I am Sona from Armenia, I’m 25 years old and I lived in Poland from October 2019 till July 2020.
I went there through an ESC volunteering project carried out in the Museum of Kłodzko Land, in the town of Kłodzko.
During all those months working in the museum, travelling and living with people from different countries and of different backgrounds, I learnt a lot of new things and developed a few personal, interpersonal and educational skills.
The first month of volunteering was a period of getting used to the new location, people, and work. I slowly became friends with all the other volunteers, all wonderful people, living with me. I got to know about the rights and responsibilities of a volunteer and eventually, I started working in the museum.
Afterward, the next few months were a very beautiful experience of working with the great people of the museum and learning about the inside culture of museums, how they function, what stands behind the big beautiful exhibitions we, as visitors, see, and so on. I really had a lot of fun carrying out different tasks in the museum, like doing the distribution of event flyers and posters in the city’s cultural and educational institutions, or putting event invitations in the mail boxes of apartment buildings, attaching posters on street stands, etc. Those things were quite different from what my job used to be in Armenia and I genuinely enjoyed them.
I also had a chance to organize a cultural event in the museum where some of our volunteers also took part. We represented our countries, national dishes and answered the questions of Polish people. I think this experience gave me some really useful event organization skills.
The educational department of the museum also organized different events for schoolchildren, such as calligraphy classes, clockmaking, origami classes, etc. I enjoyed being part of all these events and helping in their fulfillment as much as I could. As a side note, I just loved our calligraphy classes because they were truly unique rituals, so to say.
Other than this, the museum gave me the chance to learn about some Polish traditions, I got to know a lot of nice people and learnt from them.
Unfortunately, coronavirus messed up our routine and lifestyle as it did with the whole world. The last few months in quarantine in Poland were really challenging but we had some interesting stuff to do as well such as learning to make medical masks, making funny videos with other volunteers, spending time with our mentors and the director.
Oh, and one of the best parts of volunteering was, of course, the chance to travel. Before the start of the corona commotion, I managed to travel to quite a few places and learn a thing or two about other European countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria).
And last but not least, I loved living in Poland, it is a very beautiful country with nice people and interesting history. I got to travel in Poland as well and see a couple of other cities which were all nice and unique. I also learnt a little bit Polish and used it to communicate with the locals.
Doing my EVS in Poland was once in a lifetime opportunity, it helped me grow and develop in so many ways, I am now more knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to travelling alone in different countries, it has become much easier for me to communicate with people and be sociable and I am surely more independent than ever.
I have got precious friends from all over the world and made wonderful memories which will stay with me forever and I am more than thankful for all of this!
If you are thinking about taking an EVS project and doing volunteering and are not sure about it or have doubts whether it is worthy or not, I can simply assure you to take this rare chance, it will make up for some of the best times of your life!