My name is Sharmake Naaleeye and I am currently a second year law student at City, University of London. I was an intern for the European Commission, Representation UK, between October and December. I was working in the Communications section, helping to organise the European Mock Council for sixth form students and also assisting with Erasmus+ events.

Through my internship, I got the opportunity to participate in the Glaramara winter course held in the Lake District where I was first introduced to EuroPeers. I met some amazing people from all around the world. We had the chance to exchange our experiences of travel and why we all love it.

The Lake District was breath-taking and it was a nice change from the busy streets of London. Whilst on one of our walks around the Lakes, I realised that many EuroPeers had been involved in the European Voluntary Services (EVS), where you are able to have a placement in a country within Europe or sometimes outside such as Colombia or Turkey. The placements vary in length, you can either have a short term or long term placement between 2 weeks and 1 year. I had never heard about the EVS programme before going to Glaramara and I couldn’t stop researching it afterwards and telling everyone I know about it. I also found out that the name had recently changed from EVS to European Solidarity Corps.

I love travelling and experiencing new cultures and so hearing about the EVS programme made me really excited about the possibilities. During my gap year there was nothing I wanted more than to work in another country for an extended period of time. I wish I knew about the programme then. But luckily I can still participate, hopefully on a short-term placement this summer. I have been studying Spanish for a few years and the chance to immerse myself in Spanish culture through an EVS placement in Spain would be fantastic. I encourage everyone to participate in EVS as there are somethings you can only learn if you explore a new country.

I am very grateful for joining EuroPeers UK in Glaramara and I cannot wait for the next meet up!