ESC Experience in Zagreb, Croatia

For the past year I waited for the opportunity to go for an ESC and experience first
hand all the amazing stories I have heard about it. As soon as the time was right, YEU gave
me the chance to travel to Zagreb, Croatia and volunteer for a great organisation, SYNCRO-
SYNERGY Croatia.
This ESC was special to me since I aspire to become an English teacher and it would
allow me to create workshops for local and refugee children and familiarize myself with the
process of preparing a lesson while having fun! As soon as I was accepted for the program,
both organisations were very willing to help and provide all necessary information for my two
month stay in Zagreb. Upon arriving we had sessions with a teacher and social worker in
order to learn more about how we would present our country to the children who varied in
ages. The social worker focused on our connection with the volunteer pensioners who would
be there for our workshops to help with translation and communication. These sessions
helped greatly and made all 10 of us eager to begin preparing.
All of us stayed in a hostel with beds for six and four people. Not going to lie, it was
pretty hard to get used to the hostel life but the most enjoyable moments came from sharing
our food and culture, from making best friends and living together! We traveled together to
Ljubljana, Slovenia, had amazing dinner parties and helped each other with making
workshops for the children. We volunteered for a local dog shelter and created an entire
buffet of food for an international dinner that SYNCRO was organising.
One thing I would change would be to have more workshops with the children and
travel more to the nearby cities, but even if that were possible, eventually our last days were
ruined by COVID-19. I would definitely go to another ESC experience since this one was
very short! I miss my friends and little moments and I would do it all over again! Like a wise
quote says “One of the benefits of being multicultural, is simply the awareness that how you
live is not the only way”.

Ioanna Demetriou

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