Focused on EVS

Nora, Natalie, Dorota and Minke

One year of our EVS in A4 is slowly coming to an end. A4 zine was one of our biggest projects (be continued by new volunteers). We tried to bring something new and attractive to you every month. Interviews with interesting people became inseparable part of our monthly magazine. This time we decided to make it in the opposite way. It's interview with us written by us.

What EVS actually is? 

EVS - european voluntary service. Different types of organizations (cultural, social, eco farms, …) participate in this whole european project. Volunteers (age is just 18 - 30) choose one organization and they come to volunteer there for one year usually. 

You can check more about EVS here.

1. What was your biggest reason to go for EVS? 

Dorota, 27 (Poland): The biggest reason? It was simply to gain profesional experience. That's why I chose A4 - cultural center. When going on EVS you can go to more or less random places and I know some people enjoy this kind of adventures. You can start doing things which you never expected to do and learn new skills. 
I applied only to places connected to culture and fine arts, but it's mostly because I already finished studies and have my goals in life pretty set.

2. What is your best experience / moment from your stay in Slovakia so far? 

Nora, 22 (Spain): The best moments always revolve around the people - the ones I met from my seminar and from my job, and the opportunities they have given me throughout this volunteering year. Moments like going climbing in the middle of the Slovak nature or picking mushrooms with the locals. Travelling around this country visiting other volunteers. Being inspired by new forms of art and music.

3. Have you experienced any culture shock? 

Minke, 18 (the Netherlands): Although I didn’t experience a real shock, the Slovakia is very different from The Netherlands. For me, the most striking differences were some social things. I think in general, the people here are either very open to others, or very closed-minded and distant. It seems like there is no in between. Also, people have mostly a strong sense of individuality. Another big difference is that there are no systems in this country, while in The Netherlands everything is organized.

4. Do you think that EVS has changed you? If yes, how?

Natalie, 24 (the Czech Republic): Yes, definitely. Although I went to Slovakia which is pretty much the same as my country. The most challenging things I found those which are connected to working tasks and working environment in general. I went for EVS because I wanted to gain more practice in my field of study - cultural studies. Volunteering in A4 showed me how daily life in NGO cultural organization really looks like. I learned new things about myself. Now I know more what are my strenghts and skills. Nothing is only black and white. There are also some limits which I realized that I never want to cross. This year helped me to understand these things and I am grateful for that.