Discovering Belgium while volunteering

Hello everybody, my name is Giacomo, I am Italian, and I come from Trento, a small town near the border with Austria. I studied International Relations at university and currently I am an Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) at EURADA in Bruxelles.

My adventure in Belgium started in March and it is going to last until mid-September. I am very pleased to take part to the IVY initiative because in the last weeks I already gained valuable connections and met new people. With my new colleagues, most of them are under 35, we are having great times, we spend time together also outside of the office, for example every Thursday we go to Place de Luxemburg (Plux) for aperitif.

I enjoy my life in Belgium because the country is very small, so I can travel basically every weekend without wasting time on public transport. I already visited Antwerp, Bruges and Gent, and I am planning to go to the seaside of Ostend as soon as there will be the warm weather. Theoretically, by now it should be already Spring-time but in reality it is still winter!

As a volunteer in EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies, I carry out several activities. My main tasks include taking care of the Interreg Europe project Social SEEDS (a policy diagnostic tool to make local and regional policy-makers more effective in stimulating growth and employment in social enterprises), the dynamization of the social innovation working group, and I am also the person in charge of the services provided to the Italian member of the association.

Moreover, because of my strong background in communication, I daily update the website and the social accounts of the association. Currently, EURADA is involved in 8 European projects, so I am finding out how difficult it is to deal with these projects, especially those where several partners coming from all European regions involved. On the same topic, there are different approaches and it is not so easy to find a common strategy.

I would like to tell you more things about my experience at EURADA, but unfortunately is Thursday and it is 17.30 so it's time to go to Plux. See u soon guys

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