Noni in Bremen // Final Report

Having recently finished my internship in Portugal, I was hungry to learn more and have more experiences abroad. I have had previous experience in NGO structures and Erasmus+ projects, but I haven’t been at an office for a long time. 

So, while searching for work opportunities back in Greece, this little instagram post caught my attention: 2 months ESC volunteering in Bremen, Germany.

I made a mental note to apply and continued with my life in Porto. 

Soon, I applied, had an interview and booked my tickets-this happened in the span of 1 week. 

I was super excited, to change realities, to gain more work experience and cultivate my professional skills. I was craving some structure and organization and this experience felt like it would offer me these things.

Soon, I was supporting a Youth Exchange, enjoying the forest surrounding KulturHaus and meeting lovely people, while exploring the backstage behind the Erasmus+ projects.

Then I caught myself having meetings with local Bremen people-some of these were in german, so at least I understood which words are used very often.

I had the chance to work with interesting people, so commuting from one place to another, attending meetings, reaching out to people and promoting projects felt like adventure-trams are very helpful for this purpose.

Everyday there was something new for me to work on, like projects’ promotion, reaching out to organizations for cooperation, creating social media posts, joining workshops.

You would catch me facilitating activities for other volunteers and giving Bremen city tours to international people-even if I may not know my way around so well, I know all about stories of different historical monuments of Bremen, famous and infamous. Sometimes, even the locals don’t know!

Now, I finished checking ESC applications for people that want to hop on an adventure with ESC and learn, experience, connect.

To sum up, two months ago, I wouldn’t have expected to enjoy this experience so thoroughly. I now know things about myself, what I like, what I thought I liked, but in the end it didn’t work out.

I met beautiful and crazy people that pushed me to let go of unnecessary criticism and basically act upon things.

I had to deal with concepts that were quite foreign to me, like the cultural differences, how people interact and connect-and it was a shock, coming from Portugal and Greece. The thing is, I learned that these differences have two sides, and I recently started enjoying the openness and lack of judgment, as well as the plethora of opportunities here. 

Another tricky thing is the weather, but now, I am eager to enjoy moments whether it’s snowy, or the sun is hidden. And then, when days are beautiful and I can see the blue sky, my heart warms a bit and I feel more at peace.

However, what I really dislike, is that I am leaving, so soon, just when things are starting to bloom, when the sunny-less and long winter days are gone, when connections are being established. 

So, time for advice, hopefully not unsolicited! 

If you feel like you want to learn about NGOs, meet people from all around, network, change between office and outside, have fruitful talks and experience a nice working environment, this ESC opportunity could be for you!

Noni was hosted by NaturKultur e.V. on our project co-funded by the European Union.