I’m Luc from France and I’m doing an IVY volunteer in Spain (Lugo) in a company named Vida Láctea.
I’m working on a project named “Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs” (AYCH) that is funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area programme. It’s a project built for integrating best practice and knowledge, supporting young talents and their education, entrepreneurship and employability through the development of creative and technological skills. Four countries are engaged in this project: United-Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal.
I graduated 3 years ago in both urban planning and european project management within the university of Lille. This education gave me a good knowledge of EU communication rules, institutions and policies and I looked forward to start working in european cooperation. But a professional opportunity made me start my career in the managing of an eco renovation plateform promoting energy efficiency in buildings. Even if this experience was really interesting,I always wanted to go back to my original study and IVY volunteer programme was the good opportunity to do this.
I have to say that, so far, I am not disappointed. It has greatly exceeded my expectations. Among the fact that this IVY experience was the best way to learn a new language (in my case, Spanish), it was also a good way to improve my skill and learn new things working in different projects.
Besides, it is really interesting to see from inside how a European project is managed, especially for me with a Master’s degree in European project management. It really feels like we are part of a big family with our specificities and some times we can be “lost in translation” due to different point of view or ways of working. But I think it is our competitive advantage as it is well said by the moto of the European Union: United in diversity.
During the meantime, I was witnessing, as any European citizens, a loss of confidence in the European construction and the rise of extremisms. Doing this kind of experience in a particular moment for Europe, especially with working with partners from the UK, made me realise how important was the European cooperation. That is why, I think that beyond any political consideration, it is important to emphasize what’s positive in European cooperation such as interreg programme. Communication and capitalization must be the key to this objective.
But such an experience is also the opportunity to discover a new territory and better understand the European culture through all its complexity. Galicia is an amazing place full of beautiful landscape. I strongly recommend you to visit “Playa de As Catedrais” or “Las Islas Cíes”. But of course, there is much more to see. As I don’t want to spoil you the surprise, you will have to come and see by yourself ! Lugo is also a nice city with a strong heritage. It is the only city in the world surrounded by intact Roman walls, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Times flies by so fast that I am already at the end of my experience but I m very glad to have had the opportunity to live such a great adventure. I’m really grateful to my host company and the IVY organisation that did a great job in supporting us.
I hope I will get the chance to keep working for European cooperation.