İstanbul’da Sonbahar or How is Sweet Autumn in Istanbul

İstanbul’da Sonbahar or How is Sweet Autumn in Istanbul

It is difficult to leave everything, your family, friends and go. Another country, totally another culture and mentality. I tried to calm my family - it's only 2 months. And time passes quickly. As it turned out this is not a big but not a small period of time – enough.

So I propose to walk with me the streets of Istanbul, to feel the taste of Turkish cuisine and consider something more that is hidden under the smiles of the citizens. I'll start the story from the beginning. Filling the application form, I did not expect that I'll get lucky. But the coordinator`s choice fell on me. Everything as usual - an interview, an airplane and you are already at the Arel Gençlik Çalışmaları Merkezi (youth center). Our main goal here is to become a member of the university and the Youth Center as volunteers.  5 times a week from morning till evening we spend together with students, following their activities such as English speaking class, Turkish lessons, providing Ukrainian speaking and culture club, sport training and some office work in Youth Center. In the evenings and on the weekends we tried not to stay at home. We are interested in everything from food and everyday life of Turks to tourist places.

Istanbul is extraordinarily beautiful, and of its central streets, you can walk forever. And in each corner you can find food to taste - it is everywhere. Yeah, it's hard to be on a diet here. Actually, it is good that the university has a swimming pool and gym!:) Yes, about Turkish food you can talk endlessly and write a thick book. Because even the usual dürüm in different cafes differ in taste. Also, we drowned in the abundance of fresh fruits, varieties of cheeses and olives. For me with my friend, it's like heaven!

About people. First, we who came from the north of Ukraine, where people are reserved and rarely smiling, were surprised how the Turks can always smile and respond "İyiyim" (I`m fine)?! Well, they can not always be all right. Then we realized that it's so much easier and more positive when you living by smiling! And they are always ready to help you. Once we were lost. It was cold, pouring heavy rain, and not for our happiness, we had no money. We just asked the director of the local cafe how we can get home. At the moment he offered to get us warm-up, some meals and pay for a taxi, without asking anything in return. Just wish us good luck! Here it may be that you ask for help someone and you do not have time to raise your eye, but around you may see are 10 people and everyone wants to help you!

It`s time to come back home. Acquired new friends, new experiences, with Basic Turkish knowledge, with warm memories and a desire to return here again!

I beckoning you to take part in such a project! And let all the doors of opportunities which you knocked open for you!

-Sofiia Vystoropska (Short-term volunteer from Ukraine)

Istanbul Arel Üniversitesi - Gençlik Çalışmaları Merkezi

About Author

Istanbul Arel University provides support to young and adult people’s education process since 2010. We aim to update standards in line with the developing world and constantly follow the changes in the world.

Within the Erasmus+ Programme o

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