarity Corps.

Before arriving in Turin, I was very excited and motivated to sign up for a long-term project, to spend quality time abroad, especially in Italy. Yes, Italy was my request. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to try living in Italy. My dream has come true.
After a few months of searching for a suitable project, I received an answer from Eufemia. I remember that I really liked the variety of activities and the vivid environment the organization provided. Actually, I found there much more.

All I can say is that all 8 months were full of adventure. Truly. Indeed.

As far as activities go, I tried and experienced different activities and was given a lot of different tasks or responsibilities for small projects. The one I liked the most was when I was leading an English class. My Turin friends know this story well. A year ago I did’t know how to speak English sovereignly. It was mainly shyness and lack of confidence to speak in front of others. Leading English lessons was undoubtedly a huge experience, opportunity and confidence boost for me.

Speaking of adventure, definitely look for the people behind every adventure. The people were a key point of my time in Turin. Sharing an apartment with other international volunteers, coping with a different way of life, taking care of each other, but also finding ways to tackle difficult topics. These situations require openness and willingness. This is what I found during my project. An open, positive and supportive atmosphere.

In addition, Piedmont is a beautiful region. Avigliana has become my second mental home and Piazza San Giovanni has turned into my safe space and the best place to draw strangers. My thanks go to Trenitalia for any delays that allowed us to spend more time looking at the amazing Italian countryside. I am eternally grateful for every road trip, hike, and aperitivo I took. I can’t count how many plates of pesto and pasta I ate and how many aperitifs I drank. Every sunset, every coffee, and every sweet conversation will stay with me.

Last but not least, my thanks go to my host organization for listening to me when I needed it and for being willing to follow my volunteer journey. Thanks for me the opportunity to be your volunteer.

May this article be an encouragement to future volunteers. Volunteering through ESC is a great opportunity to explore yourself more deeply, learn and in various ways improve your personality. I am sure you have heard this famous phrase: “Volunteering is not just about giving, it is also about receiving”. Through volunteering, you can challenge yourself to try new things, improve your skills and give yourself time to explore and make mistakes.
If you are considering ESC, I encourage you and wish you well! 🙂

Anna Ungradyová, Slovakia