Hello everyone, let me introduce myself. I am Furkan, going to be 23 soon. I study English-Turkish translation and interpreting. It is my second year in university. I have one cat. In Turkey, I was taking free courses to improve myself in baking. I like cooking very much by the way. I used to go to the theater in my free time, I really loved it. I also was taking guitar lessons. I had a good life until the pandemic hits the whole world.
But despite the pandemic, I wanted to improve myself. I love travelling. I had been to the Balkans, but not in Bulgaria. I like to learn new languages, make new friends and meet with people from different cultures. And now I am in Bulgaria for the first time. I have had abroad experiences but I never stayed longer than 2 weeks in a country. It will be something very challenging for me!
Bulgaria and ICDET are my first long term experience. After I searched about ESC programmes, I found the project that ICDET is the host. I thought this project could be useful for me and thanks to it I can gain my knowledge, to improve my skills and my English as i will be in a multicultural environment. It could be a milestone for me. A new country, new friends, new language, new culture. It was a big chance for improvement for me.
After some research, I saw that ICDET is a good association. I talked with some of the ex volunteers. So I applied and I got chosen, that was my luck for 2021. As we have online education because of the pandemic, it is a good chance to use this opportunity.
And I want to tell about my days and my volunteering here. When we first arrived , we had a training that is called “on-arrival training” which would help us while we are here. We learned about many things such as European Union or European Solidarity Corps or time management or what you can do in Sofia in your free time - you can go to swim or to the gym. So adapting is much easier for you. Beside this, all people here are helpful and friendly. I made many new friends. Some of them are from Spain, some of them are from Italy and some are Bulgarian and even English. English people come here in Bulgaria to study. When I asked them why they came here, they said “ because Bulgaria is a beautiful country”. Yes exactly, they are so right about it. It has mountains, forest and sea. And my friends they are all lovely and friendly. We gather together and talk about many things such as our cultural similarity and differences or even animals. We organize cultural nights and have different foods here. It is an amazing experience to be in a multicultural environment. You have the chance to observe other cultures. This is the best part for me.
Something odd in your culture may be totally normal in another culture. Here you broaden your horizon for me. I did not only improve my English skills, but also my personal skills. I also improved my time management skills. I learned how to use time better.
By being volunteer in ICDET is the best thing that ever happened to me in 2021. Here we work on different topics different sessions like “gender equality” or “ femicide” which is my subject. This organization gives you everything you need. The accommodation place is good. You can find everything you need. The only thing you need to do is explore and improve yourself. And I experienced what it is like to live in another country as my future plan in this way. It gave me the chance to observe the life abroad. Even shopping in another country is joyful. It may be something usual in our own country but in another country, it is really a pleasure to be volunteer. I am happy to be a part of this team, ICDET. Thank you for unforgettable memories.
Furkan Soyak, volunteer@ICDET