Hi! Krusha here, with an official update on my Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) Reporter experience. I had just turned 23 when I started in November 2022, and it has been a little over a month since I had my first day at the office in Antwerp, Belgium, at Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland. So far I have joined a ton of events on a weekly basis, and I can say that it has been a very educational few weeks. Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland strives towards a greener, more social and smarter Europe without borders. The projects that are subsidized by Interreg are all relevant for the environment, labor mobility, innovation, energy and sustainable growth. The closing events I have joined so far were all very interesting, examples of these are the ‘GHLOBO project’ (a more practical education for logistics students and the highlighted role of internship allowances), ‘Lerend Netwerk Biobouwers’ (the use of biobased materials for biobuilding, targeted towards the construction sector and its students), and ‘GREENER’ (the making of microplastics that are sustainable and biodegradable, and for instance used for prostheses).
Some of the projects are definitely beyond my field of expertise and knowledge, but luckily I am not the only IVY Reporter at Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland. I am also accompanied by Klara Boghaert, who joined us one week after my start in Antwerp. Klara and I have gone to several events together, which made the writing of blog articles and the understanding of the projects easier and more fun. Our horizons have been broadened by working together.
This experience so far has clearly taught me the finer things about topics I was not very familiar with before, and I have also gained some new skills through being an IVY Reporter. I personally did my bachelor’s in political sciences (at the Catholic University of Leuven) and my master’s in international relations and diplomacy (at the University of Antwerp), and I really wanted to gain some more experience in communications and journalism, which Interreg has definitely given me the opportunity to do so. Everyone I work with has been extremely kind and welcoming, and I would highly recommend a volunteering experience like this one, since you make new connections and you learn a lot about topics you might not be familiar with.
I am excited for 2023 and the new Interreg projects it will bring! Until then,
– Krusha, IVY Reporter at Joint Secretariat Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland.