Volunteering in Vienna – why not!.
From September 2017 to May 2018 EVS volunteer Tea Kaurinović spent 9 months on the project of the GRENZENLOS Interkultureller Austausch organization in Vienna – Austria. The organization was the consortium of the Argonaut association and Tea did the EVS service in an alternative school for working with children. Read about her experience and dive yourself for participation in international youth activities:
“Within the framework of the European Volunteer Service (EVS) I participated in the alternative school in Vienna for children from the first to the fourth grade, with the intention of introducing a new community and alternative approaches to education and training. From six to ten years old, the school is organized as a parent organization that independently organizes the principles and ways of working with children. In addition to the two teachers, children learn about the world around them as well as themselves, through creative and independent learning.
The role of the volunteer is to support the work of the school, to assist in the technical preparation of classes, to help parents to prepare daily lessons for the participants, to carry out smaller projects, workshops with children etc. I have organized the “Learning Croatian” workshops, which I have adapted to children’s age and themes such as colors and animals. In addition, I organized a circus workshop of “Human Pyramids”, an origami workshop, a Christmas greeting card, and many other workshops, mostly within the classroom. Although the school was designed atypical for a classical school system, children were learning and practicing writing, reading, and computing on a daily basis. My job was to help individual children to work individually and to learn creatively how to learn. The project is for a total duration of ten months for the school year.
Apart from the project, the city of Vienna offers many other facilities, ranging from culture and art to day-to-day exploration of interesting and significant historical buildings, spacious parks, well-kept cycling trails throughout the city. Significant experience of participating in the project certainly takes on the acquaintance of new people, volunteers from different parts of the world (not just Europe) and German language learning, which was essential for everyday communication with children in school but also outside the project.
With all the positive and new experiences, EVS is certainly a challenge: getting to the new environment, new people and associates, with a new language …. with the attempt to realize the personal ideas and ambitions that come with the project.
With all the news and difficulties that arise on the way, it is certainly a very creative and peculiar period for every volunteer!