For the past eight months, I not only travelled to various parts of Europe, including Vilnius, Hungary, Bonn and Köln among many others with E&M's partner organisations to learn about active citizenship or voluntarism, I have met with foreign ministers from Germany, Poland and Greece and represented more than 6,500 young European voices at the first Berlin Foreign Policy Forum in Berlin, where we discussed Europe's foreign policy. Having been trained as a journalist, I gained experience in live reporting, and found that assisting renowned journalists in big events is the most rewarding aspect.
But it is not all about glamour or free backpacking - it is hard work to bring young people together, for instance in our training workshop, when I was entrusted with the job of main organiser. From finding venues to discussing workshop methodologies, I have learned, and kept on learning! The creativity and commitment required, and probably my dreadful perfectionism, have motivated me to explore and push my limits. And I pushed like there was no tomorrow.
In one month, my EVS time in Berlin is going to end. Sitting down to write this article, I realise how much I have to be thankful for. I gained much more practical experience than I have ever imagined; I saw much more of the world than I expected and I understand Europe in the most down-to-earth way possible. I didn't work in Brussels and make proposals. Instead, I worked with young people from all over Europe, who have a never-ceasing passion to make the most out of their lives and to fulfil our utmost potential to play an active part in our European future. I had the time of my life.
Decision-making is a pain in the neck; making that decision to commit myself to be a full-time volunteer of E&M, move to Berlin from London and start everything again was not easy - it was even scary. But I always ask myself when facing a tough decision: "What would I choose if I were to die tomorrow and this is the last decision I am going to make?"
I would have made this decision a thousand times.
If you think you might be interested in doing an EVS or would like to find out more please contact editorial[at]europeandme.eu for more information and we can give you some expert, first hand advice!