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ESC Volunteers – Il secondo mese di Aysel, Elif, Nurgül e Özgecan

    Hello I’m Aysel. Now I will talk about my 2 months Italy esc project experience. I came to this project from istanbul. we were welcomed directly with espresso and cookies. we are six women in this project. I was very excited to make Polish friends and I am very happy to experience the Polish culture as well as the Italian culture in Italy. we organized a lot of workshop events in this 2-year period, I will mention two of them in detail so as not to take your time. My friends will mention the others. We wanted to organize a language workshop in order to speak more English with Italian young people, but we wanted to do this with non-formal education techniques. For this, we organized a taboo game with characters that are popular around the world. We played this game with about 25 people by first choosing the characters and then choosing the forbidden words, it was both fun and educational because it was obligatory to speak English. Apart from that, we organized an English movie night, where we watched the movie we chose by voting together and then talked about our feelings about the movie and compared some scenes in the movie with the Italian culture. then we played guitar and had fun together. if I focus on the differences between me before I came to this project and now, I experienced group work a lot and improved this aspect of myself while I was an individual trying to do everything alone. I learned how to make pasta from the masters.
    I hope that I was able to connect with the young people here and meet them again in another part of the world. I would like to thank Maria, Rocco, Sebastiano and Carmine from the Beyond Borders team who were with us throughout this experience.

    Greetings to everyone. I am Elif. We have come to the end of our 2-month project in Orta Nova, Italy, and I would like to share with you what we have accomplished during this time. My main purpose for joining this project was to improve my English and organize activities abroad. In these two months, we organized a variety of events, including an English movie night, English taboo game, green table discussion, Safebook, numerous cooking workshops, photography courses, and many more. As you can understand, we had a very fulfilling two months. But more importantly, the friendships we formed here will be unforgettable. Our friends in Orta Nova took care of us beyond office hours and taught us about Italian culture. During our project, we had some holidays, giving us the chance to travel and see other cities in Italy, such as Rome, Florence, Lecce, Milan, Venice, Naples, Bari, and almost all of Italy 😊. We discovered all the flavors of Italy. The most memorable for me was the pizza in Naples.
    Moreover, this project taught me the experience of living together with six people in one house. This allowed us to learn about Polish culture and cuisine. I will miss our Polish friends Ola and Wiki and our late-night kitchen conversations dearly.
    Thanks to this project in Italy, I have significantly improved my communication skills, both in English and in expressing my ideas. Everything was wonderful. Thank you all very much. Perhaps we will meet again in other projects. Until then, goodbye.

    Hello, greetings to everyone from Orta Nova, I am Nurgül MİMİR. I have almost reached the end of two months here and I am writing this article to tell you about my experience and feelings here. While I was a stranger trying to get to know my surroundings the first day I arrived, now I feel connected to this place and the people here. When I started the project, I overcame the fear of leaving my comfort zone and living in an unknown rural environment for two months much more easily with the supportive behaviour of the people around me, and these two months really added a lot of good things to me, so Italy has been a very special experience for me and I can say that I have accumulated many unforgettable memories here.
    This project I took part in aimed to create a positive change on the local youth living in this city and I believe that we were able to achieve this with the activities we did. We started these activities by preparing activities to get to know each other’s cultures. Then we came together with young people and organised various social events and workshops. In these activities, we tried to raise awareness of the target audience by addressing issues such as gender equality, inclusive society, bullying, addiction and empathy. We organised fun and educational activities such as film nights and taboo games to improve young people’s English. Afterwards, we participated in an online seminar on “Green Europe” and learned about climate change and environmental challenges and tried to create an impact by launching a challenge about it. One of the most meaningful parts of this project for me was interacting directly with the young people here and I believe that all these activities we did had a positive social impact on the young people, so for me this project was not only a volunteering work but also a part of making life more meaningful and in the same way the people here had an impact on me and we mutually touched each other’s lives and that is the most valuable thing. This project has been a good opportunity to see how important it is to come together with people from different cultures and backgrounds, to touch people’s lives, to give hope and create smiles. 
    After getting to know the wonderful cities of Italy, I had the opportunity to travel to countries such as Spain and Belgium on my free days, which was a wonderful memory for me. When I look back, my memories here will remain not only as part of a project but as one of the most valuable parts of my life. I would like to thank Beyond Borders and everyone who contributed to this project for giving me the opportunity to experience these special moments. With the end of this beautiful experience, I hope to come together in another way one day. Ciao 🙂

    I am Özgecan GÖKSU. I am an Erasmus+ ESC Short Term Volunteer of Beyond Borders NGO in Orta Nova town in Italy. Our little article about the first month of our volunteering experiences was previously published. We are sending you our last article before returning to our countries from Italy. Erasmus+ ESC Short Term projects last about two months and our project is now nearing its end.
    I remember that when I first heard that I had been selected for this Erasmus+ ESC project in Italy, I even forgot to breathe with happiness. I quickly remembered my suitcase and documents and set off at the airport. Thanks to this project, I had the opportunity to go abroad for the first time in my life. As a sociology graduate student, my biggest dream was to observe the social structure of another country by living there. Thanks to this project, I achieved my dream. When I came to Italy, I couldn’t take my eyes off the roads, nature, people and society. They had warm and kind people, like people in Turkey. When I first arrived, I realized that I would immediately get used to the project and Italy. Beyond Borders, one of the coordinators of this project, always guided us to get used to the project, develop and disseminate new activities. While I was at the Beyond Borders office, intercultural dialogue was always taking place in the house rented for four Turkish and two Polish volunteers. We have designed various activities to improve the English of both volunteers and Beyond Borders’ local volunteers. We worked on a movie night, interviews with local young people with volunteer experience and editing videos, ideas for a green world, slogans about addictions, bullying and health. Together with our local volunteers, we organized creative events to spread awareness. I am very happy that I will be able to contribute both to my future research as a sociologist and to volunteer activities for this project, which we were selected for in cooperation with Beyond Borders and Mozaik Human Resources. I know I will leave with a smile on my face as I say goodbye to Italy. I will return to my country with the awareness that it is a great event to give young people the opportunity to realize their dreams thanks to Erasmus+ projects. My new dream is to participate in new projects as a follower of Erasmus+ projects and to work on writing project.