EVS, a way to know about the world and especially about yourself…
In many European countries it is customary to take a year to try new experiences, between high school and college, or between the degree and the master.
Renée 22 is from the Netherlands, She studied clinical and health Psychology and she had graduated in January this year. She used to live in Utrecht before she came here, to Iceland.
Why did you decide to do an EVS?
I wanted to do something else before I was going to start studying again, but I have no money to go on a long trip or anything. There for I was looking for a job when I stumbled upon this agreement. It totally fitted into the picture I needed (6-12 months, foreign country, no expensive, etc.) and I applied at sending agency.
Do you expect a positive impact on your CV by the EVS? Do you know someone who has had a good experience looking for a job after the EVS?
I did not know anyone who finished an EVS-project before I started, so I have no experience about that. However, I think that doing an EVS really benefits to chances to get a job. You show that you are flexible enough to go to another country and to get to know the culture. You improve your English or you might even learn a whole new language. You are able to adapt to new situation and are open to new people and possibilities. I think it shows that you are a mature and self-sufficient worker who can also function in big groups. Even if the project has nothing to do with your future job it improves your CV never the less.
How difficult was look for your project? Was Iceland your first option of destination?
It was no very difficult to get accepted by the sending organisation to book for projects, but getting accepted for a project is extremely hard. These projects have very few spaces and there are a lot of people applying, so chances that there´s one person more qualified for the job than you are high. I was very lucky to be able to go to Iceland. I really wanted to go to a Nordic country because I love their culture. I hoped to be able to go to Sweden to learn Swedish but Iceland is a very good opportunity as well. I am glad that I was accepted in one of my preferred countries.
How famous is the “Youth in Action” program in your country?
It is not very famous. Some people who have interest in going abroad might know it, but there are not so many people who have heard of it. It would be good if it got more attention but on the other hand, if you are interested in it and willing to look a bit further, then you will find information anyway.
During these days living with people from many different countries in a community… Has your point of view about the European people changed? Are we more similar or different than you thought before?
I have lived in a foreign country (Denmark) before with many people from different cultures, so the idea is not new for me. I think that in some cases we are all the same but in another we are different. For example, in Denmark I had to teach some Asian girls how to cook with European food, because they had no idea how to made pasta or even what to put in a bread. However, we are all young people looking for a new experience and hoping to learn something from each other. Since most people are able to speak (a bit of) English now, I think that a lot of the communication has improved and the differences are not so extreme anymore.
If your dream job was in another European country… Would you move abroad for it?
I guess so, I am thinking about living abroad a lot anyway so if I can find my dream job there that would be perfect. Of course It depends on the situation, what country, if I have a relationship with anyone, how many friends I have there, but I am certainly interested in working abroad.
Do you expect anything special from this experience?
I really hope to find the time to improve some of the languages I already speak. I also expect to get to know the Icelandic culture and some of the cultures represented here (like canary culture). I hope to become a stronger and wiser person in general and to extend my knowledge about the world and especially about myself. I expect to have gained some new ideas about what to do with myself in the future.