Meet Emma – Our French EVS Volunteer From Avignon

Emma joined our team as an EVS volunteer in early October 2018 on a project by Eurocircle, our French partners from Marseille. Today, almost at the end of her voluntary service, Emma shares with us what volunteerism and life away from home have for her.

Who are you? Where do you come from ? and where are you now?

Hello, My name is Emma, I am 18 years old and I come from France to be exact from Avignon in the south (Beautiful city and with the best theatre festival ). So now I’m an EVS volunteer in Varna since the beginning of October 2018, but unfortunately, I have to leave soon.

Do you think EVS experience could be an interesting subject for a film about life in a foreign country?

Good question, hmm I think it can be very interesting because for some of us (volunteers) it’s our first time alone (by alone I mean without our family) and during our period here a lot of things happen, new friends, they become our new family. A love story, travel, learn how to do some stuff, learn a new language (for me it was very hard I have to admit haha) but yes the title can “ Volunteers abroad the new life” (just kidding this title is very bad).

Why did you decide to move here in Bulgaria?

Emma with some of the other foreign volunteers and interns in Varna

So first I didn’t know this country and I think not a lot of people know. So it is also to promote this country. Second I have the project to study communication in France, so what I’m doing now is related to communication in the Association For You.

What did you know about Bulgaria before coming?

To be honest nothing, but finally, it was good because I didn’t have stereotypes or things like this. I just discovered this country and Bulgarian culture.

Seven months is a lot of time: Are you satisfied with your decision to stay in Bulgaria for such a long period? What kind of expectations did you have and how do you feel now?

I think in seven months you have two periods as EVS volunteer, the first period is when you just arrive. The first 3 months are fast but not that fast – I mean you are new in a foreign country, try to make new friends, sometimes your mood is going down or going up hopefully up, but I didn’t have a lot of bad moods because I have incredible friends and superb team. The second part for me started in January and since then everything happened so fast because you feel like in your own city, meeting with our French partners, the arrival of new volunteers, and we had European Gateway meeting in Valencia. In the beginning, I was a bit afraid because I am young and living alone is a new experience.

Emma with some of her friends – Erasmus students in the University of Economics in Varna.

I was like “ what if I can’t be able to do things by myself, what if I don’t have friends, what if I don’t like my EVS” but finally it was probably one of the best choices in my life I feel different, in the way that now I have more maturity, new friends and new knowledge, new way of seeing life and more open-minded.

What did push you to choose this specific project?

I chose this project and not another one because I had in my plan may be to study communication or tourism I wasn’t sure but didn’t want to go back to school, I wanted to discover the world a bit so I found this project which is perfect because I have made the first steps in the world of communication and I discover Bulgaria.

Emma with part of her colleagues from the Association and some French partners

Was it difficult for you to find yourself in a new city, country, work environment?

Of course, at the beginning I felt lost, the new language that I can’t understand, my English wasn’t bad at the beginning but not good enough to understand sometimes but in 2months I learnt a lot about my tasks, also I saw my English level grow.

What do you think about Varna?

Varna, Varna my beautiful city. I love Varna, a very young city, beaches, good bars, huge sea garden. But I’ve been here only for winter so I can’t say the weather is nice, lol but when the sun is here it’s always a pleasure to drink something with toes in the sand.

Like many other international volunteers, Emma travelled not only in Bulgaria but in the neighbouring countries as well.

What do you like and what do you dislike about Bulgaria?

I will start with what I like the most here, I think the landscape: you can have a city by the sea and after you can have the city surrounded by mountains. Also the food – a lot of vegetables.

And now what I don’t like: sorry but Rakia haha and supermarket because sometimes is very difficult to find some product. The other things are not something that I don’t like but something that I am not used to, at the beginning Bulgarians look very cold but when you take time with them they are very friendly and kind.

What is your favourite word in Bulgarian?

It’s funny but it’s Nazdrave that mean Cheers. Probably the first word that I learn here. This word reminds me of all the good times with my friends, strangers becoming friends.