Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Joe in Austria on EVS - 2010

A little over three months from my last update, and I'm now on the home stretch of my EVS. The major item to report since then is that the application for the youth exchange that I described in my last post was accepted by the Austrian National Agency for Youth in Action and will definitely be going ahead. We'll be working with partner organisations in Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary and will be hosting 35 participants in total, so it's going to be a big project. In fact it's only now that I've really sat down and considered what needs to be done that I'm able to appreciate just how big! It's daunting, but I'm excited about the challenge too. The fact that it will be taking place in my very last week in Klagenfurt means my EVS will be finishing with a bang.

In terms of what's been going on outside my project, by far the most interesting event was my television debut. The local TV station in Carinthia were filming an EU-themed quiz show and as part of this wanted to include a citizen from a different EU country on each participating team. They got in touch with my boss, who forwarded the email to me, and next thing I knew I was in front of the cameras answering questions with Irmgard and Max, a pair of medieval re-enactment enthusiasts whose team I'd been assigned to. The best part? We won! The prize was a holiday to Brussels, which I got back from last Saturday. That in itself was an interesting experience, in that I got a tour of the Parliament, sat in on a meeting and even got to meet an MEP. I appreciate this all sounds very far-fetched, but the attached picture will show that I'm not fibbing. The whole experience definitely has to rank as one of the most unusual and memorable things that has ever happened to me, and just goes to show that an EVS project is anything but predictable...

See Joe on TV again reporting on his trip to Brussels: http://kaernten.orf.at/magazin/studio/fernsehen/stories/453527/

Joe is spending 12 months on a European Voluntary Service (EVS) project in Austria. If you are aged 18-30 and would like to spend 6-12 months volunteering in Europe: http://www.concordiavolunteers.org.uk/volunteering-overseas/european-voluntary-service/how-to-apply/ to find out more.

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