STUDY ABROAD ALUMNI STORY

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Why did you decide to do volunteer abroad?

I was inspired step by step. Some of the inspiration was the article about around-the-globe trip. It was written by two girls who did the journey. The most interesting part was the budget, as it is usually the biggest barrier for Ukrainian youth to go abroad. The cost of around-the-globe trip was around 2000 dollars. Yes, they rise some money along the way in all possible ways, however fact that I really do not need to have a lot of money influenced on my decision to go abroad.

How did you pay for your volunteer abroad experience?

AIESEC project Discover Algeria was my first real experience abroad. Almost everybody can go for some project provided by AIESEC and get first international experience, because participant pay almost for everything. They paid only for accommodation and partly for food and local transport. Ticket from Ukraine to Algeria, visa and participation fee 80 dollars I paid by myself. The total cost for five weeks program was 900 euro (1000 dollars) including plane tickets, visa, participation fee, food and pocket money.

What is one thing you wish you would have known about volunteer abroad before you left?

You should definitely go. Everything important you will know along the way. The most difficult part in all my experience abroad always was not abroad, but in my country like to manage budget, visas and simply make it done.

Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?

I did not experienced any discrimination. However some girls from Egypt told that local host family prefer to host girls from Spain.

It gave my confidence in myself. I learned about communication with people from different culture background and enhance my leadership potential. I started to believe that I can study abroad. In a half year after Algeria I get a full cover grant plus scholarship for student exchange program in Poland for the spring 2016 semester. Moreover several international event become possible for me because of Algerian experience including volunteering in Switzerland and participation in TOP businessman conference in Ukraine.

Any additional comments or thoughts that you have about your volunteer abroad experience

Experience abroad is not a panacea in life, however for most of us and for most of commitment in which we would like to succeed experience abroad will be a great support or even the main inspiration source to move forward. My life changed after volunteering in Algeria and every single day I can see the world with bigger perspective.

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