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Voluntary social year

My first four months in Germany… and arriving in wintertime!

If you want to take a glance at my time in Germany, here is a short overview of the experience I have gathered regarding the social work, the cultural exchange, the food and environment.

I arrived in November 2017 with the passion to make a small contribution by working with young refugees in Berlin. At the beginning, everything seemed to be a big challenge, since it was a new language, a new culture, and a season that I am not used to. But the motivation I had was bigger, in spite of the obstacles or challenges that tried to get in my way, and obviously every beginning is hard. Once I started my work with the kids, it was maybe a little different from what I had expected, but I also knew that you always have to give it some time until everybody adapts, especially when you work with people from such different cultures. I remember very well that at the beginning the young refugees were open, but at the same time it took a while until they trusted me. Over time, we started to get involved with various projects in which they participated and I tried to make them feel at home with each of these activities. As the months went by, I realized that they in turn had an impact on me because I made new friends who became a new home in the distance for me. That was when I understood that the wish to help does not only consist in wanting to help with actions. On top of that, what is most powerful is to act with love, which is a great revolution of life.

Syria, Afghanistan and Colombia

Tips for intercultural exchange:

- The Germans are not as cold as they seem to be… and this is because, from my point of view, they do not give their hearts away in a rush because in a certain way they want to be careful with their emotions and be sincere in every sense in a long-lasting friendship. Once they know you better and more deeply, I promise you that they will be a great and unique experience.

- It is not enough to speak only English… there is nothing better than integrating yourself into the culture and not just being a foreign tourist for life. And this is the key to adapt and have better opportunities (we would prefer the same when it comes to our mother tongue in our countries).

- Oh the beer… you find every kind of taste, with about five thousand brands to explore. Although there are also exceptions in which you find a German who does not like beer, just like finding a Latino who does not like spicy food and coffee…

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