A European perspective #EuroPeers

My name is Gianluca and I’m 21, currently based in the north of Italy.

Europe for me means opportunities.  Huge opportunities to travel, explore, learn, grow up and mature. I am most proud of the idea of becoming young multipliers of our precious experiences once back from international events and intercultural projects. 

I discovered the Erasmus+ program in 2016 and since my first youth exchange in Croatia, my life completely changed. The choices I made, the studies I started, the work I have done. Everything is feeling different and I could witness incredible transformations in the young man I wanted to become. Sure, nothing happened in a night.  Multiple opportunities in different contexts, as a participant, youth leader, organiser and international volunteer, each one of them shaped my behaviour, my attitude towards myself and the people around me. 

I improved my language skills, I became more independent, I searched for and obtained vital freedom, I discovered how beautiful and emotional coming back home can be. I traveled around the old continent and, while so much is left to see, I gained crucial experience for my personal and professional development. 

My biggest and most complicated challenge has been the EVS project I joined for 5 months in Cascais, the 2018 European Youth Capital. 

A new home and a new family were waiting (or probably that was what I expected to find once arrived to start my volunteering with other 3 young Europeans). I soon felt that my expectations were a little far from reality. 

I had tough times, I struggled with different spheres of that daily life. Day by day I waited for the end of my project to come home as fast as possible.

Months later, I realised how powerfully that time spent in Portugal impacted the person I wanted to become and the goals I could achieve. 

In the end, it is true: If you never try, you’ll never know what you are capable of.

This is why EuroPeers are needed so desperately; in this modern world, our principle is to have a spread and deep impact among new generations. Europe can progress but without a European identity, each step will be tougher and scarier. 

So, what can I suggest to you?

Take a challenge, participate in a European mobility project and bring home your knowledge, improved skills and a revived attitude to become a changemaker at the local and international levels. Whether you inspire to be an engineer, a doctor, a manager, a teacher or an athlete let the opportunities Europe offers support your life path. 

I am thankful for everything I received and I hope to never forget that. 

Together, United in diversity, we must keep sharing these chances.