So far in ESC Dresden…
Now that it is almost 3 months since I came to Dresden for the ESC project, it is time to reflect on some learning points and experiences that I have acquired in this program. First of all, living in a whole different culture with a different language is an experience itself. When I came here, I already had some ideas on what to expect from living in Germany; but almost all these prior expectations or knowledge about the country changed over time with real life experience. Here, I have started to learn living in a diverse cultural environment with people coming from different backgrounds and I started to interact with them to learn more about their culture. Most of the time, there are huge differences between Turkish and German culture, which makes this project more interesting and challenging at the same time. Still, I have completed my first adaptation process with the help of others and by focusing more on the work I do.
To talk about the work at the organization, I have started with assisting people whenever they need some tasks to be supported. I am also included in the weekly team meetings in which tasks and ideas are discussed and therefore I have become a part of the team. Specifically, I have initiated a LinkedIn page for the organization and become responsible for promoting the activities of the organization on the web site. There, I have also posted some job advertisement for the organization and therefore it started to look more professional to contribute for the representation of the association as well. Moreover, I have been involved in office tasks, made translations, proofread some English documents, took pictures in some events, and involved in hands-on activities such as organizing the office for festivals and art exhibitions. Accordingly, I have mostly developed interpersonal skills because tasks required teamwork and collaboration among colleagues. My work here has also contributed to my organization skills because of the deadlines of the projects and tasks to be done.
In general, 3 months have passed quick with the flow of cultural exchange, trying to adapt to a new setting and become a part of the daily life here in Dresden. Of course, there are still hardships and problems I face, most of the time because of the language barrier; nevertheless, it makes this learning experience a unique one with all the lessons taught one by one. Thanks to ESC, this volunteering experience went beyond on being a tourist in a different country and evolved into experiencing every aspect of the country.