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On-Arrival Training

*Picture above was taken by Sarianne Lokasaari


What is this so called ‘on-arrival training’?

The training is an obligatory part of the European Solidarity Corps which is organised by the National Agency in the host country.
During the one week training volunteers may connect, share their experiences and learn from each other. The training supports the volunteer’s projects and gives advice how to reflect learnings and how to have a great time staying in Finland.

Where did it take place?

The training took place in Kokkola, Villa Elba, 17-22 February 2020.
Villa Elba is one of the 9 National Youth Centres in Finland which are supported and subsidised by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
We had a long trip by train going to Kokkola and back to Nurmes. But it was definitely worth it. WHY? You will know soon.

How did the schedule look like?

The whole week was exciting but also demanding. The schedule consisted of many lessons and activities throughout the whole day – starting in the morning after breakfast until late evening.

DAY 1: Orientation, Getting to know each other, Sharing experiences
DAY 2: Volunteering in Europe
DAY 3: Me as a volunteer, Communication
DAY 4: Living in Finland, Finnish language, culture and history
DAY 5: EVS/ ESC as a learning experience
DAY 6: Evaluation

Yes, I know. That sounds like there is a lot to do and a lot of listening. But actually the time passed quickly.
Our trainers Kati and Sarianne let us experience a lot of non-formal learning, which means that we did not spend our time listening and watching powerpoint presentations but we played many games to experience (Finnish) culture and the EVS/ ESC project. The whole week has been very interactive. We had some outdoor activities, too.

What did we learn?

First of all we got in touch with many wonderful people. Volunteers all over Finland came to have their on-arrival training.

We got to know people from:
🇨🇷 🇲🇶 🇵🇹 🇪🇸 🇫🇷 🇧🇪 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🇳🇱 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 🇬🇷 🇦🇹 🇵🇱 🇱🇹 🇨🇿 🇷🇺

Are you able to name all countries?

We had some Finnish lessons. So now we are almost native speakers. 😉
We have learnt basic words and expressions, how to introduce yourself, how to order pizza, numbers, body parts and what to say when visiting the doctor in Finland. The best was to apply the knowledge of numbers during announcements on our way back to Nurmes. It feel great to be able to understand a few parts of conversations and announcements in the trains.

I have learnt many different and funny methods how to work with young people. I will keep in mind all the games and interactive activities, like outdoor games or kahoot! we did ourselves, when school camps start at Hyvärilä.

We also had time to reflect on our EVS/ ESC project (once again) which means to note down supporters, our personal goals and visions. Making up our minds about conflict management has been a part of the training as well.

Due to participants coming from different countries, we all were able to train our language skills. Personally, I could apply all the languages I speak and unterstand. That has been a lot of fun thinking and talking more than bilingual.

Overall impressions!

It has been a great week! I will definitely keep in touch with the people to share thoughts, experiences and ask for advice when I need someone to support me. Now I know that I have people all over Finland I can count on. A HUGE THANK YOU!


Published by olgaschesler

ESC Volunteer in Finland since February 2020 for 9 months.

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