As a person who has always been interested in sports, since the very beginning I hoped to work in sport related field. But very quickly I’ve stopped being that naive and knew that life is not that simple. It’s like in many other fields – you need dedication, passion and lots of luck, just to start collecting experiences and have any real chance. And for me, that’s exactly what EVS gives you – chances and perspectives for better future.
I remember the first time I’ve heard about EVS opportunities. It was 3 years ago and my friend was just on her way to Zagreb, Croatia, to be an EVS volunteer and work at European Universities Games in Zagreb for a year. It seemed too good to be true, especially for me as I’ve been only one year from finishing my studies and had no real work experience in the field I was most interested in. But I have kept that in mind, and dedicated the following 2 years to try and make my dreams come true.
After plenty of volunteering experiences at sport events, internship and eventual work in Sport Department in Poznan and spending half of year in Mainz, Germany within Erasmus Exchange, I’ve applied for a EVS position at European University Sports Association (EUSA). Like I’ve said, I like to think I’m not a naive person, so the e-mail about accepting my application may have been truly the best surprise I’ve ever got.
Year later, and I’m in Ljubljana, Slovenia, already for 3 months making the most of the chances I got with EVS program. If you heard about EVS program, then yes, it’s all about travelling, new culture, languages, new friends and the comfort of not having to worry about many things, as you are provided with accommodation, food and pocket money. But what’s most important in my case, it also provides you with professional experience, that you most probably wouldn’t be able to get in any other way.
I’ve followed EUSA’s work for the past 3 years. I’ve taken part in their events as a volunteer, so my expectations before doing EVS (that’s been building up for 10 months) have been very high. And still, it all turned out to be even better. I get to work on various projects and in different fields, had a chance to go to Madrid for EUSA General Assembly and Gala, as well as await July and the work at European Universities Games in Coimbra, Portugal. And most importantly, I get to feel part of the team.
Of course, living abroad may be scary. But you quickly realize how many opportunities you have and there’s no time to be scared or sad. I got lucky with living in one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to, and in town that I’ve completely fallen in love with. The conditions I’m provided with could not be better and I’ve been lucky to make some great friends. In a place like this, you’re constantly provided with chances to do new things – such as hiking up for 4 hours to see absolutely nothing (and going back for another 3 hours), or stand-up paddling through the beautiful river in the center of Ljubljana and falling into the water right in the middle of biggest crowd (yes, that’s one great memory for me…)
I couldn’t put into so little words all the reasons why this experience is so important to me. I focused on career matter, because it seems like everyone is in such a hurry to start “adult life”, that they forget about other opportunities they may have on the way. I’m not saying EVS will assure you get amazing job and live happily ever after. But if you work hard and do not lose the passion you have, it may be the best start you may get.