Creating an immersive and cultural experience, Galway 2020 has paved the platform for several volunteers coming from the new Irish communities in Galway.
French native, Coline Martin, joined the wavemaker programme purely to optimise her student experience in NUI Galway, however as time passed, she learned that there was more to the volunteering experience.
Taking up the role as the wavemaker for the Galway 2020, she shared on what she is currently discovering out of that experience. She said, ” It feels very rewarding, to contribute, and to see people happy; it makes me happy.”
Ms Martin further shared on how moving to a quaint city as Galway reminded her of her own home in Toulouse, France. She also talked about how this event gave her a sense of community despite being far away from home.
“It’s a cool way to meet people from different cities around the world,” said Ms Martin. She further explained: “It was quite enjoyable; in our mind, we always have stereotypes of different cultures, but this opportunity gave me the experience to learn and appreciate culture.”
She shared that volunteering also allowed her to learn about local experiences in Galway and to appreciate authentic cultural architecture and landscapes scattered across Galway.
When the much anticipated Galway 2020 opening ceremony was cancelled due to storm Ciara, she said that many volunteers, including herself, were upset with the developments.
“For weeks, there was a lot of preparation and excitement building up, and there were so many volunteers participating in most events that were leading up to the opening ceremony, so it was sad to see it get cancelled due to a storm,” said Ms Martin.
She further explained that due the cancellation, Galway 2020 members organised a small party to celebrate the opening to make up for the loss.
When it comes to the upcoming Galway 2020 events, she shares how the volunteering experience will not only allow her to expose herself to the culture in Galway but also to educate other new Irish communities and immerse them as well.