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Bludenz: my home before Madeira

About the life in a small town between alps.

Since I am born I life in Bludenz, which is a small town in the western part of Austria. With 15.000 inhabitants it is the smallest town of the federal state Vorarlberg. It has an area from 29,94 km², an elevation of 588 meter and it lies at the meeting point of five valleys.

During summer Bludenz is a popular hiking and mountain-biking resort. In the Brandnertal for example there are a lot of different tours and since 2014 there is also a single trail on the Muttersberg. Bludenz is also a great place to stay if you like hiking. It is the meeting point of several valleys as e.g. Walgau, Montafon, Brandnertal, Klostertal and Arlberg. Because of this, Bludenz is a great place to stay so you can go by public transports to lots of different mountains and places during your stay. It would also be a great decision for your winter holidays because you can go skiing on nearly all of the mountains around. Also, the dutch royal family is visiting Bludenz nearly every year for skiing holiday on the Arlberg, which is a part of the district Bludenz. You can nearly try all kinds of winter sports during your winter holidays as for example lugging, ice skating, cross-country skiing and there is also a ski-jump-redoubt.

In the beginning of July there is a special event every year you won’t to miss: the chocolate festival. During this day there are a lot of different attractions in the hole city. You can drive go-cart, look for chocolate in a haystack and it is even possible to create your own chocolate. Where ever you go you will receive a lot of chocolate from the chocolate factory Milka which is located in this town. In the evening there are a lot of concerts which are free to visit.

There are numerous more reasons why I love my hometown. For example, the people and many other events over the hole year. It is a small but has so much to offer.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Julia, from Austria, is 18 years old and is now part of the Madeira Heritage voluntary program. Likes to go hiking, swimming and reading, and is looking forward to learning about the culture and history from this wonderful island.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.