Even though I am familiar with culture shock and the way it influences your mindset -I lived in the US for a year-, I still have moments when I stop and reflect on how strange or how admirable the Welsh are. Here are a few examples of my most memorable culture shocks here in Cardiff.
My name is Hélène, I am originally from suburban Paris and I am twenty-four years old. After spending one year abroad as a teaching assistant in the USA, all I wanted to do was to pack my suitcase again and leave for new adventures.
Each year UNA Exchange works with partner organisations to facilitate group volunteering opportunities for teams of young people from Wales. This includes several projects specially designed for Cardiff University students, who last year participated in community development projects in Japan and Vietnam. Amongst those visiting Yamagata on Japan’s Honshu Island was Francesca, who made a wonderful video of her international volunteering experience.
After an enjoyable weekend of volunteering in November at Amelia Trust Farm, UNA Exchange young ambassador, Georgia Quinn, spent a week in the office helping our Supported Volunteering programme lead, Rhi Davies. In our latest blog post, Georgia shares her experience.
From mid-August through to late-September 2017, UNA Exchange volunteer William joined a group of fellow international volunteers from Italy, Belgium, Canada, South Korea and Russia to take part in a natural heritage conservation work camp at the Great Himalayan National Park in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
In July 2017, university students Nikkita and Alicja travelled from the UK to the province of Lleida in the heart of the Catalonian Pyrenees to take part in voluntary work. Located in the small village of Talarn in the Torre de Capdella region, the two-week ‘reading life in rocks’ work camp provided the UNA Exchange volunteers with a range of opportunities to develop their skills and contribute to development of the local community.
In March 2017, university students Choosma and Will travelled from the UK to the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. In the Himalayan foothills, near the small village of Bandh, they joined the Rural Centre for Human Interests to take part in a work camp run by UNA Exchange partner RUCHI.