31 julho 2013

Aneta´s Grundtvig Assistantship at Spin

So the last day of my Grundtvig Assistantship is finally here... I knew it would happen, but why did it have to be so soon?!

Well objectively speaking I have been here for 10 months. Some of you might think that 10 months is actually a rather long time, but believe you me not here, not at Spin! Life at Spin (you would think I should probably say work, but it often seems as if I actually lived at Spin) is mostly crazy. You wouldn´t believe how much paperwork has to be processed everyday (and that is on top of actual activities!). I think that there is a piece of paper for every euro-cent that we get in grants! But let´s not talk about that right now, it is a whole different story!

These 10 months have gone by so quickly not because of all the paper, but because it has been a GREAT experience. I think I can honestly say that I have been trying to give my best and to get as much as possible out of my Assistantship. I feel that I have learned a lot, but also that I have contributed significantly to Spin´s activities and current situation. I don´t think I can do it, but let me try and recall what I have done:
  1. Youth in Action (YinA) 4.3 Training Course "Communication and Conflict Management for Peace Education" - support staff activities (general assistance to the project manager, some paperwork)
  2. Lifelong Learning Program (LLP) Grundtvig Workshop "How to Train Your Pen: Story-crafting and word-bending for novices" - project manager (very challenging! as I was responsible for the whole implementation except for the content, which was the trainer´s responsibility)
  3. infospin.a-spin.pt - volunteer selection and instruction as well as actual publishing on the blog
  4. Spin´s new website at www.a-spin.pt - also somehow challenging as it was my first time using wordpress.org and I had to create it from scratch!
  5. YinA 1.1 Youth Exchange "Our time!" - one of my favorite activities, but also one of the most challenging ones; I wrote and implemented the project almost completely by myself (although with a lot of moral support from everyone at Spin!)
  6. YinA 2 EVS sending - I was responsible for all the sending tasks and have been able to prepare and send 6 volunteers abroad to Latvia, France, Romania, Norway, Poland and Iceland
  7. YinA 2 EVS hosting/coordinating - I have written one group EVS project for 7 volunteers that is about to start (the volunteers are going to arrive in Lisbon within the first week of September)
  8. LLP Grundtvig Senior Volunteering Project - for the first time in my life I had attempted to write a SVP project and guess what? It got approved! AND? It actually was ranked nº 1 in Portugal! Whoa! :) 
  9. Portuguese classes for incoming EVS volunteers - I actually am an English teacher (been teaching for about 8 years now) but I also studied Portuguese and Lusophone Studies both in Warsaw (University of Warsaw) and in Lisbon (New University of Lisbon), however this year was my first time teaching Portuguese! 
  10. English classes for the local community - I must admit that I love teaching English, so this task was more of a hobby to me! Throughout the year I have had classes with the local seniors and young adults as well as mentally challenged adults.
  11. Communication Department - apart from creating the website I was also responsible for all of our communication channels (Facebook, newsletter, blog, Twitter)
  12. Information Sessions at Spin - once a month I would get together with people interested in participating in EU-sponsored educational programs and explain to them where and how to start!
  13. 0,5% tax donation - Spin has been trying to get accredited for these donations for a few years now, this year my colleague and I have done our best to make it happen and it actually seems to have worked (personal note: diving into the Portuguese bureaucracy was a really interesting but also frustrating experience)
  14. Zumba classes - support staff for Zumba classes implemented by Spin twice a week, I loved it!
I think that it may be enough for now. It´s definitely not all, but my memory is short. I still have to write my final report for the Polish National Agency so I will have to recall all the activities either way and will amend this list for sure (let alone the fact that I have left out all my activities at Academia Senior and I would go there once a week!).

This has been a truly enriching experience. I will take every bit of it with me and use it in my future professional life! If by any chance you yourself are thinking of becoming an adult education professional, do consider doing an Assistantship. If you choose your placement wisely, you will DEFINITELY NOT regret it!

Last but not least, thanks to all the people that I have come across this year. You made it a memorable one! 

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