The last blog post
Unfortunately, here comes the final blog post. Next week I will be flying back home to Belgium. It’s time to reflect on the life that I have been living here. I can already say that coming to Finland was one of the best experiences in my life. I have learned so many important things for my future. A lot of different factors made me feel at home.
First of all, I had the chance to meet so many new and different people from all over the world. It is something I am not used to. In Belgium I lived in my comfort zone, with the friends and family I have known for years. After my arrival here I had to make new friends and create a little family around me. All the friends I made are part of other cultures with other habits.
I had a good time with the other ESC (European Solidarity Corps) volunteers that I met at my on-arrival-training. It feels amazing to meet people who are going trough the same kind of things. Also I had the feeling that everybody could be who he or she really is. After meeting them and other international friends I look at the world with a broader perspective now. On the other hand it taught me to respect and love my family and my friends in Belgium more than I already do. In the future I hope to keep this open mind when I meet new people.
Secondly, I experienced what a youth house is. This knowledge can be important for my future work as a social worker in Belgium. Even if I am not able to set up a youth house in Belgium, I learned a lot of things that can be useful in the existing initiatives for young people. I understand how great it is to have a place where you can hang around with friends after school time. I think we need more of this in Belgium.
Furthermore I had the chance to learn about Finland and it’s culture. Yes, it is more difficult to get to know Finnish people. But once you get to know them you will be overloaded with kindness, respect and hospitality. You feel appreciated because they mean what they say. There are still a lot of ‘Finland’ things that I am trying to figure out, but in the end I can say that I have a little bit of knowledge about this country now.
One thing that I appreciated a lot in this adventure is the feeling of freedom. Going abroad feels a little like starting a new life. It feels scary to not know how things work, to not understand the language, to know nobody but at the same time it gives you freedom. Freedom to figure out future, freedom because no one is telling you what to do, freedom to be really you, freedom to find yourself. I would recommend going abroad to everyone if you feel ready for it.
There will be so many things I will never forget and I hope to leave a mark of myself. It’s a goodbye, but not farewell!
And I hope you visit Belgium one day :)
Tot de volgende!