ROUTE WB6 Exchange Program is my first volunteering experience abroad. I have been looking for a long time to have a regional volunteering experience, but I didn't find any responsible program up till now. Reading the reviews of some similar programs I was skeptical about how all this experience would work out and I didn't know what to expect. I just had the confidence in the person who recommended this program, and that was enough to take this path. Very soon, from the beginning of the process, it started to feel like the right decision to make. During the selection phase, I was supported by the RYCO's team and I had ongoing communication with them. That was very important to me because I could feel that they did care about me and were serious with their program. Their professionalism is also demonstrated in the partners that they chose to conduct the program with.
I had a friendly interview with the host organization. We were transparent with one another regarding the objectives and goals that we wanted to achieve from this exchange, and I immediately felt the synergy we had together. Therefore, volunteered for the organization NARKO-NE, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
When arrived in Sarajevo, the weather was very cold but on contrary, the greeting from the NARKO-Ne team was very warm. I felt very much welcomed in their organization. From the first day up until my last one everyone from the organization was kind to me and ready to help. I was curious to learn more about Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I was asking questions all the time, and they were very kind and patient to give me answers. The work in NARKO-NE was intense and challenging, but not stressful. Each day after getting back to my accommodation I felt accomplished with my engagement during the day.
My volunteering hours consisted mostly of conducting research and stretching my creative and critical thinking skills on organizing and implementing leisure time activities for young people. So I was satisfied because I could express my potential and learn on the meanwhile practical knowledge that I believe will be useful to me in the future.
Some of the skills that I felt like I have acquired and improved during this volunteering experience, besides research, creative and critical thinking, are communication skills, which I felt are improved a lot, both written and verbal, interpersonal communication, communicating in a group and discussing ideas with the team, and public speaking.