Students of Turkey’s Reflections About Lithuania Mobility


Name: Ikra Tadik

Hello i’m Ikra. I will tell about my experiences during a week in Erasmus. Before I left in Turkey, it was the first time I was going to another country away from my family. This was a great experience for me. I had a lot of fun with my friends during the flight. Our flight had landed in Riga. We couldn’t visit there because it was night. But even the thought of being there was very nice. The first night we arrived, we went directly to the family houses. In the morning, we went to the dance class first and watched the dance of the girls. Then we went there as everyone would gather in the conference room. Gradually everyone was gathering. Since it was the first day, we were able to meet everyone. They welcomed us very well in the auditorium of the school and gave a show. Then we introduced ourselves. We introduced our countries. Most of the day was reserved for us. We taught each other and played games specific to our own countries. We sang songs. We continued to get to know each other. It was a very long day. Everyone was talking to each other. It was the first time that I had the opportunity to speak a lot of English in this way. But still no one had as much difficulty speaking as he feared. Everyone could easily understand each other. We were making mistakes. However, we were able to speak comfortably and fluently. Sometimes it felt weird, but it felt so good. In the evening we went to visit the city of Joniskis. First, we went to the cultural center. The woman there guided us. We visited a church. Then we went to the basketball museum. It was a very different place. Everyone took pictures with different items. In the last part, we all wrote and signed on the walls to indicate that you were there. Finally we went home again. The first day was very special for me. It was a very fun day. Although we were very tired, we did not feel tired because we were thinking about all the fun. On the second day we went to visit the city of Vilnius. The bus journey was too long. But even on the bus we found a way to have fun together. When we arrived in the city, we visited many churches. They were all different from each other. It was very attention grabbing. They were huge. There were so many details to explore. So we were confused where to look. Some breaks were given. We had the opportunity to tour the city alone. We bought meals by ourselves. We went for hot chocolate. Last time everyone met in a common place. Toward evening we went to climb a castle. It was very high and tiring. But seeing the view was worth it. When everyone wanted to go, we got on the bus again. We went to a nice dinner together. It was a very interesting place. The meals were delicious. It was a restaurant with animal skins. At the end of the day, we took a bus ride again. This time everyone was tired. But talking together was a better option. After the long journey, we said goodbye to each other and went home. We walked a lot that day and we were very tired. But still everything was great. On the third day, for the pumpkin festival at school, everyone carved a pumpkin with signs specific to their own country. That was so fun. Some pumpkins were too thick. They were in different colors. We carved pumpkins helping each other. We hushed them and set them aside. They looked so beautiful when they stood side by side. At the same time, food presentations were being prepared for the next day. Then we went to the swamp by bus ride. The fresh air there and the way we walked was very nice. It felt so good. It was a long road. Although the weather was cold, the fresh air was very nice. We organized an early farewell party in the evening as the Romanians will be leaving on the fourth day. First, students and teachers ate our dinner separately. Then we students danced and played games. Again, we taught each other games specific to our own country. We sang songs. We taught each other dance. We collected a lot of memories by taking a lot of photos. We didn’t want to leave there. Everyone was having so much fun. At the end of the day, we dispersed to the houses again tired and beautiful. In the morning of the fourth day, we introduced our country-specific recipes. We talked about sarma and karnıyarık. In fact, all countries had similar dishes. Some things were different just because of the cultural difference. After the presentations were over, we all played volleyball at school. We taught each other ball games in different ways. Since we played in the garden of the school, we had the opportunity to see it. We went to the gym in the evening. There the students of the school were playing volleyball. We watched them. They were playing very well. That’s why it’s fun to watch. We spent a lot of time there. After we got out of there, we went to pick them up from school to take the pumpkins we made the previous day to the pumpkin festival. We moved it to the place where the festival is. Then we attended the festival. The environment was colorful and beautiful. There was a small concert venue. All the pumpkins were on display. Everyone was having fun playing games. We also participated in some games. They gave us candy for participating. At the end of the day, we all went to a house to have fun together. We sang songs there. We ate meals. Everyone was having so much fun. We were telling each other things. Since we were halfway through the week, we were stretching out a bit. Even though we wanted to continue having fun later, we had to sleep because it was too late. We finished the day. On the last and fifth day, we went to visit the city of Riga. Riga was indeed a very modern city. I liked the buildings and streets. We started walking the streets. Then we parted again. I did some shopping there with my friends. We had dinner with the other students. We didn’t have much time so we went back to Joniskis. In the evening we went to someone’s house again, sat down and talked. Everyone had gathered. Since it was the last day, everyone was both tired and sad. Some of us started to go home slowly. It’s time to say goodbye. We had to say goodbye very long and finally everyone went home. It was also my last time for the family I stayed at home when I went home. I had dinner there last night. It was delicious. Then we went to her room and sat down with the girl whose house I was staying with. We watched the series. We talk. I had to say goodbye to her too. Now I had to pack my suitcase. I slept soundly for the morning journey. The next morning it was time to return. Everyone had gone to school to get ready and pack. We met there. We said goodbye to each other after a long time. We took our last photos. And we got in the car and set off on the way home. It was an excellent experience for me. I had the opportunity to meet new people and new cultures. I got a new family. Everyone was so kind and sweet. I may not see many people again, but I will always remember them. Lithuania was the first of many things for me. I went abroad for the first time. For the first time, I stayed in a stranger’s house away from my family. For the first time, I tried to express myself in a foreign language. A week seemed like a month to me. Actually, that wasn’t enough for me. I would love to go again. I want to travel and explore different countries. This first experience opened up a great opportunity for me for the next experiences. It doesn’t happen to everyone to have such an experience while studying in high school. That’s why I feel so lucky. I’m so happy to meet every person I meet. I will remember everyone and everything very well. Although for some students, this experience has happened a few times, it was the first and last Erasmus experience for us. But it was a much more perfect experience than I thought. Now we welcome students from other countries to Turkey. I hope we can have such a nice experience for them too. I am very excited to see my foreign friends again after a few months. I hope everything will be fine. And I would like to thank everyone for everything, for the experience they gave me:’)

