LIVING IN THE INTERNATIONAL FLAT
EVS is always about sharing experiences in multicultural atmospheres, but if you apply for this kind of projects, one of the possibilities about accommodation is to share flat or dormitory, almost always with people of other countries and cultures. Of course is not only about share flat, that also involves sharing practically all your live, since the moment that you wake up till the one that you go to bed 24h/7 days, during all your project.
This is my case. I am Laura, from Spain and nowadays I am living with Julia(Ukraine), Dyliana (Bulgaria), Sofia (Italy) and Thomas (France). Can you imagine what it is like? At least I will tell you what it suppose to me.
It is said that you cannot know how is something until the moment that you live it. Before starting my EVS I was thinking how be to live with people of different countries and cultures that mine, as in all the new experiences, fears , could it be curiosity and expectation were in the same level, always in my mind. You think so many things that language differences seems to be the least important problem.
Then , after one intensive day of farewells, luggage, trains, planes and feelings, you arrive to your flat trying to do your best and not stand out too much, this idea stays for more or less the 1st hour in a “welcome party” Time runs, and you really start to feel comfortable and after 2 months living abroad , you need to express nationalist feeling. Yes, suddenly you start to appreciate your country more than in all your life: your food and dishes are the best, your music is the good one, even the greets, your schedule of your voice tone. Between laughs your days are based in discussion about which country is the best, why you cannot cook pasta with chicken , give two kisses to all the people , or speak loudly all the time. Although there is a lot of differences between cultures , you always can find a common point, something that represents us all. In our case it has been , for example our love for sleep and for the famous “siesta”, always present in our flat.
After the fase of “countries fight”, more known as “negation fase: No, your country is not better than mine” starts the one of “acceptation: okey, maybe I can take some very good things out of your country”. So, your little brain starts to open , step by step , and it is when you begin to see that (surprise) you are not the center of the universe! and that other cultures can contribute to you a lot of things. It is amazing when a world of possibilities is opened in front of you and one day you discover yourself listening French rap , reading Italians writers, loving Ukrainian sweets or saying Halo in the telephone. Your menu is international now and you have new expressions to use in all the languages. Inside of you so much things are changing: you start to know how much we can learn about the differences and how important are for our development , you understand why people is different and why they have distinct ways to live and how important is the culturalization in that. You know that differences are not the same that problems, and that you can live, share and have fun with people that have not your lifestyle. And in this way you start to know more yourself, cause is only when your are surrounded by different when you realize, at the same time how different and unique are you.
I’ve just past the meridian of my EVS, and I cannot imagine how I could live before without all this experiences and people in my life. To life in a international flat opens your mind and your heart till unsuspected limits, now, not only your English is a mix between 5 languages , you become a person with one nationality and five differences ways to understand, to see and to love the world.