Experientia docet. My father always said this quote in latin while I was struggling with different types of projects and homework, or when I couldn’t find a solution for my problems. He used it so much that I hated it, but only when I became older I found out why he kept saying it; good or bad experiences teach us something. We learn all the time, our life is about learning and we never stop doing it, cause the moment we stop learning, we start dying, as Albert Einstein once said.
I joined ESN Iași so I could develop myself, to learn and to teach my skills to others and share my experiences. I never thought I could learn so much just being around a group of loving and amazing people that I just met. We are from different cities, universities and we love to do things in different ways, but that’s one of the values this association is promoting since 1989: unity in diversity, diversity in unity. But what else can you learn from being an ESN volunteer?
From the start you are part of a big team, that is divided into different departments. Some of them take care of events, recruitments and some of them are busy creating posts for social media, workshops and articles for the blog. There is so much work for every single thing we do and no one does it alone!
Things get super busy here sometimes, believe it or not! Especially when you have a lot of events, campaigns and activities and also papers for university, plus some exams coming up. That’s why we have to set our priorities straight, think fast and work smart!
Most of the time, English is a bridge between two people that know nothing about each other and by being an ESN volunteer, you often have to be the connection between the exchange students and the country that is their home for the next months. At first, it may be hard to keep up with everything, translations, answering the questions and explaining things, but once you get on this train, it gets better, because you practice everything everyday. Also, you can learn a lot of things in other languages too, from saying „Hello” in Spanish to „ESN is amazing” in Danish.
It’s impossible not to get better at something with a lot of practice and accepting good and bad critics. With every design you make, every description or aticle you write, every workshop you organize, you gain experience and knowledge not only from one thing, but from many. You see mistakes and you try to avoid and correct them, you see good things and try to apply more of those.
You may be surprised by how many things you know and don’t know about your own country. Only by going out for dinner and talking about different types of food you can find out how your countries once exchanged recipes and how the traditions of different worlds are somehow alike.
For a lot of people, ESN has become a big family. People are spreading love, happines, good vibes and always have a good time wherever they are. It is important to have someone you can count on, helping each other is a huge part of this community.