This is Andrea, from Italy. He is finishing in a couple of weeks his EVS here in Iceland. He was already here two years ago as an exchange student of foreign languages and literature at University of Iceland. After the university he applied for the EVS program and here he is once again.
Why did you decide to do your Erasmus in Iceland? and why one more time the EVS here?
At first my idea was not to go for the Erasmus, because I was afraid of losing track of my studies. I always preferred the idea of spending one month per year abroad during the summer, or anyway when I had no lessons at the university. I reconsider this possibility when I discovered that I could spend one semester in Iceland. I was so interested that I could not refuse this opportunity.
So for the Erasmus was mostly a deep interest and curiosity. Regarding the EVS instead, that’s different. My initial aim was to go to Russia this time, but unfortunately I had no luck with my applications. So after trying several times an experience that could have improved my russian, I sent an application to Iceland that it is a place where I already feel home.
Regardless that EVS is focused in working and Erasmus is focused on studying. Could you explain the main differences in your case?
I was worried that coming back here again it could had been a mistake. It was not.
When I was studying here, it was more an experience completely related to myself, my interests, my studies and I was the one to decide what to do, when and the people to go out with. So I would say that spending here a semester it was really nice and my lifestyle and what I was doing, it was mostly reflecting everything about myself. As an evs instead, you are way more into the community, the society, the events and what your organization is working on. This means that the people you meet, are not the ones that you pick as your favorite friends, but are random and they could be really different from you, it is not you deciding this. This is the real thing. You are “forced” to be in many different circumstances with people you can’t expect, jobs you might not be able to do already or you don’t know.
To sum up: an erasmus students decides his context depending on his features, an evs is put in a certain context and then he has to live in it and work in it.
Was it easy to get the chance to develop both programs? Are they compatible?
Yes. It was easy for both, I have to say. I think they are compatible. I decided not to go for a master degree at the university, since I was not happy with the study plan. Thus, when university was over I did not apply again and I decided to go for a different experience of non-formal learning (taking with me also some good books to study something on my own). That’s why I consider my years at the university, that semester in Reykjavik and this evs here in Iceland a whole learning process.
Do you think that your EVS, which is almost over, has let you learn or
improve your professional skills?
Well, my skill to speak foreign languages improved a lot here, so I have no doubt about this. I also think that the variety of things that I have been doing in the last 6 months will help me for sure in what comes next.
By now you may be an expert about Iceland. What do you like of this
island? or what do you recommend to someone else?
The colors of the landscapes are really unique. I love all this empty room out of town. It really makes you think that every other place in the world is wrong and overcrowded. I recommend to visit the south and the small villages more in general. They are very different from Reykjavik and surrounded by the nature.