My Story of Volunteering in Switzerland

Hello my reader! I am Melanya from Yerevan and I did my amazing EVS in one of the magnificent countries in the world – in Switzerland, a country with breathtaking landscapes and majestic nature.

Why did I apply for EVS?

I asked this question to myself so many times, and I always got the same answer- to live in nature and discover myself, and of course explore new culture with its unique people, traditions and customs and language.

Did I accomplish my mission? – Yes, I did.

I lived 10 months in a very peaceful village near Zurich called Feldbach. Our house was situated on the shore of the lake Zurich. I was volunteer in Synergy Village helping them with accomodating visitors and guests in the guesthouse, cafe and events. I was working 5 days in a week 6 hours per day and was also responsible for landscape gardening, creative and decoration work, renovations, cooking and baking.
I obtained more than I had expected. My biggest accomplishment are my friends from different parts of the world such as Georgia (my super funny and amazing roommate), Mexico (I heard about Cancun so much, that it jumped to the first place in my list of must see countries), Columbia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands- this list is so long and of course my precious swiss family.

Even though I knew German before leaving for Switzerland, but I discovered their own german -swiss german which is quite different from high german and easier and contains more emotions unlike high german. This language was complete wonder for me as it sounds so delightful and weird at the same time.

Did I experience cultural shock? -Yes, I did as all the people in the world when moving to completely different culture.

Of course there were difficulties in the beginning as I didn’t understand swiss german, etiquette, values and norms were different, mentality was very different, but I was lucky enough to overcome them quickly with the help of my host family and friends and to adjust to new environment very well. I was lucky for having great hosts and a manager from whom I got so much help that it’s hard to describe. I am also grateful to people working in the office who made this experience go smoothly.

What did I get? -I discovered myself.

I acknowledged the power inside me. I got so much knowledge and experience for life and career that I am sure it will help me in my future. I became more independent, patient and tolerant towards others due to improvement of my interpersonal and communicative skills. I had an opportunity to travel to 5 european countries and find out more about their stunning culture and history. Owing to traveling I improved my language skills. I am sure that whenever I go to Switzerland I will have a special place to stay. I left my heart there. I adore that country.
Now I can say my experience is very successful!!!

Don’t hesitate to apply for EVS/ESC as it’s life changing experience- an adventurous, crazy, difficult but facinating one. GOOD LUCK!