Nice to meet you all! My name is Michaela and, for a few more days, I’m 1/3 of our unique EVS squad responsible for coordination of European projects at Xchange Scotland.
Here is a story of my restless life in a nutshell. I grew up in a beautiful wee town surrounded by vineyards and sun on the borders of the Czech Republic and Austria, Mikulov, my first and always home. 19 years after, I chose Brno to be my second home of never-ending nights, university exams, best friends and fun. As a wee fidgety getting bored by my small summer volunteering and holiday getaways, straight after starting my masters in European studies in business and economics (yes, I love Europe!) in Brno I applied for an Erasmus programme to study abroad. And then came Crete, my third and sunniest home, where many friendships-for- life were sealed and where I finally understood I will always be atorn-heart wanderer. Chuffed to be selected as an Intern at Xchange Scotland, after 6 months in the azure Mediterranean I arrived to my coldest home number 4, Scotland, in July 2014. And here the Glasgow story starts for me.
Conceitedly thinking I have learnt much more in only 6 months as an intern then in 4 years as a university student (I’m sorry, my dear Mendel university, I now know it’s not that straightforward), I didn’t think twice when I was offered the chance to spend one more year with the Xchange Scotland’s dream team. Although for the same organisation and with a previous knowledge of the programme, my EVS experience at Xchange Scotland was very different to my internship. At start I was convinced nothing could surprise me but, unexpectedly, I was challenged in many ways. Not sure if it had to do with me getting older and emotional, internal changes within the organisation, hard times writing my dissertation, studying university and working at once, or just the fact that EVS experience really is VERY DIFFERENT. Need to say, my hard times have been balanced greatly by I-will- never-ever-forget times, professional experience I’ve gained, people I’ve met and places I’ve seen. I was given a great responsibility to coordinate European projects and it’s participants in Scotland and abroad, develop trainings and presentations, collaborate on promotion, set up and maintain new partnerships with local and international organisations and much more. I was part of an inspiring team that have always supported my talents and ideas and never put me down.
I love Scotland for giving me so many opportunities to progress, its people turning into shiny stars when the sun (finally, OMG!) peeps out from grey clouds, all the ‘cannaes’, ‘bonnies’ and ‘wees’, its nature, ceilidh & kilts. And I hate Scotland for its never-ending rain, long winters, ciders for £3 (Have you been ever boozing in Czech?) & missing my friends, family and my wee cat every day. Yeah, it’s gonna be difficult and challenging. And you’re gonna feel lonely, homesick and struggle sometimes. BUT. You’re gonna love yourself for taking up that challenge, grow up, develop and learn things you could never learn just hanging in in your comfort zone.
And if you feel like you cannae do it today, it’s a sign that you should have done it already tomorrow. Just for the fact that today would have been so much easier for you. Pilot your life the right way, don’t sit back and don’t relax. You don’t know yet, but there’s too much to lose.