Nataša Zrnić, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I heard some great stories about EVS/ESC from my friends, but it never seemed to be a good time to apply for me. This year in January, I finally decided it’s now or never. Even if I had a chance to travel around, I have never actually lived outside of my country and I thought it would be a great experience to try it in a way that is the closest to me – through working with youth. 

I was checking out the available opportunities and focused mostly on South Europe, because I always thought it’s the perfect setting for me, but somehow ended up seeing this really exciting call for an organisation in Ljubljana and decided to apply nevertheless. What caught my eye was a topic of street-based youth work, a great, new field for learning and very close to what I imagine I would like to work on in the future. It includes working with youth in their own space, responding to their needs and offering an individualized support. All my previous experiences were with youth in some kind of institutional setting, where I became sceptical about their potential for a longer lasting change and having the chance to learn about the youth work in the community sounded like the perfect next step. Since it was a new field for me, I was really happy to learn, experience and try it out without much set expectations towards how it would actually look like.

 After having an interview with two really amazing, positive people from Zavod Bob, I got to know more about their work and community and I was convinced enough to quit the search for southern suns. 

After being here for almost two months, I already feel at home and comfortable, with people, space, work, city, life in general. Some days are exciting, others are overwhelming, some pass by so quickly and others drag along, but each one brings something new and undiscovered. Some days bring me headache from trying to understand youth speaking in Slovenian language, that I yet don’t speak, and others leave me amazed how easy it can be to connect with people just because you come from a similar background. In many ways, my first two months are exceeding my expectations and I’m very curious about the next ten that are to come.