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My name is Begüm Seyhan. I’m 24 years old and I’m from Turkey in Istanbul. I graduated from Manisa Celal Bayar University.

My degree is in Political Science and International Relations. After the graduation I wanted to be a volunteer in European Volunteer Service Projects. I applied to projects related to children and young people because I wanted to work with them. After that, I got accepted by a project I wanted so much. After being accepted, I told myself I have been so lucky in every stage of my life. I was so excited about North Macedonia, Prilep, to be a volunteer, and my new life. There were a lot of people who responded to my every question with patience and were always interested in me. I felt pretty comfortable before leaving my country. I wanted to learn Macedonian language and live in a small city.

We bought flight tickets from Istanbul to Skopje. They informed me about everything and sent my mentor's communication information. First I arrived to Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, after I went to Skopje’s center. From the airport, I went to the center of Skopje and from there to Prilep. They sent me all the bus information and all the information I needed. I was not forced at all, first I went to the center of Skopje and then to the Prilep bus. They were going to meet me at the Prilep bus station. When I got to Prilep bus station, two sweet people were waiting me. They helped me carry everything and we came to my new house on the 4th floor. After meeting with my French flat-mate, we informed the police that I had arrived in North Macedonia. My flat-mate gave me all the information about the house and, like my mentors, he welcomed me very warmly.

Prilep is a small city, especially for me. Compared to Istanbul, it is extremely quiet, calm and everywhere is close to each other. But it looks a lot like the city I studied in. I'm used to living in a small city, so I liked so much this place. My house location, views and rooms are very nice. As I am used to seeing for the last 5 years, there is also a mountain. The air and the water are very clean but also the people are very warmblooded. People in the big city are always frustrated and tense, so they are in a constant hurry and life is fast. But you can easily walk everywhere, for example, to Mogila Park, to the city center or to the friend's house. For this reason, When I first spoke to my family in Prilep, I told them that I can live in this city more than 6 months. Because I came to Prilep on the weekend, I had time to rest and meet new people.

In Prilep there is my friend from Turkey and there are other volunteers from countries like Italy, Spain, France and USA. The office we work in is a very pleasant building with 3 floors and we are also working in the attic. On the first working day, we went to the center of the city and there were students of Medical high school. They checked sugar and blood pressure for the elderly. It was a very nice start and experience for me. Then we went to the office and met with people in the office and I realized that there was very similar culture in Macedonia and Turkey. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming to me. This situation made me very satisfied once again I realized I was in the right place. In the office, I prepared an event and presentation for the activity on Wednesday. Our focus is on discrimination and bullying. So we had to prepare a study on this. The event was enjoyable and beautiful. In my opinion, these activities, especially on such special occasions, are great practices for raising young people's awareness.

I feel like I've been living in Prilep for a long time. This feeling makes me very happy. Besides, I know we're going to do some nice events here for six months. In the meantime, I can't wait to learn Macedonian. Here is my story! I hope that you can be involved in such projects voluntarily and you can have the privilege of living in different countries.

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