Starting from the beginning, living outside of your parents home isn’t as easy as it looks.
First of all you have to adapt to new situations that were completely covered in the easy parental environment. Take care of a lot of different things that you never expect. In that moment you realize how it’s going to be the rest of your life, in the way that no longer will be the easiness of home. Now you have to make the home by your own, trying to keep the “traditions” that in your original home you had but at the same time creating new ones that will make you develop your own home in a new place.
Knowing this the problem comes when living outside of your parents home isn’t in your country. In my case I already had experience living outside of my first home, what I didn’t had was the experience of living abroad, different country, and even coming from Spain, neighbour of Portugal, different culture.
At the beginning everything is new, in the way that you always try to see, at least the first days, your new place through the background that your country/family already gave you. That can be confusing in the way that some of the thing that you are seeing are completely nonsense for your still not open-minded mentality. Once the first days pass, you’re getting comfortable, seeing the things with “other eyes”, knowing new people, starting new relations. That’s, probably the best that you can do, meeting new faces, new experiences.
Sometimes, for several different reasons, you became/get homesick, feeling that maybe you can’t understand or relate to something. The feeling of being out of place, not thinking that you belong to that place, because anyway you’ll be gone in a few months, in that moment is when you have to think twice all was going around you. Focusing on the good points that you already have, and the good thing that you already achieved. After this point all can go to the original path or get worst. Those are the moments that define your stay in the country, what will you remember in a few years in the future of how was living in this or that country.
The good thing, for me, is that you are learning every day, in the way that you keep improving your skills, your survival, because living abroad doesn’t give you the chance of going home in a easy way, and feel that everything will be okay, the way that you are doing in your first experiences of this kind, will develop your way of solving the same problems, in different situations, in the future. And after all this learning and developing you’ll realise that the bad moments weren’t so bad and that the good moments will always provide you a smile. In general I try to keep the good memories and live from that to create more of that kind.
The experience of living abroad for the first time, at least as I feel, it’s one of the best to develop and expand your mentality, your way of living, making the difference not only because of the place also because of the people that you are taking for your life, make everything bigger and better, also creating new perspectives and skills that will be used in your future life.
Borja Gandia Bernia, EVS from Spain, former student of History and with the Master in Management of Cultural Heritage of the University of Valencia. Currently tour guide for AAUMa.
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, which is for the support of reformation policies.
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.