Simple Story

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Welcome to my simple story that actually changed EVERYTHING in my life:

I am a non-EU citizen; first Turkish Cypriot then Turkish, i have two citizenship. Since Northern part of Cyprus is not recognized in international area i have to apply with my Turkish citizenship to EU projects collaborating with Turkish NA. I am writing you those because i want to show different perspective of the effects of EU mobility programs for not only as a non-EU citizen but also as a person from a country which is not actually a "country".

My direct connection with mobility programs started in the last year of my BA degree. After a test and calculation of my average with it's result, i had chance to be one of 4 or 5 students of my faculty to do Erasmus. Imagine, within 1000s of students of my faculty who mostly doesn't even know what is "Erasmus" (i don't know the exact number) only 5 students! This number is increasing every year since the awareness and knowledge about Erasmus is increasing. You know what does this mean? Every year, more and more young people have an opportunity to meet the world, to gain completely a new perspective of education/life/culture. I know, because it happened to me. Since the first day of my Erasmus experience in Warsaw/Poland i learned more than i would learn by reading books, watching documentaries or studying. I met a lot of people from different cultures and with every person i met, i discovered the similarities within differences we have. I met with an another type of education system which was involving students/us more. During the lectures i have learned different situations in different countries in a particular subject which you can not even "google" to learn. I had chance to travel inside and around the country which also has a high importance as a person who needs visa (it's not only a simple application believe me, it's a long, expensive and mentally&psychically tiring process). Every new city/country i visited, i discovered world more which caused actually to discover myself. It is not easy to even write what i learned, how i improved myself during Erasmus neither it is possible to summarize. Therefore, i would recommend everyone to do Erasmus to understand & discover new perspective of everything in general.

Erasmus was the first step, the rest was more clear for me. What i want to do, what kind of environment would make me happy to be in. After working in a company in Cyprus for a year, i had been accepted to an EVS project (after tens of applications) as a volunteer in Lisboa/Portugal. The motivation to meet the world second time within EU awareness was extremely high that i didn't mind to quit my job, leave my country, manage all bureaucratic process and spend the money that i saved (not for the project itself, EVS is covering all the project costs). Unfortunately, a year passed like couple of months. I was working in an organization that was working on EU youth projects. I had role on other young people's new experiences abroad as a volunteer and this is not something which you can measure with any material in universe. During one year, i learned more and more with every person i met, every city i visited, every food i ate, every music i listened, every event i participated and every training i took. It is impossible to explain the positive effect of EVS in my life with words, again, only thing i would say is: Do EVS, be volunteer!

Beside those long-term experiences, I had the chance to participate in an exchange about BioDiversity in a lovely village of south Italy. Again, to be with people from huge diversity of backgrounds (not only country but also age/education/skills/interests) even in such a short time, connected me more to the facts of the social effects of this kind of programs in a community. Only 10 days were enough to gain awareness on the importance and effects of biological diversification within people's lives. Personal improvement was also quite high for such a short period of time. Imagine! 20 people who got better after 10 days, imagine how big the effect could be for our future!

And now, i am working in the same company that i was working. Besides, i am keeping in touch and looking for different international opportunities. I am in the beginning of volunteering for an organization in Cyprus and also trying to attend events/activities which are not so easy to find in here. I am also giving an online support to my sending organization in Turkey especially for mentoring the future volunteers. All i know from those experiences i had within the roof of EU is that i learned a lot (more than i could in any other way) and i gained a wide perspective and efficiency to analyze everything around me. I can easily say I hope, one day, every young people would have chance to be part of this kind of big opportunities and open themselves into a bigger world.

Meet the world!

Melike Kalkan

Fifth Edition

5While closing the 4th edition of Scriptamanent, after the final meeting in Izmir, we are already preparing the new call for the next edition of the project. Stay tuned!

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