One year in the European Voluntary Service in Romania.
Hello, I am Paula and I am 18 years old. Only a year ago, I went to school every day, as I had done for years. Only rarely did something interrupt my daily routine. Today, everything is different. I graduated high school and have now lived in a foreign country by myself for two months. I am volunteering at a preschool in Romania, where I will be working for 11 months. It will probably be one of the most exciting and educational years of my entire life.
I am so thrilled to be experiencing so many new things that I haven’t even had the time to get homesick. At the airport, I met the three other volunteers who will work at the preschool with me and with whom I am sharing an apartment.
My adventure began on September 1. I boarded the plane to Cluj, Romania and I could not believe that would spend the next 11 months in a completely different place. My biggest fear at the time was not that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the new things I would experience. It was leaving my usual environment, my home with all my friends and family. Even one month into the year, I feel a little uncomfortable thinking that they are all living their lives without me right now.
Working with the kids is a lot of fun, even though the language barrier often makes it very difficult. Learning the language is difficult for me and I have only made little progress.
The most important lesson I have learned so far is to dive in at the deep end and not overthink everything. Now is the time to get to know the Romanian culture and myself So I no longer hesitate to jump into every puddle, roll down the green hills, or pay strangers a compliment. I want to enjoy every single moment, and I have realized that so much can be achieved simply by being friendly (I have even made new friends already). Most people repay your kindness and you should generally never be shy.