Evs-Pre-Departure course of Volunteering (11/07/2014)

Preliminary Interview-Pre-Departure course 11/07/2014

Preliminary Interview to our two first Sve! Giulia e Sara.


Hello girls, my name is Valentina Rocca, voluntary of informal group volunteers in action of the social cooperative Progetto Città and ex-EVS.

In order to make the course more dynamic and interactive, I would like to respond briefly to the questions that follow.

To enter already in the perspective of the EVS, my idea was to formulate them in English and also ensure that you need to answer in English. Take this as a fun and as a challenge.

Saturday afternoon, we will compare and discuss your answers. What do you think of the program?

And now the questions:

  • Where/How have you heard about EVS? From whom did you hear  “stories” of EVS-projects? Do you think you have a correct image of it? Or did you hear “one side stories”? 

Sara: she has heard about EVS inside her high school “Liceo scientifico Orazio Grassi”. Sara doesn’t know lots of people who attended EVS  but she had a brief image of it from the Volunteers who have been for one year in Savona working with the Cooperative “Progetto Città”. She doesn’t think, actually, exist a correct image of EVS: everyone lives the experience in his/her own personal way.

Giulia: she has heard about EVS many years ago, thanks to a member of Cesavo (an organization which coordinate Volunteer associations) in Savona. Giulia told me she heard about EVS experience for all from me (Valentina Rocca) since i have been an EVS Volunteer for five months in 2014. About the image, she has the same opinion of Sara: “There is no an abjective perspective, it depends on how the Volunteers feel while attending the project”.

  • How long do you have the idea to go for EVS? Is it something you have been thinking about since a long time? Or it is because you know that soon you will have no occupation anymore? Where do you want to go for the project?

Sara and Giulia are going abroad for one year.

Sara: she has been thinking about this idea for one year, at least. She heard about this from her English teacher and she decided to seize the occasion. She wants to go to Germany, and actually she manage to reach the country: she will be living in Aurich.

Giulia: has this idea of going abroad since she was a child. Her dream has always living in London, place that she had already visited, at least, three times. Now she is going to live there for one year. We can say her dream has become reality.

  • Have you ever been abroad before, and for how long? Do you have already some international experience such as travels? have you also already some intercultural experiences? Have you worked already together with people from other cultural backgrounds?

Sara: she has been abroad differnt times doing some summer studies experiences. The first one was five years ago. Her parents are travelers and she took this passion of going around from them. Sara shared many works with youngsters from other countries and she is used to work inside an intercultural group.

Giulia: she is accustomed, too. She always been abroad since she was a child with her parents and now she is fostering this attitude by herself and together with some friends of her. Giulia has thought Italian in a centre for foreign people. By sayng this, she is an expert in working with people with different backgrounds.


  • Are you studying, working or doing something else? How will you combine this with your EVS? Do you have to leave school/job for your EVS project?

Sara and Giulia: they are not working/studying nowadays. They are going to spend all their energies inside the EVS project. Why not, doing different activities in there, but they said it’s not worthy getting overwhelmed in a new city that has to be completely discovered.

  • Have you talked with your friends, partner and family about it? Do they support you?

Sara and Giulia: they have talked a lot with their families, friends, partners and acquaintances.  All of them agree with their choise, even tought some of their friends wrongly think about EVS as a long holiday time, which is not the correct idea of this kind of Mobility Program. In general, all their close friends and relatives strongly support them.

  • Which languages do you speak? Are you Interested in learning the language of the country you are going to?

Sara and Giulia: both speak good English. They are excited in learning another language or improving one that already speak properly. They really look forward, as they told. 

I was told they have a bit of fear, most of all as regards the first days: new language, even if attractive, always scare youngsters. This fear will be overcome in few days, while making contact with people of the place. Language become easier and easier and words start to come out fluently without really thinking over them.

Be Prepared To Be Surprised Girls!


  • What does “volunteering” means for you? What do you think it means in the country that you would like to go?

For them Volunteering is a spontaneous activity which enables people to enrich themselves and growing up while helping the local cooperative with it’s daily work.

We agreed that in Italy there is not a deep culture aboutt volunteering: in job interviews, usually, seems not to care about volunteering activities unrolled by youngsters. In our Curriculum Vitae we usually put Volunteering in the “Educational Field” while in other countries, such as United Kingdom, Volunteering is considered as a real working experience and it is also requested to access some University. Yes, different prospectives.

  • Which concept do you have about nonn formal education, youth-work, the socio-cultural sector? Which might be the difference in the other countries?

For them:

  1. Non-formal education: learning by doing and not through books, learning to learn and sharing ideas, evolving them through the comparison with other youngsters.
  2. Youth–Work: Brainstorming between Young people,, pear education: communicating result more efficient.  Trasmit an experience or a simple notion is easier between people of the same age, instead of between an old teacher and a young student.
  3. Socio-cultural sector: really important. It should be the heritage where each country could base in order to improve and to appraise it’s history.
  • What does it mean for you to live and work abroud?

Sara: living and working abroad  could be a first step to lunch her career in engineering. Her plan is to study engineering in Germany, if she will feel confortable while studying in German or English.

