Interview with … Zoe | Doing EVS in a Big City VS Small City – Milano

Ciao Ragazzi! It’s me, your favorite volunteer again! Our new topic in this blog “interview with …” had great feedback, fortunately, so I decided to move to another level: compare what it looks like living in a big city vs loving in a small city as a volunteer.
In order to present to you what looks like living in a big city as a volunteer, I invited Zoe Klein. Actually one of the roommates of my arrival training and for who I shared great moments with.
The second part of this post is going to be published by Seda. If you want to be one of the frists knowing that, just subscribe our facebook page.
For now, let’s jump to the main reason why you are here!


Hi Zoe, lets start it presenting yourself first!

I’m Zoe, 19 years old German volunteer, doing his EVS in Milan. Here I live with another German
volunteer in an apartment and I work with disabled people in a CDD (the disabled people are only for
the day there). Last year I finished school in Germany with a so called abitur and I’ve decided to take
a gap year before going to University. Because after 12 years of theoretical learning at school I wanted to do something practical, where I feel usefully and helpfully. But I also wanted to go abroad and change my usual environment and learn how to be on my own. Therefore I didn’t really want to do a volunteer service in Germany and made some researches on the internet, where I found the EVS – a perfect combination of all my desires.

Did you took in consideration the place where you are living starting doing the EVS?
An EVS in a big city offers many possibilities, especially the arrangement of my free time is much easier. In Milan are so many Museums, for example Fashion, Modern Art, Classic Art, Science etc. So that you can spend like every weekend in another Museum. Like in many Italian cites the entry is
every first Sunday and every third Tuesday for free, what is a good offer, especially when you’re for a long-time period in the city. The only problem is, that in Milan are especially at the weekend many tourists and if you go shopping or want to eat something in the center there’s always a big queue or you can basically just move really slowly.
An advantage of a big city is also the Metro. Our apartment is fortunately really close to metro line, where every three minutes comes a new subway, taking you to another place. But after half past twelve in the night there are no Metros anymore, because if you go out you have to take one of the
night busses. In the night you can go in one of many clubs or drink only an apretivo in a bar, which is not always expensive (happy hour!). There’s also a WhatsApp group for Erasmus people, where they offer everyday promotions for bars, restaurants and clubs.
If you want to do sport, there are also many sport clubs, where you can go and near our apartment is a big park, which is perfect for jogging. I am doing for example athletics, what you can find in kind of every city, but my roommate can also continue playing handball in Milan, which is not a common sport in Italy.

Do you think is more difficult or easier to manage your pocket money according to the place you are living now?
Every moth we receive a pocket money of 100 Euros, which is ok, because my parents still transfer me the child benefit that I would get in Germany. In this way it is enough to pay some weekend trips or shopping, but if I would go out every weekend, it would not be enough.

Do you consider that is easy to make friends in your city?
I think, if you’re doing an activity, like a sport or a painting course or something like that, it is easy to find some new friends, who are sharing the same interests. At the Universities you can also participate at Tandem courses where you meet with other people to learn and help with another
Every Moth is also a Training with other EVS volunteers, provided by the organizations, at different locations, where we visit unknown parts of Milan or talk about our EVS. Every very second week we visit a theater workshop together, so the organizations really want us connecting with other people.

what is the bad side and the good side of living in your town?
In general the big advantage of living in Milan are definitely the many opportunities you can have, (if you want to) because with the Metro everything is really close and there is so much to see in the city.
A disadvantage might be, that there are always many tourists and during the rush hour the subways are full. Everywhere are streets, therefore it is really loud and smells like exhaust. Especially in the center, are many homeless and poor people, what is a big contrast to the rich people, who are
showing of their expensive lifestyle. But my hometown in Germany is also not really small, so I am already used in all these things.

Do you have any advice for the future volunteers?

I would advise the next volunteer, that he/she should really be open-minded and motivated to do this. Because if you are not, you cannot really enjoy this EVS experience, which is more than just the work, it’s about learning a new language, living another culture, making new experiences and learning your own limits, because you are confronted with a totally new situation. This could make you feel homesick sometimes, but enjoy it as much as you can, this time of your live will never come again!


That’s all folks! I would like to thank Zoe, for everything. And see you in the next post.

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