A multiple experience in Vienna
What is EVS for me? Well, MY EVS is time of working at the interesting project (German-Spanish kindergruppe) with a nice team, meeting people and making new friends, learning a new language, travelling, visiting wonderful places and participating in interesting events. To tell the truth, during these six months of my project I‘ve seen and experienced more than during several previous years I’ve spent in my home city.
I really love the city I’m doing my EVS in, and in my opinion Vienna is one of the best places in the world. Here there are plenty of clubs, cafés, exhibitions, museums, theatres (the latter is very important for me, moreover in Vienna in many theatres and operas you can buy cheap tickets, which I do enjoy), the people here are very friendly and nearly always (in 99% cases) willing to help.
I work at the kindergruppe and the very first time I was going there I was a little bit afraid. I knew just a little German and no Spanish and though I worked with children in Russia, I still wasn’t sure I’ll manage to do my job well. But everything turned out very well. I found out that many children’s games are international and you don’t need excellent language skills to play with children. Being open, friendly and flexible are quite enough for the first time. And also the children were explained that I speak “nur ein bisschen Deutsch” and since then I never had any serious language problems at my workplace (for example, if I couldn’t understand something, kids were always eager to repeat what they said).
Real candles and other specialities
I also liked celebrating Christmas twice – in December, according to the Catholic tradition, and in January (the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on the 7th of January). I celebrated Catholic Christmas with my mentor’s family and it was a wonderful traditional celebration with Christkind (the one who brings gifts instead of Santa Claus), songs, gifts and REAL (!!!) candles on the Christmas tree (I think Austria is the only country where they still light real candles…:)).
Of course, during the project there were some difficulties, like those with the visa, or cultural shock, as the way of life in Austria is rather different from the one in Russia, or homesickness (going home for Christmas was too far and too expensive). But what is really cool is that I always felt and still feel support here. My mentor, Grenzenlos team, my free time mentor, friends, colleges and many other people are always ready to help. So I never feel lonely. And now I’m even a little bit afraid of coming back home, as I’m so used to living here!