I been volunteering at a school in Bremen for twelve months. The school is called Tobias-Schule, a Waldorfschool. It’s a school with a lot of diversity, which I thought was very exciting and interesting. Most of the kids have some form of disability, but very varied, that also means that the lessons / classes are a bit different than other schools. Much more focus on practical things instead of theoretical. During the year I have been in most of the classes, mostly garden, kitchen and sport, but also been in mathematics, English, art, craft, theater, German, therapy. Garden was my main class, I didn’t have much experience in this subject before I started there. During this year I have learned so much new, how to plate different plants and take care of them, reuse, and a lot more cool useful stuff.
My responsibility changed quite often, I got to be part of deciding it too, if I wanted more I got more, if I wanted less I got less. Mostly it was to help and motivate the kid during the activities we did, kind of be an assistant.
I decided to do ESC because I wanted to try to work at a school. It’s a perfect way to find out if there is something I would study later and gain more experience. I also think it is very exciting with new countries, and wanted to live in a different place than in Norway. Meet people from other places in Europe, learn a new language, experience new cultures.
I learned so many new important things during my stay here, but the first one must be the garden. By that I mean about how to take better care of nature, appreciate it more, both live and eat more environmentally friendly.
The second thing is patience. Throughout the year at the school I have needed this everyday. Both considering that I worked with kids, but also that this happened in a completely new language for me. And it takes time to learn, it doesn’t happen overnight (although I would have liked it many times).
Third thing is creativity. Since it’s been lockdown over half of my time here, I’ve found some new hobbies. Knitting, painting, reading, running and doing many other things as well, something I should definitely continue with, is a great way for me to be productive but at the same time relax.
The fourth thing is reflection. Maybe it’s because in all the seminars there’s always been a lot of reflection. I have started writing in a diary, how I feel that day, what I did the day before and something I look forward to. Is a super nice way for me to work on myself in a lot of ways, but also for me to look back at later.
I would definitely recommend ESC to people. It is a perfect opportunity to move abroad, develop yourself, learn new things, meet new people, learn a language and experiences you don’t get in many other places. I’ve met a lot of nice people that I will keep in touch with after this year. Have experienced a lot of new things and visited new places. Also learned a lot about myself by being a lot out of my comfort zone. Belief in myself and what I can achieve has definitely grown this year.
Pernille is hosted on our project „Volunteers for a Green Future“, financed by the European Solidarity Corps and Jugend für Europa.