“On-arrival Training” – A blog post by our ESC, Tasha

The middle of October, and my second week in the Czech Republic was pretty amazing as I took a part in On-arrival training in Bohuslavice, near Telč. Together with 22 other volunteers who came from different European countries I spent five days at the farmstead located in the middle of this small but picturesque village. 

Photo by Adrián

Although the place we stayed at seemed very cosy at first sight, I didn’t feel comfortable being there surrounded by fur and a lot of stuffed animals. However, it soon became the topic of our first conversations and we have already shared the opinion, so those first impressions of the place slowly began to fade.

One of the main aims of this training was creating a network of people who would later help each other, travel together and make this volunteering experience the best possible. It wasn’t a difficult thing to do at all, cause among my co-volunteers I could feel good vibes from the very beginning.

Of course, we were not just there to hang out, but to learn more about all volunteering practicalities and the beautiful host country. Thanks to a super dedicated team of trainers, we gained basic knowledge about Czech history, culture, politics and social issues in the country. Anything that would help us better adapt to a new culture.

Photo by Ferenc

The session about art and culture was of particular interest to me, and thanks to Filip and Ado I found out the basics of Czech cinematography and music. I couldn’t wait to explore further on my own.

Throughout the program, we felt free to talk about ourselves and our cultures, the reasons why we are here. We showcased our talents and shared skills, and everyone had enough space to express themselves creatively. Except maybe in Czech language classes, where everyone was pretty quiet. Learning the language was fun at the same time, especially the look of people’s faces when it came to the difficult pronunciation of Czech ”ř”.

Photo by Taša

The weather was perfect and we had enough free time to visit Telč, a beautiful small town that is well known for its town square that is UNESCO World Heritage Site and had a nice walk.

 

After this training, we were much better acquainted with our rights and responsibilities and possible difficulties that can befall us during this experience. All these stories were very useful, and it helped me settle into my placement and new life in the Czech Republic.

I am looking forward to the mid-term meeting, but also to other journeys we planned till then!

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