On the 26/27th July I was in Leeds for my first EVS seminar. Part of the condition of my funding is that I attend four seminars over the next year: pre departure, on arrival, mid term and on return, so off to Leeds for a night I went. We were a group of twelve, six pre departure people from the UK and six on arrival people from countries as diverse as Denmark and Portugal.
Though I was a little sceptical at first, the sessions concentrated on establishing our rights and responsibilities as EVS volunteers and gave us a chance to speak with other people about our hopes and fears for our periods abroad.
After the first session we headed out to Wetherspoons in town for an evening meal, followed by drinks at the Victoria Hotel. A few of us then went on to the FAB Bar, which has to be seen to be believed. The walls are decorated with the remnants of a forty year old sci-fi geek childhood, with Knightrider annuals and Transformer dolls, as well as a life size Stormtrooper and Dalek!
Seriously though, the training made the service seem much more real in my mind. What am I to expect when I get there? How will my German knowledge cope against both a Bavarian accent and an eighteen month old coat of rust? These are all things I suppose I'll just have to jump into.