Monday, November 2, 2020

On Arrival Training

Part of volunteering with ESC involves a training course with the other volunteers around Spain. Usually it would be a 5 day training somewhere in the country. Unfortunately due to Covid we had to have it online. 

The organizers split us into multiple groups, and in total we were 21 other volunteers on Zoom. 

The training was actually very interesting. We did many activities, including sharing experiences about our volunteer jobs, our countries, and ourselves. We also had some technical explanations about the Youthpass, Cigna and other important things we needed to know to make our time here smoother.

We had Spanish workshops every afternoon by an awesome teacher.  

The organziers were very motivated and did their best to make the best out of the online situation. 

Overall, it was a fun experience. I am hoping the next one will be in person, even though it's very unlikely. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Nou d’Octubre – Día de la Comunidad Valenciana

A couple of days ago it was Valencian Community Day, I would like to share some historical hints and give you a brief overview of why this day is such a special day to Valencian people. 

On the 9th of October every year, Valencian community celebrates the  national day of their autonomous region.
This public holiday, known as 'Día de la Comunidad Valenciana', has been celebrated for over 600 years. It marks Valencia’s freedom from Moorish rule and commemorates King James I of Aragon’s reconquest of the city of Valencia from the Muslim empire in 1238.
King James I of Aragon granted the city new charters of law and his changes  redefined the region in many ways, forming the basis of the character and  key traditions of the Valencian regions.

Valencian pride reaches a peak during these celebrations!
This year, with the pandemic going on, Valencia's National Day was much quieter affair than usual. In order to limit the influx of visitors, the civic procession didn’t take place.
Social distancing permitting, this festivity is filled with fireworks, parades and people dressed up in costumes of either Moors or Christians and parade through Valencia centre, in a spectacular show with dance and music.


Trip in Andalucia


This long weekend has been the occasion for us, volunteer to discover spain and the choosen destination has been Andalucia. During our 4 day trip we could have experienced a lot of twists and discovered a variety of breathtaking scenery and places.

It all start with 2 day in Malaga, a vibrant city next to the sea, where we where able to enjoy its mediteranean atmosphere and the sangria tapas bar. The visit of the Gibralfaro castle has been a good excursion to learn the city history and understand the the legacy of the Muslim presence.

Finally Malaga is the city of Picasso, so a visit to his museum was a must.

We then took the road back inland to granada. We were able to discover this magnificent city where calm and beauty reign. We were impressed by the splendid palace of the alhambra and were delighted to wander through the steep little streets with its white houses decorated in the old style.

The close proximity of the Sierra Nevada allows us to go hiking in this sumptuous national park. We walked 28km between the ski resort of Sierra Nevada and the village of the Alpujarras de Cupileira, passing by the Pico Veleta at 3396m of altitude.

Overall it was an amazing trip and Andalucia is region that we wil remember, we hope to have many more trip like this.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Semana Europea de la Movilidad 2020

Los voluntarios europeos de la ESFMB participamos en la Semana Europea de la Movilidad Sostenible 2020 “Por una movilidad sin emisiones”.


Monday, October 5, 2020

The Erasmus students sent by the ESFMB

Today we will talk about the experiences of the Erasmus students that have gone abroad with the help of the ESFMB.

These exchanges take place in 2 different countries, Italy and Northern Ireland. This is a great opportunity to learn a language, develop new skills and increase employability.

This year the exchange has been disrupted by the covid, so some placements have been cancelled and the quaranteen had to be respected. Here are two students who went to Derry, Northern Ireland who tell us about their experiences.


Adventures Around Comunidad Valenciana

Part of volunteering with the European Solidarity Corpse includes seeing the country you are volunteering in. 

For now we have undertaken this task in the Community of Valencia.

So far we have been to two locations as a group. 

Denía and Albufera

I will post some pictures: 



These have been our group adventures so far. We are planning many more. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

European Day of Langauges 2020

On Saturday it was the European Day of Languages. 

It is the day of promoting the diversity of European languages and emphasizing the importance of language learning. 

I personally come from a country which is said to have the hardest language in Europe (Hungary).

As an example I wanted to share a little bit of the difficulty of the Hungarian language.

If you enjoy a challenge, try learning Hungarian!

ESC in Valencia

I feel like that my ESC journey in Spain has just begun, however I have just realized that almost one month has gone by!
With the everyone’s cooperation, it has been possible to prevent the project from being cancelled. My Erasmus+ mobility should have started months ago, precisely in March. As many other projects, it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
At this darkest time I had tons of questions roaming around in my mind.
My sending organization AIM Agenzia Intercultura e Mobilità helped me to deal with all the paperwork and prepared me thoroughly before sending me off to this grand adventure. The constant support of my hosting organization, which is Escola Sindical de Formació Melchor Botella, before departure and here in Spain has been crucial. 

