As part of the EVS programme, every long term volunteer is supposed to sit in two mandatory trainings : the arrival one, and the mid-term one. Magdalena and I just came back from the first one. Funny that the arrival one happens when we are almost at the middle of our volunteering right?

2018 volunteers

The thirty 2018 european volunteers of Denmark

Wanna have an overview of it? Here is the vlog about the training!

There is few purpose for this volunteers meeting : to create a network, to share about our proper experience, to discover more about the danish culture, learn more about EVS programme and the Youth Pass… But it is also a way for our 3 coaches and the  Danish National Agency to be assure that everything is going well with our mission and our hosting environment. Basically, it means that a lot can happen in 5 days.

What about the facilities?

Everything has been in charge of the European Union. We stayed in a really great hotel close to the city center of Vejle : the Scandic hotel. Everything you can need was there : a gym, a spa, restaurant, bed linen and towels were changed everyday, fancy fourniture and nice service from the employees. The main part of the training happened in one of the conferance room of the hotel. We stayed in 4 persons rooms and we have been separated of our project partners to facilitate new friendships.

While a really complete and diverse breakfast was provided by the hotel, we had  sandwiches made by the scandic kitchen for lunch. We went to the restaurant for every diner : to the Scandic one, an asian buffet, a greek one and finally an italian one. It was covered by the training. It has been really appreciated and a casual way to get closer to each others day by day in an informal athmosphere.

Volunteers portraits

Drawing volunteers portraits during an ice breaking game… Art can be relative

But Lucile… Tell us what did you concretely do at this training

Monday and Tuesday has mainly been team building games and workshops to get to know each others better and to feel safe and confortable all together. A huge map of Denmark was available in the conferance room to pin and locate our project to have a better idea of where everyone is staying. We took a lot of time to name our expectations and put some words on our first impressions about Denmark, but we also played a lot of group games as ice breakers. For exemple we played domino with specific rules to realise how important is the communication between different working groups. We also presented every projects in a creative way : having 2 hours to artisticly create a box discribing our project, our main expectations, difficulties and missions… But it was also a way to know ourself better. For exemple, we discovered our working profile (Magdalena and I are reflectors, it means that we need time to think before acting). Then we compared it with the kind of management used by our hosting organisation to see how well it matches and to better understand and manage our environment.

Wednesday has mainly focused on learning about our actual skills and on which new skills can the EVS programme bring us. It was the most formal day. During the morning, we had group chat on which ones we had to tell a personal story to 1 reporter and 2 witness during 8 min, helped by reporter’s questions. After that, the witnesses got 2 min to tell us all the qulities we showed on that story and how it maked us growing up. It has been nice to realise how positive we have to be about all our experiences because each experience bring something good, even if it doesn’t look like on the first look. Then we mind maped our goals and learning expectations of the EVS programme and the coach introduced us the Youth Pass. At the end of the day, we started to take a look at intercultural differences as an introduction for thursday.

EVS training Workshop

Volunteers presenting their expectations during one of the workshop

Thursday has been excursion day. On the morning, we had to go down Vejle’s street and interview danish people about chosen topic of their culture. The interview had to be recored, for a final 3 min long. Here is some exemples of topics chosen by students : happiness in Denmark, the flag culture, hyggelikt, favorite topics for smørrebrød… Then we met at 11 am at the train station to go to Jelling. Jelling use to be a viking city where there is now the viking kings museum and also viking ship graves. But before visiting it with a guide under a typical danish weather – which means froggy, grey and cold – we went to a typical danish restaurant to try smørrebrød.


Walking on the danish weather in Jelling

Friday was the last day because the training was ending at 2 pm. We basically watched the wednesday’s videos and closed the training by giving our impressions. Coaches gave us some lead on how to think about our projects and so on until next time.

What did I prefered?

To me – and I am now talking to all the future volunteers – this has been a wonderful experience. It is so nice to meet new people which has the main position as you on the society at that particular moment. People with who you can share some expectations, disapointement and so on… My main word to discribe this first training is networking. Now I feel like I can visit any part of Denmark, and I will always do it with one of my new friend. I liked a lot discovering a new part of the Denmark (Jutland) and going out of school for a while. It’s a lot of good energies, positive meeting, open minding discoveries. Now, I am really looking forward the next meeting with them.

Lucile, 2018 spring term volunteer