Reading back over the last couple of blog posts that I have written it has come to my attention that I have not in the slightest bit explained what I am doing, how I came about this opportunity or how you can involve yourself in once in a lifetime opportunities similar to this one. Because trust me, they are out there, you just need to know where to look.
I have always been in contact with a company called Momentum World, who provide international and national opportunities for young people through Erasmus+ and other partner programs. With my connection through them I have had the chance to travel to Austria twice via youth exchange, take part in training schemes all over England and now live in Spain. All of which took place during my teenage years. I mentioned to Momentum World that I was looking for an opportunity to live in Spain as I’d spent many years at sixth form working hard to learn the language and I wanted to continue working on it once I left. Living in Spain seemed like the ideal, yet highly unrealistic solution. But low and behold, when I got home from travelling in Africa which was a journey of around 24 hours in total (including a stop-over in Dubai) I remember saying to my parents ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to get onto another plane’ and their response being ‘Well, I’d get over that because you’re moving to Spain in one months time.’ Now one month is not a long time when you have to mentally prepare yourself for moving away from everyone you know and working out how to fit your life into only 23kg of luggage allowance (I failed). But the point I am trying to make here is that truly, all you have to do is ask the right people, the right thing. I never expected when I asked Momentum World if I could move to Spain that it would actually happen, that I’d be sat here now writing a blog about the off chance that it would occur. But I asked and it did.
Of course, you may be thinking that you don’t have the money to travel or live in another country, that was certainly the case for me. I had £200 in my bank account having spent all my money on travelling in Africa. But if you search and apply for an EVS scheme or something similar then the costs should be more limited. I have been living here for over a month now and from the minute I found out I was coming to now, I have only had to pay £100 and I am not expected to have to pay anything else for the remaining 6 and a half months. I am not saying that everything you apply for will be this cheap, everything costs money so please don’t expect to shipped out to some remote place for free, all I am saying is that if you look in the right places you can find some brill bargains.
One of the best sites for finding international opportunities is the European Youth Portal, which is a database of all the current volunteer and work vacancies around Europe. Or of course you could also check out Momentum’s current opportunies here: http://www.momentumworld.org/training-and-volunteering/
If you’re under 18 something else I took part in was the NCS program which is an incredible scheme, ideal if you are testing the waters on group work, living away from home or simply want to boost your CV (this is a UK based program). This also links to ICS, International Citizen Service which personally costs you nothing but a lot of your time as it supports you to fund raise £800 before you leave to volunteer abroad. This is something I’ve always wanted to participate in but never had the time, so if anyone has taken part in this project then please do let me know how you got on.
I hope that this has given you a couple of ideas about how you can finally achieve what you have always wanted to, I know there is nothing worse than simply not knowing where to begin. I hope that you now realise that whatever you are thinking about doing, it is possible. If it happened for me, it can happen for you.
Love from Lottie xoxo