Ahmed (EG) : chez le Centre de conservation de Livre

I have been assigned to work as a volunteer for the Centre de Conservation de Livre, in Arles. During my voluntary service I have been given some tasks to accomplish varying from translation tasks to and from the Arabic language, and shooting videos related to the different topics of books conservation.

I have had some targets when I planned to take this opportunity in the first place. I think all of them have been fulfilled. Visiting a new country of different customs and traditions is always a good treat. This time it was not only visiting, it was also living in a new country. I have had the opportunity to completely refresh my ideas and break many of the clichés I had in mind regarding France and the French people.

The tasks I have been assigned to haven't added much to my experience in the fields I work in. But on the other hand, they were of a completely different nature for the fact that they have been taking place elsewhere.

I think that I have been well integrated in the local French community. But on the other hand, I think that my advancement in the French language was not as I expected it to be. My mentor was practical and helpful. The visa arrangements were relatively complicated in Egypt.

My French language has definitely been advanced but not to the level I expected. My personal development and social skills should be noticed when I get back home and resume my work there. My plans for the future have been redefined because of the fact that I have already achieved one of the things that I wanted to do for a long time. My awareness about the European countries has definitely been enriched for the fact that I stayed in France for six months and also for the friendships I have had during my stay.

I would certainly recommend the EVS program to young people from Egypt. For the fact that I think that many of them should have the opportunity to get exposed to different cultures and be able to sustain the value of their own country.