PROJECT NAME: THE ORPHEUS CENTRE
VOLUNTEER NAME: SONJA
Information about myself
I had just finished my A-Levels in Arts in Switzerland as I decided to do my gap year in England. I used this year as an internship for my further studies.
Now I am studying Special Needs Education at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, using the knowledge I gained from my ICYE Year.
Information about the project
The Orpheus Centre is a Performing Arts Centre for young people with disabilities. The Centre provides Care as the students live in independent flats. My task was assisting in classes in all kind of Performing Arts, including music, dance, arts and drama. The highlight of the year is the winter and summer show at the end of the term in which the music is written, the props are made and the drama part created all mostly by the students.
What was a working day like?
Every day was different, full of surprises, spontaneity and creativity. I had to support in the classes, leading small groups, support 1:1, mainly acting as a teaching assistant, bringing in new ideas and having fun.
What did you enjoy about living in a different culture?
My aim was to improve my English. I enjoyed travelling in the school holidays, seeing different parts of England, having the chance to visit other guys from ICYE all over England and even going up to Scotland. I needed almost a year until I begun to understand the British humour, but I experienced the British to be very kind and welcoming. Especially in my project I enjoyed the tea and cake culture and the dinner in the local Pubs. Although the weather and the food haven’t been that good, from time to time, my year abroad has been one of the best in my life.
Through ICYE I had the chance to meet people from all around the world. Gaining this friendship and learning not just about the English culture was something very special to me.
What did you achieve?
I gained more experience in working with disabled, learned being patient and spontaneous, travelling without a plan, having wonderful memories and good friendships, gained independence and a different point of view.