Lena from Germany (Vienna)

My name is Lena, I’m from Germany and I am just finishing my European Voluntary Service in a kinderhort in Vienna.

I really can’t believe that it’s almost the end of my EVS and that I’ve already been here for 10 months.

All beginnings are difficult and so was mine. I arrived in my dorm on a rainy Sunday at the beginning of September. Because the semester starts in October, my dorm was empty and I had nobody to talk to. In the first days, I felt very lonely. But then, as the semester came closer, more students started to move in and I met many new people. The community kitchen shared between multiple apartments lead to a lot of contact with other inhabitants who soon became my friends.

I really like to work at the Kinderhort. When I first arrived I was warmly welcomed there by my 2 colleagues and we instantly had a good relationship. We pick up the children from school, eat lunch together and then help them with their homework. With time, I really took the children to heart and I don’t even want to think about the time when I have to leave them. My time at work is amazing, we do trips to museums, parks or other exciting leisure activities. We also have a lot of good conversations and I really enjoy working in this Kinderhort.

Vienna is a beautiful city and in fact became my favorite place to be. Since I’m from Germany and I have been to Austria a lot of times in the past, I didn’t have to learn a new language and the culture was not foreign which really eased the start for me. However, I still learned to appreciate Vienna and its unique atmosphere.

I learned a lot of new things while being in Vienna and got more independent as well as self-confident during my time here. I experienced what it’s like to live on my own, away from my parents and got to meet people from all over the world. Doing the EVS was a very precious experience for me and I deeply recommend it to everyone thinking about doing one. It is a very exciting and fun experience where you will learn many new things. Not only about different cultures and lifestyles, but also about yourself. You will also learn how to deal with problems and challenging situations on your own. These 10 months have been the best 10 months of my life so far and I will really miss my time here in Vienna. Doing the EVS was a great decision and I will always remember it as one of the best things I did in my life.

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