In the second week of December Barbara and me had the privilege to take part in the on-arrival training in Ankara which was organised by the Turkish National Agency.
The main goal of this event is to welcome all the new volunteers and adapt them into the new environment as well as to equip them in knowledge regarding all the mechanisms behind the European Solidarity Corps programme. During the training we participated in several workshops that covered a wide range of topics, such as our rights and responsibilities as volunteers, conflict resolution, intercultural learning and project management. All the subjects were truly fascinating and our trainers managed to grab everyone’s attention from the very beginning. This was largely due to the fact that they used the non-formal education methods (such as role-playing, riddles, etc. ) which made the workshops even more attractive and entertaining.

Apart from acquiring knowledge, the on-arrival training had another important benefit: we got to meet and befriend another volunteers from all over Europe and Middle East who also came to Turkey in hopes to make a positive impact on the local society. Even though our daily schedule kept us pretty occupied, we still managed to find some time to talk, laugh, share our first impressions of Turkey and bond over the unique experience we’re currently having.

The organizers of the training also provided us with wonderful opportunity to do some sightseeing. Since it was our first time in Ankara, we were eager to discover everything the city has to offer. With the help of our lovely tour guide we visited all the important landmarks, such as Atatürk Mausoleum,
the former Parliament building, Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and Ankara Castle. Even though we enjoyed our trip tremendously, at the end of the day we amicably agreed that İzmir is still our number one city in Turkey (not only because of the weather).

All things considered, the on-arrival training was an amazing and inspiring experience. We came back to Izmir full of energy and new ideas. Let’s see what the next 10 months have to offer!

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