My voluntary work has helped me settle in

I moved to Denmark to study. I was offered a space at Aalborg University’s department in Esbjerg, and I said yes right away. I am originally from Rumania, but I wanted to live in and experience a country much different from my own.’

With those words Cristian Radasanu starts his interview with ( In the beginning the arrival at the fishingg-town was overwhelming, but he adds: ‘You just have to get used to it and get to know people that makes everything a lot easier.’

Found volunteer jobs through

Cristian works for the organisation Red Cross in Esbjerg as a part of two programs, both of which he found through One is as part of a youth club and the other is a part of a food-club. He is in the youth club once a week and hangs out with all the kids from the area: ‘There are people from all different nationalities, culture and religions here – all intermingled and the kids enjoy it. We do everything from go swimming to playing football together.

In the food-club they meet every other week for four hours: ‘There is no set frame other than us making healthy, nutritious food that the kids can help with. It is cool because everyone comes from different places in the world, which means great variation in the food we make. I also think it the kids think it is fun, even though for some it can be difficult tasting others food.

Volunteering gave Cristian a network

As a volunteer Cristian has made himself a network of other volunteers in Red Cross: ‘When I came to Denmark to study, I did not speak a word of Danish. But little by little spending time in class, in the youth club and food club, I feel my Danish improving. I have also made great friends spend time with outside our work at Red Cross’s clubs and I feel that my voluntary work has really helped me settle in Esbjerg.

But all beginning is difficult and for Cristian the hardest thing was worrying about fitting in and getting to be part of the community, even though he is not from Denmark. ‘I think It is a natural way of feeling when you are new to a country, but you just have to get through it. I no longer have any worries. Everyone is nice, open and inviting, both the kids and other volunteers. Now I just enjoy being a part of an organisation where I can make a difference for others and for myself as well.’

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