środa, 19 października 2016

On-arrival training in Warsaw

Hello everyone!

At the end of September, Marie, Tuğçe and I packed our bags and headed up to Warsaw for one week (from the 26th  of  September to the 2nd of October), on the occasion of our on-arrival training. Sadly, Angélica did not come with us, having already completed hers when she arrived in April. As EVS volunteers, we have three important trainings: the pre-departure training in our own country, the on-arrival training that usually takes place a few weeks after arriving and the mid-term training. These two last trainings are usually eagerly awaited by all the volunteers because it is a chance to meet other volunteers from all over your host country and exchange your impressions with them. So the girls and I were very excited about this week!   
When we arrived, we met the other volunteers around a Polish lunch and it was a very international gathering, to say the least: Spain, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, France, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Germany and Greece.

After a first day spent getting to know each other and discussing which topics we wanted to approach during this training, our two trainers adjusted their programme to fit our needs. So in the following days, we had the chance to exchange on our projects and our experiences so far, to discuss our expectations, fears, joys, cultural shocks, highlights, etc. with the other volunteers and our trainers. These discussions were done in small groups and in a relaxed atmosphere and I found them genuinely useful, as we could exchange advice, tips, impressions, ask questions… The training took place in a relaxed and joyful atmosphere, reinforced by numerous team-building activities.

Of course, we also learned more about the European Voluntary Service and the learning journey that it represents. Again, we could ask all the questions that were unclear and it was really helpful for the future. 
Being such a multicultural group working on intercultural projects, a large part of the training was also dedicated to culture and languages. Thus, our trainers sent us off to investigate topics of our choice in Warsaw and to discover more about Polish culture and the city. In small groups, we went to meet and question people from Warsaw about street arts, cinema, the best places in the city, politics, their views on foreigners, the Warsaw uprisings, myths and legends of the city... We then presented our results to each other through videos, posters, PowerPoints, pictures, etc. It was a great way to discuss with Polish people, to explore Warsaw and to discover more about such a variety of topics. 

Furthermore, we had the opportunity to expand our language skills with a daily Polish lesson given by our trainers. We also learned more about each other's languages and cultures through a language café and an “open space” afternoon, during which we taught each other dances, games, activities, manual skills, etc. It was such an enriching and fun session and we all learned a lot of great ideas to reuse in our respective projects.  
Finally, we also had two evenings planned for us. On Tuesday night, we discovered more about Warsaw’s history during a very funny guided night tour.

And on Thursday night, we had the surprise to see a professional folk dance ensemble, GAIK, perform for us some traditional dances and songs, before teaching us some of them!
It was a really great week, during which we learned a lot, met new people and we now feel more ready than ever to develop our respective projects!

Do zobaczenia,


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