Erfahrungsbericht Türkeiaustausch

At the beginning of 2013, my English teacher Ms Hendek informed me about an exchange programme with YFU (Youth for Understanding) to Turkey. After sending my application forms to this committee, it didn’t take much time to get the permission to go there. Frankly, at first, I was more curious than enthusiastic about the idea of taking part in this three-week- exchange the topic of which was “theatre”. First, I felt slightly uneasy. I was not afraid of going to a country with a totally different culture, but I thought that I would miss my friends at home during this period of time.


We were ten German exchange students, about 40 Turkish students and fever than 20 young people from Serbia, Kosovo and some other nations, who were all accommodated in a boarding school in Eskişehir where we met to study our roles. In our free time, we played volleyball, basketball and football. It was nice to see that people of various cultural backgrounds could get along with each other easily, even though their governments had been at war in the past.
I especially liked the trips to rural places near the city, which were organized for the whole group. When I was outside the city, I noticed that in Turkey there are rather big differences between urban lifestyle and life in the countryside. In some areas there is no Internet access or moreover – there is no hot running water.
After these interesting and diverse two weeks in our camp, a one-week-stay at a host family was planned for us Germans. In this week, I learned much about the Turkish culture and lifestyle, and I tried fasting in Ramadan for two days. This was a completely new and unusual experience for me. Still today, I miss the Turks’ easy-going lifestyle and their ability to enjoy big family meetings with delicious food and a lot of çay  (Turkish tea). This friendly Turkish mentality has left a deep impression on me so that I’m thinking about studying in Turkey one day, where I have made so many new friends. Up to now, I’m still in touch with them via WhatsApp and facebook.
I was pleased to find out that we had the chance to meet again. In September 2013, some of the Eskişehir-participants, including me, were invited to come to Munich for two weeks to study and perform a theatre play called “Time Birds”. Once more we had a great time together as the weather was fantastic and our play, which we acted in front of about 150 spectators, was a huge success. It was very enjoyable, and I was surprised how professional the multicultural actors dealt with their performance in German language since it was quite difficult for some of them because they had just been learning German for a few years. Since having been to Turkey, I´m constantly focusing on keeping and even improving my Turkish language skills. That´s why I attend a Turkish course at the Volkshochschule in Miltenberg every week.
Coming to a conclusion, I can just advise every brave, adventurous and interested pupil to take part in such an exchange programme as you gain so many new experiences there. Last but not least, I have received so much positive feedback. Especially the Turks living in Germany are glad to hear my feeble attempts to communicate with them in their mother tongue.
Valentin Lindner, Q11

03.03.2014 13:36:32 | Julius-Echter-Gymnasium, JEG Webmaster