Have you ever heard the abbreviation EVS? What is EVS?? Many people don’t know it. Is it something nice or something to eat or somewhere to go?? I would say its all together and much more. As a person who chooses to do EVS from the first chance, I would say that it’s a different life, which includes many aspects, such as food, places, people, communication, etc. For an Armenian girl, who never lived abroad alone, this was a great opportunity to have a completely new lifestyle. But really what is it?? EVS stands for European Voluntary Service.
I had some idea about the project, but not exactly how it would be. From the first day of my arrival I was super curious and interested about everything around me. All the activities connected to the volunteering work were during the day and when I was choosing to go out to discover city, instead of sitting in the room, my flat mates were kind of surprised of me being that active. I wouldn’t sit at my room doing nothing, which would be nonsense, because Turin is such an amazing city, which needs to be explored from the point of local’s view.
So from the first days I was super motivated and active about creating my new life, in a new country, with new people. Of course it’s not that easy, especially when you don’t speak the language of the country, but I can say that I am proud of what I have created so far here in my lovely Turin. Speaking about the language, I want to suggest to the new generation of EVS to try to speak as much Italian as they can, even without perfect knowledge of the language. I wasn’t forced to speak Italian, which was a big mistake from the beginning. But there is still hope for me.
I didn’t mention the one important thing, which was the beginning of everything. Eufemia made this all happen, and I am very thankful for giving me the opportunity to work with them and to live here in Italy. It’s a whole new experience, which I can’t describe in words. Not to write all the details I would say that I was positive about my journey from the first day, even before arriving actually. Second day there was a welcome pizza party in the office, with all other workers of Eufemia. The evening was amazing, especially with some Armenian food. My first cultural shock was when we ordered pizza and I found out that in Italy people eat the whole pizza, not a part of it, or piece. So they were also surprised, because I barely ate 2 pieces (half of pizza). For the next days it was all about getting to know each other, the project, activities which we were supposed to do.
There is a very tasty part of EVS in Italy. Italy is the motherland of food and wine 😀 (in my opinion).
On every corner there are different places to eat, different cultures of food to try. Its amazing to see kebab next to pizzeria, and after a gelateria. About gelaterias I have to admit that from the first days ice cream became my best friend, because it’s always there for me to cheer up and make even happier. I really don’t have an idea how I will eat ice cream not from Italy, because after tasting an Italian ice cream, there is nothing comparable, and the life is different afterwards.
As I started to speak about food, I have to tell you about my first typical Italian night out. You will learn a totally new lifestyle, connected to food and having fun. My first Friday night out began with an Aperitivo. Eating before dinner, is kinda warm up for the stomach :D. Afterwards we went to Santa Giulia, which is one of the main places for hanging out. I had another shock when I saw how Italians spend their Friday evening out. Imagine a square full of people, speaking and drinking. But when there are many people speaking, you could barely hear each other. So that’s when you start to speak very typical Italian, which is super loud. After Santa Giulia we went to Piazza Vittorio Venetto, which was so full of people, that at some point I got scared and mega shocked of the situation. Being there for a while, I was trying to understand the lifestyle. Now I can proudly say that I am an owner of this Italian lifestyle, which at the beginning was strange for me. This kind of small changes made me another person, which gave me a whole different view of life.
For me EVS is a personal project, which is very important for understanding your value. During the volunteering work, you understand more what you love to do, and what you definitely do NOT want. It gives you chance to explore the world (of course if you are interested). Traveling is also a part of the great experience, because it’s another level of learning. Discovering different cultures and lifestyle, makes you richer, not in material way.
I can endlessly write about my EVS experience, because it was the best thing happened to me. I consider me very lucky to have found my lovely Eufemia, and to be chosen to be as a part of them. Wherever I go, whoever I meet, I just can’t NOT mention about Eufemia, because when people I meet find out that a girl from Armenia is living in Turin, they become curious to know HOW and WHY. I will share my wonderful experience with all the people interested, in order to open a new door for them, because it’s just a whole new way of life, which needs to be discovered.