By Manon Bodren
Manon Bodren is a Law graduate of the Université d’Auvergne-Ecole de Droit et Science Politique Clermont and is currently an EVS volunteer at Inter Alia
The desire to make a European Voluntary Service represents to me a desire of discoveries, innovations, make me confront another reality than the life of a student in France. I wish to speak about and understand some society problems especially through experience and not just repeat what the media say or be influenced by what my close circle think. I want to forge my own opinion.
It was never my intention to leave with the Erasmus exchange program. First, because I realise that my English is catastrophic but mostly because I wanted to get out of the formal framework that is the university.
So I sought a way to go abroad outside any formal framework. I confess at the beginning of my research, I was scared at the idea of stopping my studies for one year. Blame social pressure … The original idea was from a friend. We were aware of the existence of this famous European Voluntary Service. The idea immediately seduced us! However, it seemed difficult to live together. Especially, it is easier to open up to other cultures when traveling alone. I applied in several associations in the European Union and thanks to Inter Alia I can now live the EVS experience in Greece.
Why Athens? I wanted to be in a large town to discover and meet people. I didn’t know Athens. In general, this city does not have good reputation, especially with tourists. It is known as dirty and not pretty, except the Acropolis. I think these tourists do not stay long enough to enjoy and soak up the atmosphere that makes this city so special, between graffiti and archaeological sites, among coffee shop and souvlaki… Exarchia district, renowned for being anarchist and dangerous, is anything but dangerous. There is a different atmosphere than in the rest of the city. It is a mix of traces of the past rebellions, lightness and small cafes occupied by students.
Why Inter Alia? Looking at the website of Inter Alia, I have noticed that this NGO was full of projects of all kinds on current topics that interested me, like migration in Europe or Child protection subjects on which Inter Alia has partners internationally. In addition, it has available the areas of research, analysis, debate where everyone can speak on a subject close to his heart. I hope to participate in some projects in order to learn new working methods but also learn new things about the topics. I also hope to be able to work with Inter Alia on a subject that has not been addressed, a problem of society present in France and in Greece or otherwise comparing a problematic situation in France with that of Greece. I also hope to meet different people throughout my EVS but for that, I intend also to improve my English!
If you are interested in an EVS with us, please, follow our open positions on the European Youth Portal: https://europa.eu/youth/volunteering/organisation/946645602_en or here: https://interaliaproject.com/participations/