Tech-LTV from India in the International Secretariat

Sathya (21, from Mumbai, India) since September 2015 is the so-called tech-LTV face at our International Secretariat. He thoroughly enjoys his time in Europe, gets to learn new personal skills and for sure plans to stay in Europe, if possible, even after his service ends.

  • How did you become aware of the position of Tech-LTV in the International Secretariat?

I was studying Information Technology. The head of the department of I.T knew Mr Jayaprasad Sir (national secretary of SCI India, WH) and got to know about this possibility and informed me.

  • Did you apply immediately?

Yes, I thought it was a good opportunity. I got full guidance and support of Jayaprasad Sir, whom I would like to thank very much.

  • And then you left for Europe… Was it difficult to adapt to European lifestyle?

It was much easier than I was told. Several people warned that I would experience a culture-shock, sort of being treated as “other people”, “other mentality”. But that was not the case at all. I was also warned about the food and weather but they too were not bad either. By the way, I soon started attending an Integration course and till now attending lessons in Dutch language regularly too.

  • Did you face obstacles (especially in the beginning?)

Well, I did have to deal with time-management. It is much more time bound and organized in Europe. Now I am getting more used to it. The work was also sometimes very demanding in the beginning.

  • Do you consider yourself as a member of a minority-group in Europe?

As a person representing India, yes I am minority in that sense. But, in the broader perspective of hard working people wide, I belong to the majority and consider myself as that.

  • Do you miss Indian food?

No, not really. On occasions I go to an Indian restaurant in Antwerp..And I learned cooking here by asking my mother in India for recipes. I also have a like for different kinds of breads here and other vegetarian cuisines to name a few.

  • What do you consider as typical Europe (or Antwerp)

The lay-out of the city is typically European. Besides that, there are lots of historical monuments and buildings. Not to say the least of all - the bikes in the city landscape and the freedom to enjoy your ride safely. Eventually it is good against pollution also and eco-friendly

  • Did Europe broaden your horizon and in what way?

Yes, I experienced there is lot of freedom here. Freedom to shape your own life, to choose your field. It is not viewed by the destination from where you come. Rather it was measured by the desire you wish to reach your goal. That is not always the case in India frankly. I am lucky in the sense that I have supportive parents and can make my own choices. Not many can boast of such supportive environment.

  • You are EVS in the International Secretariat (IS) of SCI. What are your tasks in the IS?

I have basically 3 kinds of tasks associated with my work

  1. IT-support and software-development
  2. Working on different Technical platforms / projects
  3. General Administrative tasks
  • How is it like: working in the IS?

It is truly enriching for me. My colleagues are very supportive and I would like specially thank Ms Ela, Ms Sara and Mr Ossi a lot. I had my mid term evaluation that was very positive and encouraging. I also have a good relationship with members of the Tech Team of SCI towards the role and responsibilities.

  • And when does your service end? And do you have plans after your service?

I really hope it will last for quite a while, but officially it is to end by August’ 16. My plans are not defined yet clearly after this but for sure I would like to stay here in Europe in pursuance of my goals and knowledge for sure.

An interview with the intercontinental long-term volunteer about his time-management,recipes from Mumbai and freedom of life in Europe taken  by Wilbert Helsloot for the Asian Voices.