This is it

My EVS officially ends on the 2nd of August, although I had already finished work and taken the last week off, since I still had some vacation days left.

So here I am, revisiting some of my favorite places in Bologna, eating and drinking at my favorite restaurants and pubs, walking the streets I walked for the past 10 months. It’s sad having to leave a place you’ve grown so close to. I spent here only 10 months, but it has become my home very fast, a place where I felt good and comfortable, where I was able to cultivate my deepest feelings, where I’ve grown and learned, where I met friends.

Bologna

But I’m not saying farewell to Bologna. I will come back and not once, of that I’m sure. And who knows what the future holds anyway?

Now I’m going for a week-long vacation in Ravenna, after which I’ll come back one last time this summer to Bologna to pack all my things and take the infamous bus connection of 17 hours back to Poland on 11th August.

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The Hole in the Wall

Not so long ago, I’ve mentioned on Facebook, that a group of American film students accidentally discovered il b.u.c.o. (where I’m doing my EVS) and decided to create a short documentary about the place as their study project.

I have to say I was very surprised and obviously quite unprepared when they walked in asking if they can interview me about the place and the organisation, but I guess it didn’t go as bad as I could expect. Actually I’m pretty happy with how I did. Well, anyway, judge yourselves:

EVS crash test

As I’m starting to work on my YouthPass* my head fills up with thoughts and worries about the nearest future (brace yourself for this is NOT going to be a cheerful post).

One of the main goals of Erasmus+, and so also the EVS, is to give young people a chance to develop themselves in an international environment, to learn things they would probably never learn in their home countries, to give them something to add to their CVs that could encourage employers to recruit them. And while I’m describing all my experiences and the knowledge and skills I got from them, I can’t escape the thought that it’s all very nice and neat, but it’s probably not going to be of much help.

Yes, I did learn a new language to a point that I can have a decent conversation and I’m more or less able to use it also at work, where it’s all about complicated vocabulary and structures and yes, I have had many various experiences, work-related and not, that enriched me as a person and as a worker, but is it really going to be appreciated? In the end my Erasmus in Finland wasn’t as much of a “thrill” to my probable employers as I thought it would be.

Well, either way, it’s still a gamble. You go back to your home country from a year during which you didn’t have to worry about anything and you have no idea what to do with yourself. You got used so much to living among people who didn’t speak your language that when you finally hear it (your language) it sounds weird and completely out of place. You got used to a certain way of spending your days (and nights), you made friends, you’ve developed connections. And now you have to leave all of it, because there’s no other way. And on top of all this, you have no idea what’s out there waiting for you.

Some people might see it as a possibility, an adventure. I don’t, sorry. In the past two years I have traveled more than in my entire life before that, I got used to speaking languages other than my own, first English and Finnish, then English and Italian and for some reason, going back to Poland, speaking only Polish, interacting only with Polish people seems so incredibly dull and unexciting that I’m getting depressed by only thinking about it.

And then there’s your heart. Your heart that is no longer only yours and that got used to some things too. And there’s no way of telling it to suck it up and wait. Life lies ahead and you need to get hold of it.

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*Youthpass — an official EVS document confirming you did a voluntary service and stating what skills an abilities you obtained during your project.