Leon Miller
Participant from Melbourne, Australia who completed the Overseas Volunteer Program during 2020

I decided to volunteer with MDA for three main reasons. The first of which was my desire to learn and gain practical experience in first aid. The second being my interest in continuing my Hebrew learning that I had begun in an ulpan for the first half of the year and the third was my need to keep myself busy while waiting to return to Australia. I am happy to say that the MDA volunteer program satisfied all of the aforementioned reasons as much as I could have hoped for.

The course was very instructive and comprehensive covering everything from CPR to car accidents. It was also really amazing to meet and learn with people from all over the globe, in my class alone we had people from Mexico, Argentina, Switzerland, England, Israel and of course America.

After the course ended, we immediately started our shifts on the ambulances. I was exceedingly nervous at first because I thought that I was still ill-prepared to function as a useful member of an ambulance crew especially due to the fact that I was by no means fluent in Hebrew. However, the first medic I was with was an immigrant for New York, so not only did he explain everything that was expected of me, he was also able to do so in perfect English, thus calming my nerves and making me feel a lot more confident about the whole experience. After the first week I found that not only had my ambulance instincts improved to the point that I started to be a useful member of the crew, my Hebrew was also improving. I was starting to only converse with the team I was with in Hebrew which I was quite happy about.

Overall, I’d say that volunteering with MDA was an immensely beneficial experience and I would recommend it to all who have the opportunity.