ESFMB is a non-profit organization that manages the training of all the people who belongs or are related to the Intersidical Valenciana.
The volunteer project, which is called ”Volunteering as a European inclusive strategy”, aims to create new employment opportunities for young people and provide advice and information to them about the activities carried out.
In order to decrease the large influx of people in the ESFMB buildings, this organization has also introduced smart working for their employees. Temporarily we are working from home 3 days a week and in the office the remaining days. 
We have been provided with all the support we need in order to perform our activities in the best possible way.  
Our involvement in the organization is facilitated by the role of tutor and supervisor which help up to settle in the daily life and experience the host country. We also benefit from the Online Linguistic Support platform to keep up with the foreign language.

I’ve been sharing this experience with other two European volunteers, Natalia from Hungary and Romain from France. Since we cannot choose who to share this experience with, I count myself really fortunate!
We all stay in a shared apartment located in Xirivella, a quiet town not too far from the ESFMB Headquarters in Valencia.

As volunteers, we plan and organise workshops and seminars. We use our own experience to encourage the participation of local youth for future EVS projects and give them a best understanding of what it’s like to volunteer abroad. These meetings are specially held in English in order to give people an opportunity to practice the language in a non-formal way.
We also get encouraged to realize posters and initiatives to promote European projects of youth exchange through social networks.

I know from first-hand experience that living in a foreign country can be challenging.
With Erasmus+ program, I'm having the opportunity to experience Valencia and explore Spain while having all the security and support I could wish for.

I’ve always loved Spain and I wanted to get to know more about its culture.
it didn't take me too much time to get used to it! I'm already settled in!
I can see lots of similarities to Italy, the way we approach the life is pretty much the same and being Italian works in my favor when it comes to learn Spanish.
I definitely take advantage of this golden opportunity and by the time this experience ends I’m expecting to build up my confidence in this language.

I still have nine months ahead of me, and I’m sure they will be part of my life’s most outstanding ones!


My first week as a volunteer in Valencia


  Hello! My name is Romain, I´m 20 years old and I´m from France. I´ve been volunteering in the Escola sindical de formacio Melchor Botella (ESFMB) for one week, and I will continue for nine more months! For me, who has little experience travelling abroad, it is a very enriching experience and a challenge to speak only in Spanish and English. After only 2 weeks I can already see my level of understanding rising, although there are still misunderstandings.

    The Escola Sindical de Formació Melchor Botella (ESFMB) is a non-profit association whose mission is to manage the training of all the people who belong to or are linked to the Intersindical Valenciana 

    At the moment we are working on the communication of the association’s social networks and we also take care of the administration of young Spanish students going abroad that the association works with. We mainly work in an office, which is also new to me, it is a pleasant experience to be around colleagues.

     However, volunteering is somewhat complicated because of the current health situation. We only go to the association's office 2 days a week and the rest of the time we work from home with the 2 other volunteers, which is a good opportunity to get to know each other better.

    Our free time allows us to discover Valencia and its surroundings, and to enjoy its climate and warm atmosphere. Also, it is the first time I live in such a big city, but Valencia is beautiful with a strong local culture where it is good to live. The presence of the sea is also very pleasant to refresh oneself in the evenings or at the weekends.

My Experiences as a Volunteer in Valencia

     My name in Natalia, I am a volunteer from Hungary. I am volunteering in Valencia, Spain in a project called Escola Sindical de Formació Melchor Botella (ESFMB). It is a non-profit organization that is involved with many projects. I work together with two other volunteers on Erasmus related tasks. My job includes: updating the project’s social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), filling out the Europass Mobility forms and creating certificates for the Erasmus students returning to Spain, and other small tasks that we are assigned. We are the first volunteers ESFMB has ever had, which is exciting. Due to Covid-19 things are running differently, therefore we work from home a lot, and have only recently started going to the office twice a week. This is my first office job experience, so I really enjoy being in the office and having multiple coworkers (before this I worked in a kindergarten, where we were never more than eight adults).

    Besides work I am also working hard on learning Spanish, I have been studying intensely for a year before arriving and speak Spanish at a B1 level. This is sufficient enough to communicate, but as I would really like to get to a C1 level before my nine months of volunteering are over, I use every opportunity I can to speak in Spanish. In Valencia many people speak in Valencian, and while some words are similar to Spanish, I do not understand the language. So far I have picked up about five Valencian words, and I find a culture where everyone is minimally bilingual since they are children a really amazing thing.

    I am a person who loves traveling, and while this coronavirus makes this difficult to enjoy to a maximum, I have been able to see many beautiful places in Valencia and in the neighboring cities while staying safe. I love the friendliness of the Spanish people, so far they have been so welcoming, which makes me wish I could stay here forever. The beach is another great thing about Valencia. I love that it is so close, and I can go anytime I want (at least now while the weather is warm). Overall, my first month here has been simply amazing, and I am looking forward to the rest of my time here.