Giulia: living and working abroad is always been her dream: it’s time to put it into reality. It deals with challenging themselves and learning new way of thinking, going through different ideas and getting to know people with other backgrounds and culture.

  • What does it mean to be away from…

  1. home, family, partner,  friends

  2. hobbies, school, work, youth-organization

  3. material stuff

Be honest with yourselves..

Sara: she is not scared of being away from family, friends, partner and material stuff since she is aware they will always support her. She is worried about her departure and what she will find after an year here in Italy. She will be another person and people who left in Italy could have built their own lives without her.

Giulia: she is a bit scared of being “alone”: being far from family (with whom she has a real close relationship) and friends could be really harsh. Nevertheless she is confident in getting to know people and making new friends in London.

  • How will you use your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

Sara: she is really interested in the art sector and in the sportive field (most of all horseback riding). She will spend her free time going around for exhibitions and keeping fit, enjoying her favorite sport.

Giulia: she will use her free time going to different exhibitions, too. She will also try to perform  as an actress in the theatres inn there, while writing short tales and short film to be rapresented in theatres. It’s not a case she have studied cultural heritage.


  • What kind of personal space do you need? Can you survive  sleeping  with several people in one room or do you absolutely need a separate room? Can you live in a hosting family?

Sara and Giulia: they have no problems in sleeping with several people or being hosted. They are accustomed to it since, while travelling, they have always been sleeping in some hostels’ rooms with even more than ten people. No worries at all for that.

  • What will you do if you have problems with the people you live with?

Giulia and Sara: if they have some problems with their roommates they will speak about them directly with the personn who is interested,  trying to solve the inconvenience. If the problems get bigger, they will talk over it with their EVS mentor and, eventually, with the hosting cooperative.

  • How can you (re)present your country?

Giulia and Sara: both are agree saying that they will represent Italy through our cultural heritage and arts.

  • What are you plan after you finish EVS?

Sara: she would like to study engineering in Geramny if the outcome of her experience will be positive once finished the project.

Giulia: for now she doesn’t have a strict plan for the future. If she spends a good time in London and she falls in love with the city, she wouldn’t keep out the idea of living in there and doing her master degree in the United Kingdom. Anything is planned: we will see taking one day at a time.

  • Would you like to share your EVS-experience when you return? And how?

Giulia and Sara: they’ll be really glad to share their EVS-experience, for example, working inside the sending organization, helping it on mobility programs. The problem now is that we don’t actually know if the will come back to Italy or not, to speak about it.

Needs and Expectations:

  • What are your:

  1. Needs: can be very physical: for example coffee, organic food (if you are vegetarian), a place with heating system in Winter.
  2. Expectations: are what you will hope to face, as well on the level of practical organization (level of logistic, communication inside your organization), as on the level of project content (what do you want to learn during the project, which support and guidance are you expecting…).
  3. Contributions: is what you can offer to the project and the host organization can also learn from you. 
  4. Fears: are about what you don’t hope that will happen.


Needs for/about:

  1. Going abroad: new experience, getting to know new people, a new work atmosphere and environment, living in London (Giulia’s dream)
  2. Volunteering: relationship with other people, helping other people.
  3. Intercultural experiences: finding out new cultures and London, which is a multiethnic  and multicultural environment.
  4. EVS in general: living far away from her family and experience herself alone in this city that passionate her: London.

Expectations for/about:

  1. Going abroad: finding new motivations and incitements and living in a confortable place.
  2. Volunteering growing up
  3. Intercultural experiences: getting to know people from all over the world; stick around in London.
  4. EVS in general: realize her dream: living in London

Contributions for/about:

  1. Going abroad: organization of event in cultural, art, theatre fields.
  2. Volunteering: Cultural field, giving Italian lesson in the local comunity.
  3. Intercultural experiences: making people from all over the world know something about Italy.
  4. EVS in general: experience herself in the field she has been studying at the University: Cultural Heritage.

Fears for about:

  1. Higher expectations that could be a shock if compared to the reality.
  2. Volunteering:  not to be competent enough for doing some kind of work: such as working with disable people.
  3. Intercultural experience: not to have enough skills to fulfil the Volunteering service.
  4. EVS in general:  what’s next EVS and how she can react to particular moments of “Crisis”.

High Dream and Low Dream

  • What is the most beautiful dream of an EVS project?

Sara: keeping on living in Germany and studying there.

Giulia: leaving in London. She had a dream when she was five years old and now this dream has become reality.

  • What can be the worst Nightmare? What are the things that you are using to  motivate yourself when something goes wrong, to get back on track, and to turn your low dream into an high dream?

Sara: not to like the working activity they will do in Germany. Not to feel confortable in the country. If something goes wrong she will speak with her mentor and she will call some close friend at home in order to feel supported and protected even if far away from home.

Giulia: having expectations which are higher than normal reality. in this moment of “crisis” Giulia will think about her lifelong dream: living in London and she will try to hold up till the last effort in orther to make this dream come true.

Girls, question are finished.

See you soon,

Valentina Rocca

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