Dear Friends & WordPress community,
One of the great aspects of being an exchange student in Europe is that we get acquainted with several events you can’t imagine doing back at home. They could range from three-legged race on St. Patty’s Day to volunteering for a nation-wide song contest known as Eurovision!
Today, I went to my first volunteer workshop for a national song contest, the 59th annual Eurovision contest. To be honest, I didn’t know anything about Eurovision until one of my friends on exchange mentioned it during one of our common group dinners. I never even heard of Eurovision. You can think of Eurovision like America’s Got Talent. It is HUGE. Apparently, it is really popular in Australia– Australia asked to participate this year! Eurovision is a song contest with contestants representing all parts of Europe. This year, I was lucky because… Denmark is hosting Eurovision!! It is their third time hosting the event. It will take place during the first week of May. Each year, the event is hosted at the country of the previous year’s winner. This is the performance that won last year: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k59E7T0H-Us).
I didn’t know that we can be volunteers for song contests, but through spontaneity, my friend and I started to look at fun events we can take advantage of while we’re abroad, and we stumbled upon a volunteer application for Eurovision. The application process was very time consuming, but I am so glad I applied to be a part of this amazing grandiose event. According to the Eurovision Secretariats there are around 1,000 volunteers. Isn’t that… amazing?
Benefits of being a volunteer for Eurovision:
1) Get to work with people all over the world
2) Get a volunteer shirt
3) Go to an exclusive party for Eurovision volunteers
4) Free access to Eurovision
To check it out: (http://english.cphvolunteers.dk/whats-happening/events/eurovision-song-contest-2014/volunteers-for-eurovision-song-contest-2014.aspx)
Here is one of the performances I couldn’t stop watching over and over again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfo-8z86x80
The winner of 2012: Eurphoria by Loreen, Sweden
It’s a MUST-SEE-LISTEN
So, today, the workshop took place at a place called DR Byen. It is located right next to Tietgenkollegiet, which is the round building you see on my cover photo up above. DR Byen [di-ɛʌ byn] is Denmark’s national broadcasting corporation. After a 15-minute bike ride from Signalhuset (in Ørestad), I locked my bike to a bike rack near the DR Byen metro station. With anticipation to learn more about being a volunteer at Eurovision, I power-walked to DR Byen, which was a 3 minute walk… as I passed by the glass window of the building.. I saw many, many people of all ethnicities. Everyone was standing in line to get inside the first room to the right. Imagine seeing about 50 people in line to get checked in. Meanwhile, I stood in line and waited patiently while taking a video of the situation. Then the couple in front of me turned around and asked, “would you like some candy?” I looked at the cereal bowl full of colorful pieces of licorice. I couldn’t help but smile. The Eurovision staff were passing around bowls of licorice for volunteers waiting in line– this is why I love Denmark.
After about 15 minutes of waiting in line, I entered the room of coat racks. Yes, there is a room just for coat racks. Then we proceeded into a bigger room with even more people already seated in their seats, and the projector was already on.
I was lucky to find a seat in the middle of the room. The workshop was different than I expected. I expected to be “trained” to be a particular volunteer for a particular situation, but the 9am to 1pm workshop was comprised of presentations indoors. The workshop introduced us with all of the information regarding where the event is taking place, which organizations/businesses are a part of this, how safety is highly important, how to be an ambassador for Denmark and how to help guests from around the world feel welcomed and cared for. We were told that we would be contacted by a team leader in the next few days regarding our specific roles as volunteers. And, there was so much gratitude from the Eurovision staff. Each presenter expressed his/her appreciation and honor to be in a room full of individuals who are giving up their time and energy to help this year’s Eurovision event be the BEST one. And, BEST meaning that all guests coming to see Eurovision will feel they were enthusiastically welcomed and taken care of. The Eurovision staff are even hosting a party for all of the volunteers after the event!
Eurovision… I am so glad that I am going to play a role in this HUGE event. I am honored to be a host of Denmark! What an honor!!
I can’t wait until our next training shift since we get to meet our team.
Thanks for this grand opportunity to be a part of the Eurovision network!