Locked in a room with 28 people

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Two weeks ago, all the long-term EVS volunteers living in Turkey packed their backs, sat on a bus/plane and showed up in Ankara for the ‘On-Arrival Training’. It is a training which consists of workshops, educations and social time and it serves to introduce the volunteers to Erasmus+ program and their obligations and rights.

As most of trainings/projects of similar kind, the place of our stay was far away from the city center. To be more frank, it was in the middle of nowhere in our opinion, but the hotel, service and privileges, were amazing and we all felt like royals.

Twenty-eight young people from all over Europe and a bit more, got together for 5 days of learning, meeting, socializing, and, in the end, having a feeling that is hard to describe by words – feeling of special connection that is created in moments like that one.

As I always like to say, people are the thing that makes an experience. And when a bunch of people is found on the same place with no other options but to spend time with each other, there is this phenomenon that you accept some traits of people that you normally wouldn’t, or you hang out with someone who is not your type of person, but during these couple of days something in you changes and you are accepting, liking, being tolerant more than usual, and you can say that, with each of those persons, you are growing and enriching yourself. Being forced to stay with ‘not-your-type’ of people makes you break some molds and open doors to accepting differences and learning that every person has something you can learn from and admire.

Naturally, some people fit you more than others, and I can say that I spent my time there with a couple of fantastic ones. That is the reason I came back feeling amazing. Fresh and recovered (even though I was sick) mentally cleansed and ready to continue my life. People fuel me, and these five days I met some people with whom I felt that my life has a purpose, and that is laughter, relaxed talk and easy-going look on life.

I am thankful for those moments, thankful for my beautiful roommates that were there to live those special moments with me, thankful for my decision to move to Turkey, and lastly, I send big thanks to Turkish National Agency for the amazing training!

About Valentina Botica

I am a 25 year-old girl from Rijeka, Croatia, a lover of Turkey who is an EVS volunteer in Izmir's Pi Youth Association. Graduated journalist with an overall enthusiasm for media. Both dog and cat person, trying to teach people what is 'teal' - my favorite color, similar to the color of Bosporus. I am a part of Erasmus Student Network and a strong believer that 'Mobility is a Lifestyle'. More about my experience in Turkey can be found on my Instagram @velntajn.

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