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Hi everyone,

My name is Alena, I’m 23, and I came from really cold Russia! It is a country full of unforgettable places and people. As well as the deepest lake in the world, the longest river in Europe, and the most time zones in one country. But my favorite thing about Russia is the ease with which you can find loyal forever-friends.

I grew up in a 2000-year-old city called Yaroslavl – the capital of the Golden Ring of Russia (a theme route that unites old Russian cities famous for their churches), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the birthplace of the first professional theater in Russia.

If you ever want to visit Yaroslavl, I recommend going in a period from May to early August, as it is the time when the city opens up in its full glory. Also, it is just 3 hour-long express train ride from Moscow.

I’ve always been fascinated with other cultures and languages, as well as traveling. Plus, I’ve always loved sharing my knowledge and experience, so volunteering was a desirable thing to do. The problem was, for years I couldn’t find any affordable projects to participate in. Thankfully, In April 2021 I accidentally came across a European Solidarity Corps website, and it gave me a huge wave of motivation. I started looking for suitable projects and a few months later got accepted for one in Finland. Unfortunately, because of the covid restrictions, I was unable to go.

Little did I know, a couple months after that I got an offer from FRSP to be a part of their “MOK – Empowering regions through the volunteering 2” project, which I completely fell in love with since it was perfect for me! So now I’m here, writing this article, still can’t believe that I have a whole year of discovering Polish culture and language!

I am so glad that I didn’t give up hope of finding the program where I belong!

– Alena


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