This previous summer (Summer 2012) I traveled with GoEco to Valencia, to take part in a series of conservation projects around the Valencia Region. I can summarize my experience in exactly one word, AMAZING! From the beginning, GO-ECO helped me find a suitable program and made the entire process so much easier.
Volunteering in Spain was a life-changing experience for me, the Spanish culture is one of a kind and being there was absolutely astonishing. The food, the people, the beaches, and the scenery were awesome and I would go back in a heartbeat!
This experience provided me with hours towards my internship program at my school. The work that I did there was GIS based work where I was able to use the knowledge I obtained throughout my undergraduate term. I was working out of the University of Valencia, which was a marvelous campus to work on. The individuals I worked with were the nicest people on the planet.
I barely spoke Spanish, but they tried their best to speak English with me. This helped me to better understand what work they wanted me to accomplish. Overall, the project was a great success and I was able to cement my skills and knowledge.
Even before arriving, I was extremely nervous and didn’t know what to expect when I first touched down for the Conservation in the Valencia Region Program. I was instantly greeted by my tour guide, who was extremely friendly and provided me with a great amount of information from the get-go.
Our guide met up with us weekly, to talk about what we’ve learned, what we plan to do, and how we were enjoying the city. If we had any concerns or problems, she gave us the information we needed to properly deal with any issues. We met dozens of people from other parts of the world who were also taking part in the exchange program. It was really nice to meet many of these people, as some of them were from my part of the world. We were able to fully immerse ourselves in the Spanish cuisine by going to restaurants, lounges etc. Many of these places offered awesome food and a truly authentic Spanish experience.
This experience really gave me a deeper look into myself as an individual. I was extremely nervous from the beginning considering that I was entering a completely foreign environment. It was a great personal challenge and I surprised myself by discovering abilities I had, which had been absent to me in the past. I went through a 3 month experience in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.
The city and the people of Valencia were beautiful and the entire experience was a complete shock to me. This society was extremely accommodating, and at the end of my 3 months, I felt that I left a piece of my heart in Valencia. From the beaches, to the parties, to the people, summer in Valencia 2012 was one to remember.
None of this would have been accomplished without GO-ECO’s help!