Hey! I’m Siranush, but in Portugal, it’s a little difficult for foreigners to pronounce my name so I was Siri ^^ Are you ready to read about Siri’s adventures in Portugal?  Leeeeeeeet’s gooooo!!!!!!

One month ago, I finished my two-month volunteering project in Viseu, Portugal. Supported by “FIOH- Future In Our Hands” NGO as a sending organization, I was fortunate enough to meet hundreds of new and different personalities and characters, and engage with various thought-provoking activities. I was working in Youth Centre, with teenagers, where we were organizing and doing every day new activities and workshops for them trying to make their days happy in Viseu. Different workshops about healthy life, bullying, cyber bullying…activities like handcrafting, dancing, singing, cultural sharing, board games, sport and so on.

Life is all about PEOPLE!!!!!!

I believe that ESC project is not just what you do and where you do, but with whom you are surrounded while doing, which makes your adventure whole. Volunteering abroad provides the opportunity to meet new people, including fellow volunteers, local residents, and people from different cultures and backgrounds. It’s a great way to expand your social network and make meaningful connections with people from all over the world.  I was living with intercultural roommates (2 from Italy and one from Romania). Living with intercultural roommates can present some challenges, but it can also be a rewarding and enriching experience. Yes, living with intercultural roommates can indeed have its ups and downs. It can be difficult at first to navigate cultural differences and reconcile conflicting schedules, but with time and patience, it can become an enjoyable and enlightening experience. My experience with my Italian and Romanian roommates went from being hard to being funny (LOL)! Sharing a living space with people from different cultures can help to break down barriers, build bridges, and foster cross-cultural understanding and friendship. The ESC program definitely provides opportunities for both volunteering and travelling. By travelling to different cities and countries, you have the chance to broaden your horizons, meet new people, and form new relationships. Travel can indeed be all about making new friends and forming new connections. During this program I traveled to eight European countries, more than fifteen cities and two islands. Eexploring new places and immersing yourself in new cultures can help you to expand your perspectives, challenge your assumptions, and build new and lasting friendships. Whether it’s with fellow travelers, local residents, or other volunteers, the relationships you form while traveling can be some of the most meaningful and enriching experiences of your life. Volunteering isn’t always easy, but it is an endless source of wisdom about adaptability, devotion, work ethic and acceptance. Volunteering in Portugal can involve a variety of activities and experiences, and the amount of time dedicated to leisure activities. In Portugal 24 hours is never enough for activities like dancing, swimming, drinking, and having fun. But it is important to balance work and play while volunteering, and to prioritize responsibilities and tasks related to the volunteer work. And if you ask me ‘what’s the one thing that volunteering taught you? The answer is to be humble, and to give – give your time, your effort, your friendship and affection. Life itself is like a volunteering project, you never know what you’re going to get. So make yourself available, and appreciate and share what you have – the returns will be abundant, and they will surprise you. At some point in life we’re ​​trying to search and find ourselves or trying to understand what we want next. Believe me, ESC will answer all these questions!