Volunteer’s story – Interview with Béatrice
A few days ago, BGCWales ESC volunteer Béatrice flew back to Germany. Her housemates, UNA Exchange volunteers Helene and Loeiza, interviewed her before she left.
Go read and watch her brilliant interview to learn more about her experience as an 18-year-old volunteering and living abroad for the first time!
Could you introduce yourself ?
Hello, I’m Béatrice, I’m half French half German. Before I moved here, I lived at the border from Germany, just in Strasburg.
I graduated school at 18 and I didn’t know what to do after. I knew I wanted to do something creative, and something social. so I thought why not combine the two because I wasn’t ready yet to study and I wanted to have an experience abroad. I wanted to improve my English. So I searched the internet what opportunities I could take and I found ESC volunteering and I applied there. I applied at Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales. It’s a registered charity which has several youth clubs in Wales, and I promote their social media accounts, so Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. I do posts so I work in the headquarters from ten to four, and in the evenings, maybe two to three times per week I’d go to the youth clubs and do workshops with the children and the young people.
What was your biggest culture shock?
I think, for me, it was the food. I come from Germany and France so we have a pretty good gastronomy there. here it is pretty different, but I managed to eat well too!
What was your biggest challenge?
Probably to take care of my own salary. It was my first salary, and the first time I lived on my own – but I had my housemates with me. It was a good challenge. It was a big one but it made me realize I can do a lot of stuff on my own and it made me grow, in many ways.
What’s your best memory ?
I have too many memories! But probably the times when me I and my housemates went eating together… We went to Bristol, and that was a great experience for us to be in Bristol, which is a very beautiful city.
Would you encourage young people to go on an ESC project abroad?
Yes, definitely. As I said, you can grow in so many ways. You learn how to be on your own, how to work on your own. New work experience, new living experience. You meet so many new people, you encounter new cultures and you just learn a lot.
What did you take from this experience?
I wanted to challenge myself to go to a bigger city, but I think it was a pretty good choice to go to a city which has approximately the same amount of people from my city because there are new challenges. Even if I improved my English a lot, sometimes the accent can be quite hard to understand, money conversion… You meet many challenges and I think I learned to adapt this year.
Don’t take too much stuff! Just take the bare minimum because you are going to buy a lot of stuff here. And just enjoy every day from the beginning because it goes fast, just enjoy the moment and go out as much as people, meet new people, be open.
Interview conducted by Helene Chaland and filmed and edited by Loeiza Stucker (UNA Exchange ESC volunteers 2019/2020). The filmed version of the interview is right below!