Eurodesk Alumni Stories: Olivia Murray

I’m currently volunteering on a European Solidarity Corps project in a town called Rychnov nad Kněžnou in the Czech Republic. I volunteer at a school that works with children and young people to provide education through informal learning and play. I assist with courses throughout the school during the week and support special activities and big events throughout the school year.

I feel like I’ve benefitted hugely from the experience, both professionally and personally. I’ve met new people and experienced many new opportunities. The experience of working with children and learning to work independently and collaboratively with others has been really valuable.

I had so much help from the Voluntary Service International – a member of the Eurodesk network – to gather all the information I needed before coming to the Czech Republic and they’ve been there to provide continued support through regular monthly catch ups online. Their support has been invaluable. They are always just one phone call or text message away if I need them. They’ve also provided the opportunity to share my experiences of volunteering abroad by publishing regular stories and photos on their website.

My advice to anyone considering travelling, working, volunteering, or studying abroad, would be to fully research everything before you go, that’s where the Eurodesk network can help. I would also advise coming to these experiences with an open mind and a willingness to try and experience new things. It will benefit you so much in the long run and at the end of your adventure you can happily say you did everything you could and took full advantage of this amazing opportunity!

Olivia Murray, 21, County Mayo

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