Coline Gonçalves

Buna ziua ! I’m Coline Gonçalves,  24 years old. I’m french and I also have Portuguese origins. I spend my time with nature, in the forest, the campaign or in the mountains. That’s why I really want to work in the environment area. EIVA association gave me the opportunity to get some experience in this sector with the Lunca Muresului natural Park in Arad. That’s why I’m doing some volunteering in Romania. It’s my first time as a volunteer and I can say that is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.


How were you welcomed in Romania ?

Life in Romania is really different than in France. The People,  the food,  the life… you have to find a different way to live and get out of your comfort zone. It’s a new feeling and that’s why it’s so good.  Most of Romanian people are happy to welcome us. I was very well received by EIVA Association. Eiva looks like a big family with the others volunteers. Eiva team always tries to help you and they really want the best for your experience in Romania. With the others volunteers, I made a lot of friendship. We do many things together like make some parties, travel, have a nice time after work. The Lunca Muresului natural Park received me very well too. The rangers are very kind to me and I was quick to integrate with them. I had the opportunity to go to Retezat National Park in Transilvania to do some hikes. It was an amazing weekend with the best views ever. I also went to Bucharest a really nice city mixed between old and modern buildings. It was great too. I’m gonna travel to others places at the end of July in Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu and maybe Brasov. I can’t wait for this new trip !”


How can you describe your volunteering experience ?

During these 3 and a half months, my social life has grown incredibly. I met French, Romanians, Turks, Spaniards. We saw each other every week, whether  it was to go to party, or to travel. I also attended gatherings with the staff of the association Eiva where activities like barbecue, restaurant nights, parties, outings were organized. I have also helped the association with manual activities. During my free time, I tried to make the most of my free time by visiting/traveling or participating in the city’s activities ( Arad days, AOA festival) . I had the opportunity to travel a few times through Romania and even to Hungary. Transylvania and especially the Carpathians are for me the most beautiful parts of  Romania. Its mountains and its abundant rivers are incredible. kept in touch with some volunteers and with the association. I also kept in  touch with my internship place where if the opportunity arises I would gladly return to give a hand. Thanks to this experience, I intend to come back to Romania for voluntary work.


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