Poprosili jsme naši mezinárodní dobrovolnici Svetlanu, aby napsala krátký článek o své zkušenosti z příjezdového semináře, který se konal v měsíci říjen v krásném prostředí Beskyd.

We asked our volunteer Svetlana to write us about her experience from the ON Arrival seminar which took place recently in the picturesque part of the Beskydy Mountains.
Thank you Svetlana
Here we go…

An important part of every long-term EVS project is the on-arrival seminar and our team had it in 8-13 October.

We spent 6 days together with the other 14 volunteers from all around the world (Russia, Georgia, France, Germany, Turkish, Poland and Hungary).  It was the first opportunity when all volunteers met and got acquainted.

It was interesting to find out how everyone had ended up in Czech Republic, the reasons varied in focus from the completely random to the somewhat specific. Some volunteers had just finished school, and others were already planning for their Master.

While our sessions, led by two wonderful coordinators, we had the chance to learn more about our rights, responsibilities, and opportunities in EVS.

Every day there were different tasks, which in my opinion were very useful for us.

One day we had task to go to the Písek, search and find city monument based on photo and make a photo with local people. It was very nice idea how to communicate with locals and have at the same time chance to explore the city on our own.

I enjoyed the fact that we tackled complicated concepts such as cultural difference and conflict resolution through non-formal education techniques, including role-play. It may seem silly and childish, but it’s a very effective way of introducing complex ideas and inducing self-reflection. 

In the middle of the seminar, we had «supervisor’s day», our supervisors come to Písek and we spend all day together. We talked about responsibilities and relationship between volunteers and supervisors. It was a great opportunity for us to find the «same language» and make a «contract agreement» between volunteer and supervisors so both have good experience during the EVS time.

Thursday we had a topic related to our projects. We were divided into teams and we got half an hour for preparation and then every team had around 10 minutes for the presentation of our project. This activity helped me to choose my «mini project».

But my favorite part of seminar was actually Friday, when we were asked to write a letter for ourselves. We will only receive this letter at the end of our project (after 9 or 11 months). For me it was a very important task that helped me to understand myself.

This training was a really great experience for us because we share our thoughts and opinions on group discussions, learn how to deal with other people with different personality and work with them in projects.

The weather was perfect and one day we had trip in mountain, it was fantastic. In the evenings we played games, sang karaoke, just talked and laughed.

From my point of view, the training was a great opportunity to exchange our ideas and experience with other volunteers. I really enjoyed the days spent in Písek and am looking forward to the next seminar.

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