Sophia Constantinou wrote about her experience with IFC last summer:
“I attended the IFC placement in Bulgaria in June 2019. During the 4 weeks, I visited several social institutions and attended lectures. Throughout the placement I was able to gain an insight into psychology in Bulgaria contrasting it to the UK. Through planning lessons and games for the children in different institutions we had to learn how to quickly form relationships with those who do not speak the same language. To be able to teach the children games whilst learning new things everyday yourself, I grew as a person and realised many things about myself such as my ability to push myself when I have to. I grew in confidence as well as improving my communication skills and social skills. I also learned from clinical psychology sessions different methods used to treat patients. I experienced things I would never have been able to experience in the UK. Not only did I gain invaluable experience within the psychology field, but I also made friends for life. This placement introduced me to so many amazing people through the social activities and weekends away. Going through 4 emotionally challenging weeks creates a bond between people. Even more so, Mirela provided us with so much support throughout our time constantly asking for feedback helping to improve the placement for future volunteers.
Going on this placement was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Before last June I struggled with confidence and leadership. After the placement, not only had I learned all these applicable skills within social settings in regards to how to communicate with adults with disabilities, trafficked and orphaned children and the elderly, but I also felt the impact and appreciation of everyone in Veliko Tarnovo. I came back feeling confident, independent and even more motivated to begin my career in psychology and I can’t thank Mirela, her family and IFC enough for giving me that opportunity.”