Life as a European volunteer in Stuttgart, Germany
From 21st till 30th October 2012, I attended my EVS On-Arrival Training in Heppenheim an der Bergstrasse, between Frankfurt and Heidelberg. Initially I set off for Heppenheim not really knowing what to expect, but it turned out to be one of the best 10 days of my life! This was mainly due to the amazing group of people who were there with me. There was 20 of us from loads of different countries all over Europe: France, Spain, Ukraine, Estonia, Marocco, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy,… Everyone was very different but we soon learnt that we were actually not that different at all and we all had a great time together! The success of the seminar was definitely also thanks to the two brilliant trainers we had: Esther and Moritz from Via did a great job! I was extremely impressed at how they managed to run the seminar with a group of such diverse nationalities, different ages (between 19 and 30) and without a communal language. Some people spoke English and no German at all, other people spoke a bit of German but no English at all, others spoke French or Spanish and a bit of German or a bit of English… We were constantly translating everything into various languages and by the end of the week my mind was getting so confused and muddled with bits of German, bits of English, bits of French, bits of Spanish…! It was “totalimente crazy” but great fun! Here’s a group photo of all of us on the last day of the seminar, from top left to bottom right: Simona from Italy, Aga from Poland, Laura from France, Miguel from Spain, Bülent from Turkey, Justine from France, myself from Scotland, Nastia from Ukraine, Sara from Spain, Deniz from Turkey, Anezka from Czech Republic, Esther from Spain, Kristen from Estonia, Roman from Slovakia, Natalia from Ukraine, David from Spain, Camille from France, Sebastian from Poland, Mohammed from Marocco, Esther (trainer), Moritz (trainer), and Francois from France, thank you all for these amazing 10 days!
Heppenheim was a beautiful place to hold the seminar. A typical sleepy little German town with pretty buildings and a castle up on a hill with vineyards covering the slopes. The autumn colours made it all even more picturesque and we had a great walk up the hill to the “Schloss”.
On our day off we went on a trip to nearby Heidelberg. The weather wasn’t that great (it was bloody freezing!) but we still had lots of fun checking out this amazing old town and walking along the “Philosophenweg” (Philosophers’ Path) with great views across the town.