Ten months in Barcelona! My ESC experience -Panayiota Christou

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And just like that, we are in November, and it is officially my last month in Barcelona! This is my attempt to put all my thoughts and emotions into words while looking back and reflecting on everything I experienced these last 10 months both personally and professionally, as a European Solidarity Corps Volunteer in Nexes Interculturals.

I lived this experience to the maximum. I took advantage of the opportunity I was given and made sure to gain the most out of it. As a person, I noticed that the program helped me a lot. I am now more confident, comfortable, and responsible in living alone, managing my schedule, and taking initiative, which is something that I rarely did before coming here. Barcelona allowed me to see my future and life in general from a different perspective. I now feel convinced that I am on the right path and certain of my ambitions towards the future.

Undoubtedly, when looking back, I have mostly grown professionally. Nexes allowed me to put into action all the knowledge I gained from university, and it made me a better professional. I can now say that I have experience in social media and communications, that I can handle WordPress and that I know how to create a newsletter. I am proud to say that alongside the Nexes team I made the branding of Migrantour Barcelona and that I redesign a board game. Two things that I have never done before. Moreover, I can say that I went out of my comfort zone more than once and that I was truly challenged. Challenged into negotiating work-related issues entirely in Spanish, learning how to communicate with the rest of the team, really listen, understand, debate, and find ways to express my thoughts and justify my opinion. Organize and take responsibility to accompany short-term volunteers to intercultural activities all over the city. Hold myself accountable for mistakes, and misunderstandings, take acknowledgement and manage difficult situations. Always stay positive and look for solutions to any obstacle.

My experience in Barcelona consisted of a roller-coaster of emotions. But, reflecting on it now, I can only feel grateful and proud for all the people I met and supported me, the friends I made along the way and the enormous joy I had being in such a beautiful city for almost a year. I would do it a million times over and I think that it’s a must opportunity that everyone needs to experience.

And besides, I can now say that I had my first professional experience in Barcelona!

Thank you Nexes Interculturals!