Erika Čirikaitė

Erika Čirikaitė

Let’s go back to 2017.

My 11th year in school was nearly finished and I did not have any plans for the summer…

But… I knew one thing- I – wanted to experience something different, new and inspiring! And at that moment I arrived at an idea to go abroad alone (I mean without my family and friends). I decided to write to different companies who could help me find opportunities. I did my research, and then I found out about SALTO-Youth. I consulted with them, but they said that it would be tough to find any projects for me to volunteer at aged 17! They promised to hold on to my details and if they had any projects available for me, they would let me know.

After 2-3 months had gone, I found a 10-day Erasmus Plus project in Romania and I paid the deposit! And one day after that, SALTO sent me a letter with another project for me! They said that if I wanted to participate, I needed to fill all the documents in within ONE day! and.. I did that! After 2-3 days, when I had a 1:1 tutorial with my Lithuanian language teacher, I heard back – I was going to go to Malaga, Spain!

When another volunteer arrived at Malaga airport, we were met by a taxi driver and after we arrived at our new home for two months. The next day two new neighbours from Estonia came as well. During our stay in Malaga all of us worked in different places, which was nice because we had different experiences, met new people and could share our own experience. All of us worked with children; most of them were Spanish. Whilst working at a summer camp, I taught children the basics of English through songs and games, created a camp flash mob, supported the workshops developed by the hosting organisation; (TRANS), I taught campers basic Lithuanian and improved my English skills. On top of that, we had 10 hours of Spanish lessons and learned basic words and expressions in Spanish.

During this time, I have learnt how to monitor my expenses and how to manage my budget, my schedule, using different web sites and applications for the first time, found different ways to learn besides the traditional ones, developed my skills working in a team and learned how to resolve conflicts when necessary, learned more about how to be an environmentally friendly person.

During my stay in Spain, my travelling took me to Malaga, Gibraltar, Sevilla, El Chorro, Ronda, Caminito del Rey, Granada…

During my stay in Malaga, I enhanced my personal, professional and intercultural competences. At the end of my volunteering, I got a Youthpass which certified that I spent my EVS project in Malaga, Spain with the Asociacion Iniciativa Internacional Joven.

This experience changed me. I became more self-confident, bold, experienced, grown-up and had a good rest and a lot of emotions afterwards and had the inspiration to start my new and last school year!

Because of these experiences, I wasn’t afraid to study abroad after finishing school, I wasn’t afraid of exams, and especially studying in English!

Here is a link to a video I created about my experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlAPKGKqWnM

By Erika

Skills

Posted on

28th October 2019