NANI: 12 mothts in Estonia

My name is Nani Metreveli. I’m 26 years old from Georgia. I have a master’s degree in Scandinavian Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Social and Political sciences. I have been teaching Norwegian and Georgian for fourth years now. 

I’m doing my volunteering program in Tartu County. I work in the Youth Center, where I participate in daily activities of the center. It can be hobby classes, interesting discussions on multiple topics or just playing with young people. In addition, I have set up an English language club where we improve our English through games and fun activities. A good way to exchange culture is the “cooking class”, where we cook and hear stories about Georgia and Estonia with great pleasure. 

For me, ESC was not only about being or living outside of your country, but getting out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, help others, adapt to the environment in which you are living. It is an experience that we can use to initiate activities, experiment with ideas and test our skills.

Two months have passed since I arrived in Estonia and I think I made the right decision when I chose the country and the project. In the beginning, when everything was new and I was going through the process of getting used to it, the events seemed relatively more difficult than they actually were. It took me some time to gain the trust of young people and create an environment where we could spend time productively together. After passing their test, everything became easier. A big role is played by mentors and tutors who are always by our side and ready to help. 

In addition to the benefits already listed given by the project, it is necessary to mention the international network of volunteers. It is a great pleasure and experience to interact with young people from different cultures and histories and to spend time with them.

Expectations and reality might sometimes match and that’s what happened with me. Living in a city where you don’t know anyone and working in a center, where you need to prove that you are ready for new experiences, you have initiatives and you are passionate to contribute to the local community,   these are things that I was thinking volunteering was about. 

In my view, volunteering in a foreign country cannot be linear, it is a combination of multifaceted and diverse processes that ultimately have a positive impact on the formation of personality. 

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