YFU Switzerland

PAO Schweiz – Blog Post by Adéla

[Generously sponsored by Movetia]
 
Hi everybody!

 

my name is Adéla and I am a volunteer in YFU Czech Republic, but I had the amazing opportunity to participate at the Swiss Post Arrival Orientation.


So many things were different. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I can’t wait to incorporate some of those things into YFU Czech Republic (especially eating loads of chocolate!). Volunteering for YFU has always been fun, but this week was on a different level.

 

PAO took place in lovely Les Bois, a village situated hundreads of metres from the French border. I was there as a group leader, meaning that my task was to assist exchange students coming to Switzerland in dealing with cultural differences and to help them with integration. I had a lot of luck when it came to my co-leaders (hi, Lucie and Moritz!) and our group of students. It was a pleasure to share my experiences with them and together trying to find solutions for the challenges and problems our group was going through. We spent the mornings talking together and afternoons meant hiking or fun workshops on various subjects from arts and improv theater, baking cookies to video editing.

I have to admit I had a little doubt when deciding whether to go to this PAO or not. It was clear to me that it was an amazing opportunity, but my birthday was in the middle of the week and that is a time I usually like to spend with family and close friends. I decided to go anyway and oh am I happy about that decision. It turned out to be one of my best birthdays ever. I did not expect anything at all and the whole day was filled with lovely surprises. In the morning I got a group hug from ninety people, I recieved so so many kind messages throughout the day and in the evening, out of nowhere, I got an amazing cake and suddenly everyone was singing Happy Birthday. Then Joyeux Anniversaire. Then it was in Spanish, then in Thai, then in Finnish and again and again in more languages. There’s no place but YFU events where this could happen.

 

To me PAO felt like an exchange year put into a week, with the Swiss volunteers and students being the kindest, most welcoming host family anyone could ever wish for.

I left motivated, tired, but happy and with only one wish. I wished it had been at least a few days longer.