Hi! My name is Eszter, I’m 21, from France. In May 2021, I finished my bachelor’s degree in administration, economics, law. Before doing my Master’s degree in education, I had the plan to spend a year abroad to spend. I first did a short term ESC project for two month in Poland. And from October 2021 to June 2022, I was in Tallinn for a project in a school with students with special needs (Tallinna Laagna Lasteaed-Põhikool).
My roles in the school were very diverse: playing with the children during their free time, helping them for daily needs, helping the teachers during the lessons. I also started my own French lessons, English activities, piano lessons, cooking activities, introductions about France. And I participated to many projects threw the year (film festival, puppet show…).
It has been amazing to get to know the children and teenagers of the school. The communication was, at first, not very easy (and Estonian is very different from French!). I loved trying to find a way to understand them, play and do lessons with them. I was at the same time a teacher, a helper, a confident, a friend !
And a thing that I didn’t expect, it is how much they taught me! About life, adaptation, autonomy, communication… Also, while I was learning about Estonian culture and language, I actually learnt a lot about my own country!
If I chose European Solidarity Corps, it was first to have this experience in a school, and also to live the experience of being a volunteer: sharing a flat with others from other countries, having some time to travel around and to do many activities. My expectations have been more than reached! Living in a flat with other volunteers is such a nice and unique experience! We have a lot of memorable discussions, moments, and adventures together.
I also traveled a lot during the week-ends and holidays. In Estonia and also abroad (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Sweden). It has been amazing to discover all these countries, languages, people, and food.
This whole experience was rich in everything. It helped me to be more independent, active, to develop language skills. I could meet a lot of amazing people, integrate in Estonia, survive the cold winter… And maybe the most important: getting to know myself at another level! By going out of my comfort zone, I could experience many new things and so being more open-minded, self-confident, independent.
So, if someone is still hesitating for doing an ESC, I would say: go for it! Take it as your own challenge and you will probably be surprised by how nice it will turn out!!
The project is funded by the European Commisson from the European Solidarity Corps programme.