I’m Sofia and I’ve finished my ESC project in Greece a bit more than one month ago.
I left my hometown in September 2020 with a bit of recklessness but I was super excited to start this new experience and to challenge myself. It was my first time out of my comfort zone, away from my family living in a foreign country with people that I’d never met before and speaking in a language that is not my mother tongue. I was worried expecially for the language: what am I going to do if I’m not able to understand? How can I reply if I’m not able to speak correctly? You know what? All these were worries without a real reason because after the first week I started to speak with everyone. Even if my English was not the best I understood that the important thing is still trying and asking the others to explain the meaning of a sentence if you don’t understand it. So if your fear is about your low level of English, don’t worry, everything will be fine and this is not enough to keep you away from taking part in an amazing experience like this one.
Yes, my year in Nea Moudania with You In Europe was an extraordinary chance that I was lucky enough to try. Obviously there were good and bad moments, like the lockdown that for me it was very stressful physically and mentally, but everything is part of the experience and I have to say that I’m very grateful to have lived all this with wonderful people. I think people are the best part of an ESC project. In my case I’ve been lucky for having met María, Pedro, Natalia, all the people from the organisation, the teachers and the kids from my workplace, the owner of the shop in the corner and so on… All of them left me with something that I will take with me forever, and I’m more than sure I will meet some of them again in the future. For sure María, my flatmate, my partner in crime, my Spanish older sister, now speaking about her I’m a bit touched. So you have to take part in an ESC project at least to make new friendships, I wish you will be as lucky as me.
What else? When I’ve come back home my mum said that I had changed and I think so too. Thanks to this year I grew up, I’m more confident, I belive more in myself and in my abilities, I’m more independent, open minded and conscious about the potential of interculture, I learned to say «no» and to take time for myself, you don’t have to always go fast, sometimes you need to slow down and pay attention to what surrounds you. Obviously I’ve also learned practical things like creating a irrigation sistem for our vegetable garden, how to host a web radio, I’ve improved my English and I’ve practiced Spanish, I’ve cooked new recipes and so on…
This experience was so important for me that I’m not able to explain it in words, the only thing that I can do is suggest to everyone to go to Nea Moudania and try to live it.