Bonjour tout le monde !
I am Ceyda from Turkey and this is my EVS experience in France…
First of all, ever since my childhood I have this curiosity for foreign countries and different cultures, it has always been a lifelong desire for me.
In Turkey you don’t have a lot of youth exchange programmes, I heard EVS from my friends who participated before and it seemed as a huge opportunity, it is a huge opportunity now I can confirm :)
Because the matter is not only going a place and seeing around a little but you have the chance to live there, and it is very precious for me. I cannot believe it passed so quickly that I have only 15 days left by the way.
Apart from that, you meet a lot of new people from a lot of different nationalities and you have the chance to observe the culture, the country and the daily life around you which is again very precious and interesting to me.
In my case it is France, which I love, especially “bien manger” tradition :)
I’m accomplishing my EVS project in Albi which is a very beautiful, peaceful city in South of France.
Although I walked in these streets of Albi many times, still every time I walk in the city I am amazed by the beauty of it.
Apart from Albi, and Toulouse of course, we had a lot of opportunities to travel. In autumn we participated in the Forum Franco-Brésilien “Science et Société” in Arras Nord-Pas de Calais. I had a chance to see Arras which is a lovely city. And we met a lot of new friends from Brazil, we danced salsa for sure :) they showed me how to do it and it was a lot of fun!
Apart from that, in the year we had a lot of holidays, C’est la vie en France and it is amazing! So, I had an opportunity to see a little more of Europe. I travelled through Paris, Bruxelles, Gent, Brugge and Amsterdam.
Additionally, we had two amazing EVS meetings in Sommières – Nîmes. Those meetings were really amazing because we met some of other volunteers in France and we had the chance to spend some quality time together with different activities.
Okay, so far as you see EVS is really cool :)
We also participted another meeting in Pays-Basque which was really lovely. The nature and landscape there were amazing in addition to the particular architecture of course.
Apart from that, the last RED meeting was the best, Bordeaux is such an amazing city. Did I mention Vincent is the best mentor ever? We had a great time there with all the wine tasting sessions of course, C'est la vie à Bordeaux.
Apart from those amazing trips and places I've seen, all the amazing foods I've discovered, my experience in France means a lot of things at the same time. This is the longest time that I've been away from my home and my family, I can say it is the experience of my life so far, when you are away from your comfort zone living in a different country you realize a lot of different things in terms of the culture itself, food tradition (the most interesting part for me), daily life and people (they are always trés gentil here) I always say. But at the same time when you are able to look to your own culture from an afar point of view, you realize some new values of it. For me, when I was getting familiar with the French culture I also realized some other precious parts of my own culture and this experience away from my home, my family and my friends actually made me much closer to them. So, it also supplies you a variety of vantage points, because you experience something new, something different and it broadens your point of view about everything.
In terms of language, now I believe I've acquired a strong base in French, I'll continue to work on it and, since I am using my English as my first language here it also developed a lot. I think you understood that my favorite expression is "C'est la vie" I've heard it a lot and I think I'll be using it all the time. :)
To sum up, this year I've learned a lot of new things I had a lot of beautiful experiences and encounters, now apart from my own ethnic culture which is being a Circassian and apart from Turkish culture I will go back to Turkey with French culture in my heart.
C'est ma vie and so far it has been really good.
Merci pour votre attention et au revoir !