Franco-German voluntary service 2020/2021
1. Cultural melting pot at the university
Like a lot of students here at the university, I come from a foreign country. We surely all know that integration in a new country can be difficult. It brings a lot of challenges, as much in the everyday life as in the student life. This is the main reason I’ve decided to share my personal experience and give you a couple of tips.
I’m Eleonore and I’m 19 years old. I’m French and I’ve always lived in Paris, until now. I’ve arrived in Regensburg September 16th to achieve my voluntary service, until June 2021. The Franco-German voluntary service is a European exchange program set up by the government for people aged 18 to 25 years old. Working as a volunteer means having a cultural role by working in the public sector. It can take place either in a university, a school or a town hall, etc.
After studying one year at the university in Paris, I’ve decided to take a gap year in order to get new perspectives and discover new places. I’ve chosen Germany as my destination, due to the main fact that German was one of my favorite subjects in school. I’ve obviously wanted to get to know this country and its culture better.
Advantages of living in a foreign country
Not many people know about the community service, when it’s an interesting way to travel and learn about different subjects. Indeed, my main goals during this year are to discover a new culture and way of life, as well as to improve my German. It also includes finding my professional path and choosing a career. The voluntary service is one further way to evolve personally and to strengthen your confidence. Travelling is one of the greatest possibilities is to overcome your fears.
First moments in Regensburg
Moving to a new country is indeed an amazing opportunity, but we must always put safety first, and even more during the corona pandemic. Therefore, I got tested two days after my arrival. I also had to register to the town hall as a citizen of the city. After receiving a negative result from my test, I visited the city. I find Regensburg really exotic! By exotic, I mean that here stand a lot of different cultures and nationalities. The city is multicultural thanks to the history that have had a great influence through time. It has in fact a strong historical background since it has been affected by the Roman Empire. The architecture and the cobbled streets remind us of the city’s historical past. We can also notice a great Italian influence with the Cafes, the fountains and also the colored houses all around here. Every season must be bringing a different atmosphere to the city.
An invitation to travel
Whether you are a foreigner in this country or not, travelling is always a positive and fulfilling experience, even when travelling in your own country. A new living environment always confronts us to challenges we have to rise up to and brings us knowledge. At the same time it makes our settled values progress. Either way, the university is a place where we can all grow up and is also an occasion to learn from one another.