Here are the things I have learnt:
1) Be open, patient and break the barrier! Even if your English (or other no native language) is bad, never stop to communicate with people. If that can help you, use new technologies (google translation), gestures or just try to draw. You´ll be surprised how easy it is to meet someone new who became your friend. “Between what I think, what I want to say, what I believe I say, what I say, what you want to hear, what you believe to hear, what you hear, what you want to understand, what you think you understand, what you understand…They are ten possibilities that we might have some problem communicating. But let’s try anyway…”.
2) Take care about relations in your team. Doesn´t matter if is your colleague, brother or boss – be honest and give a feedback, even if sometimes you have to be critical. Feedback is very important in interpersonal communication. How to do it? Use the sandwich feedback technique: praise/ constructive criticism/ praise. In other words, start and finish with a good things (the best face to face), but don´t be afraid to speak about problems and things you don´t like.
3) Respect the needs of your team. Be sure with the decisions you make, that all of you feel ok with that. If someone doesn´t like the idea, work on a compromise.
4) Life doesn´t just HAPPEN, it requires our participation. Share your experience and ideas – you can motivate somebody for a big change.
5) Stay positive. Share your smile, you will get it back!
Beata Rymkiewicz, 25 years old, volunteer from Poland. Great fan of electronic music, architecture, flowers, dogs and British humour.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.