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Monica's Heartwarming Journey: From Virtual Friendship to Real-Life Adventures with ENGin Students

Monica's life took an unexpected turn when she decided to volunteer with ENGin. It all started amid the COVID lockdown with a search for a volunteer opportunity that could be done with her online university studies. Little did she know how much she'd come to cherish this volunteer experience.

ENGin volunteer Monica stand with her students Tanya and Maksym on the Lviv street

Weekly and biweekly meetings with Maksym and Tania began with structured discussions about the differences between Ukraine and the US, as well as insights into English slang. Monica's knowledge about Ukraine expanded exponentially, thanks to Maksym's history lessons and Tania's introduction to iconic Ukrainian music through engaging music videos.

As time passed, the meetings became less formal. Maksym and Tania's high proficiency in English allowed for a more casual and friendly interaction. "We just had 'meetings' that were like FaceTime with a friend to catch up on the drama, stress, or excitement of the week," she shared.

Having been paired with Maksym and Tania since early 2021, they had grown into close friends over the years.

"I always knew I would meet them someday," she mused.

When the opportunity to study abroad in Italy arose, Monica seized it. She hopped on a plane to Warsaw, where she reunited with Tania, and together they embarked on a few days of exploration. Then, the dynamic duo took a train to Lviv to meet Maksym, who had journeyed from Kyiv to join them.

Monica initially felt a touch of nervousness, fearing her buddies meeting each other for the first time. "But, of course, it went great," she grinned. In addition to spending time in Lviv, Monica and Maksym ventured to Kolochava and Lake Synevyr for a beautiful couple of days. It was an adventure that marked the beginning of her semester in Italy.

Collection of memorable moments of ENGin volunteer Monica from her trip to Ukraine to meet with her students

Monica fell in love with Lviv, describing it as a beautiful city where everyone she met, often through Maksym or Tania, warmly welcomed the foreigner.

Monica's journey doesn't stop there; Tania is soon heading to Italy to visit her! They plan to explore Rome, with Monica determined to put her month's worth of Italian learning to the test. Afterward, they'll return to Lviv to meet Maksym once more, and the trio will also journey to Tania's hometown.

As Monica put it, "While I'm in Europe, not knowing when I'll be back, I want to make the most of hanging out with my friends."

Ready to embark on your own ENGin Journey? Join us as a volunteer today!


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