An awesome year in youngCaritas South Tyrol!

Do we really want to go to a university immediately after finishing high school? We want to see other parts of the world, do something practical, and make new experiences! Maybe it’s better to go on a gap year first…

We, two German girls, had (without knowing each other) the same idea and applied for the European volunteer service (EVS) at youngCaritas South Tyrol in Italy.

In Italy? On this point we were a few months later after arriving here not so sure anymore. Indeed more than the half of the people living in our new hometown Bolzano are Italian speaking, but – as our Bosnian flat mate notices sometimes fascinated, sometimes a bit desperate: “This is Austria!”

In fact we speak German in the youngCaritas office, but that helped us to integrate fast. Soon we received some cool working tasks – like researching facts about current issues and writing booklets for youngsters about topics like homelessness or food waste with which we never got in touch before our EVS.

Eva Plenk at the office of youngCaritas.

At the same time we had enough space to develop our own ideas and initiatives. Also creative projects are part of our working routine!

Besides that, we had also the possibility to help the workers in a local refugee home for a few hours per week and give (German) language classes to migrants.

Laura Kurz gives german-lessons for migrants at a refugee hostel.

By that we got a realistic insight into what it means to be a refugee in Italy and learned a lot about this topic.

A highlight of our service was being a part of the care team at the holiday colony of youngCaritas by the sea.

In two seminars (one in Rome, one in Naples) we had the possibility to reflect our volunteer service with other volunteers doing their service in Italy from all over the world and also in our free time we spent lots of time with the other EVS volunteers in Bolzano and used nearly all our holidays for travelling all over Italy.

Eva and Laura at the sea with other volunteers.

To sum it up, we really had an awesome year here. But it isn’t over (yet)! One adventure is still waiting for us: The Summer University in Saint Malo!


European Volunteers Eva Plenk and Laura Kurz