Groupe de volontaires sur la plage, devant le coucher de soleil

Diana’s first few months as a volunteer in France: new experiences, some hardships and wonderful days

Discover Diana’s first months as an ESC volunteer in the beautiful city of Le Mans, in the North-West of France!



🎒 Finding out about the European Solidarity Corps, and beginning a new adventure


Everything started suddenly. One day, while I was bored scrolling through Instagram, I came across a video about ESC on a reel. It impacted me a lot, so within a few minutes, I had created a profile and applied for a project on climate change with an association in France called “Concordia.” After that, I went to sleep peacefully and forgot about the matter.

The next day, I was meeting some friends when I suddenly received an email from Concordia saying they liked my profile and wanted to interview me. At that moment, my life changed. After a few weeks full of meetings, I headed to Le Mans, France, where I would live with other volunteers for six months.


🏘️ The first few month of volunteering in Le Mans


The first month in Le Mans was about adaptation and growth, as I was living alone for the first time in my life, given that there were no other ESC volunteers in the apartment yet. During this month, I focused on getting to know myself while exploring a new culture, another language, new people, and a new job. It was difficult at first, being new in the city and not knowing anyone. I had to step out of my comfort zone and venture to events like the “Blabla Exchange” or “Le café des langues,” where people from different countries came to talk and practice various languages. It was there that I met the ESN (Erasmus Student Network) coordinator in Le Mans, who spoke Spanish.

Thanks to these events, I attended several parties organized by ESN, where I met many people in similar situations to mine, as well as French people interested in making new friends. Over time, I made friends and felt less lonely in the city.


Diana & Margherita au bord de la mer
Diana & Margherita <3


In February, I grew closer to several friends and already felt part of the community. Additionally, I was increasingly able to speak the language better and communicate with more people.

In mid-February, Margherita arrived, an Italian who would become my new roommate and best friend. From her arrival, my volunteering took on another dimension. Now I had someone willing to join me in all the crazy adventures I wanted, like traveling to Nantes, Rennes, Angers, Paris, etc., and staying in cheap hostels to keep exploring. I also had someone to stroll around the city with, walk in the park in front of our house, party at night whenever we wanted, etc.


🚀 My mission and the many opportunities with Concordia


With Concordia, my work focused more on the social and community aspects. We worked together on projects that motivated us a lot, like « la Zone de Gratuité, » a market in our city, in Le Mans, where different associations had stands to promote their activities and offer free entertainment to the community. We also participated in “Hors Les Murs,” a program of recreational activities for neighborhood children during school vacations.

In addition to that, Margherita and I had the opportunity to attend different training sessions, such as the arrival training and the CLIC project training.

During the arrival training, we met many other ESC volunteers spread across France. During those days, we did various activities to learn about our rights and obligations as volunteers,. We also had the chance to explore the city and visit the beach. Those days were wonderful for me, as I was able to exchange experiences with people from different parts of the world and learn about their stories both in ESC and in their home lives. These friendships have endured, and we have organized several trips together, besides being able to stay anywhere in France without having to pay for accommodation.


Entrée de la Zone de Gratuité, avec un panneau décoré et coloré
Zone de Gratuité, Le Mans, avril 2024

Groupe de volontaires sur la plage, devant le coucher de soleil
Group of volunteers, on the beach, in front of the sunset, during the on arrival training


Weeks later, Margherita and I went to Estonia (!!) with another group of volunteers from different countries for a training focused on the process and foundation of the personal project. We were taught everything from how to find our Ikigai to how to keep our project alive six months after it ends. We made friends in Helsinki and Tallinn, and even planned a small weekend getaway to Helsinki to see the city.

Now, just two days ago, we returned from Tallinn and are working on the summer camps that Concordia will organize. I will be a leader of one of them! I will be responsible for preparing activities after the main activity (which will involve building the walls of a garden in a castle) and handling logistics (such as organizing the campers, food, etc.). Next week, after going on vacation with some friends I met during the arrival training and with Margherita, I will attend training to prepare myself as a monitor.

Without a doubt, my volunteering experience has been one of the best I have ever had. If someone asked me if I would do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to say yes.



Le volontariat de Diana se fait dans le cadre du Corps Européen de Solidarité, un programme de l’Union Européenne. Vous pouvez consulter une multitude d’offres sur le Portail Européen de la Jeunesse.

Pour plus d’informations et pour partie, contactez le ou la chargée de développement de Concordia dans votre région !



Publié le jeudi 13 juin 2024 à 14:58:51

11 juillet 2024 - CES | Corps Européen de Solidarité | Témoignage
A la découverte de la Roumanie ! – La mission CES de Lola

Mon volontariat en Roumanie : le Corps Européen de Solidarité de Lola   Partir en volontariat : la préparation, les…

Lire la suite
13 juin 2024 - Actualités | CES | Corps Européen de Solidarité | Normandie - Maine | Témoignage | Volontariat
Diana’s first few months as a volunteer in France: new experiences, some hardships and wonderful days

Discover Diana's first months as an ESC volunteer in the beautiful city of Le Mans, in the North-West of France!…

Lire la suite
3 juin 2024 - Actualités | Aventure | Bénévolat | CES | CES volontariat | Service Civique | Témoignage
Témoignage de Giulia, une volontaire italienne à Igny

Une immersion enrichissante : Découvrez le récit inspirant de Giulia, volontaire italienne à Igny !   Q. Quel aspect de…

Lire la suite
19 mars 2024 - Actualités | CES | Corps Européen de Solidarité | Picardie
Mon CES : un travail passionnant, des lieux et des gens uniques !

Bonjour à tous! Je m’appelle Lucia et je viens du nord de l'Italie, pas loin de Gênes. J’ai terminé ma…

Lire la suite
23 janvier 2024 - Actualités | CES | Chantier international | Corps Européen de Solidarité | Picardie | Volontariat
The end of an incredible unexpected story

Bonjour à tous, je m'appelle Gemma et je viens de Barcelone, en Espagne. En ce moment, c’est la fin de…

Lire la suite