Name: Safa Özdemir

First of all, it was an excellent experience for me. Seeing new cultures, meeting new people did make me see other side of the world. At October 23th Sunday, we flew to Istanbul and then to riga. The flight was 3 hours straight and it was comfortable. When we landed in riga, I couldn’t accept the truth that we were at abroad. It was so cold, everyone was talking incomprehensible, different images… We started to wait the driver to take us to school. It was night time. Therefore we were freezing. Between Riga and İstanbul, there was maybe 8 temperature difference. So, we meet some cold weather as we expected. Driver came and took us to the school. My friends met with their hosts and so I did. My host was Kasparas. He came to meet with me and say that I’m your host. He was so kind and carring at the same time. His father took us from school to take us home. His father was a funny guy, quite talkative and carring like his son. When we arrived home, they offered me something to drink. We sat down in the kitchen and talked awhile. Then he showed over the houses, place by place. We wished goodnight to eachother and separated to rooms to sleep. I was so excited about tomorrow and the whole week. I mean, I was so far away from home and my family. While I keep thinking about these, I fell asleep. We got up early and had breakfast. Their breakfast culture was different than ours. We dressed up and his father took us to the school. Kasparas went me to the auditorium. We had a short welcome ceremony and we are informed about weeks plan. We socialized with romanians, italians, and ofcourse lithuanians; We danced, we sang, we talked, and also got information about their games, about their school. I saw that their people loves school so much. Therefore I was alittle jealous. When I realized that I just wanted to live here. Because yeah, you had reasons to love school: you can have lunch at school, it has big garden, playground, labs, sitting areas for students and much more that I cannot remember now. So, we had lunch at school. There was dumpling in that day: it was like boiled pastry with chicken in it. It was great but made me miss my Turkey meals. After that we presented our presentations. We tripped culture museum, basketball museum and we saw some churches. And then we separated to homes. But my host said we could go to Elinga’s and have some fun at there. And I said yeah why don’t we? We went there and ordered some pizza, played some games together. We socialized more and more, that made me feel so happy. Because I had friends who is not from my country. Seeing their different culture, having fun with them is just like incomparable blessing. Time was getting late so we went to home. Again they offered me some tea and then we slept. Tomorrow was a big day because we were going to the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. We got up very very early this time to catch the tripping bus at school. The sun hadn’t risen up yet. Anyway, we were there just in time. We boarded the bus and had 4 hour trip. We saw cathedrals, churches, museums, they were all gorgeous. We fed ourselves from a bakery, what I actually surprised is that they are completely making different things from us. I expected some similarity but there were none. Yeah they are cooking some croissant and some pastry and types of it which we are familiar. But I can tell that they are different from us. Anyway, Vilnius was finished, we had dinner in a restaurant. Then headed back to joniskis. Tomorrow we were going to the swamp and were going to throw a goodbye party to romanians because they were leaving on thursday. But I was thinking of swamp, I couldn’t imagine it in my Head and I had some worries like, are we going to walk on swamp? Or what we are going to do? These popped up in my head. Then again I fell asleep while thinking them. We got up not that early this time, had breakfast and went to the school. When we are all thinking about swamp they distiracted with doing pumpkins for halloween. There were 4 pumpkins but we have been late so, the biggest one left for us. We shaped the pumpkin as we want. And then they asked us to do another presantation for the week. So we did and presented it. After that we went to swamp. It was an actual tramboline if you land on the dirt. You could jump on it if you like. But there was a place to walk from wood. So, my worries didn’t happen. We walked about 7 kilometers. We had a wonderful conversation while walking. At the end of walking, yeah it was finished but we were finished too. We boarded to bus and went to mansion to eat some meal and see around it. There was dumpling again. And then we went to home, got prepared and headed to the party. There were some chicken with a strange dessert. After that, we played musical chairs, lithuanians taught their games, italians taught their dances. We had so much fun at there. After hours we went home and got some rest. Tomorrow our certificates were going to be distributed. I was excited so much because I haven’t got one before. I was curious what is it about and how it will be. We slept, we got up and went to school right away. First Kasparas made me enter some lessons such as English and Math. Their system was distinct from ours but still we were seeing the same subjects. So, I joined lessons, took our certificates, said goodbye to romanians and after that we had so much free time. We played some volleyball, watched some volleyball matches and then there was evening. There was a festival for halloween. We took our pumpkin to place somewhere in festival. We threw darts, played games, walked, socialized more and then went to the Urte’s house all together. We listened to music, danced. It was a perfect day. And then my host, Kasparas came to take me to home. I was very upset that evening because week was ending. And I, probably we, wanted to this week was endless. Yeah, this 4 days was like a whole year to us but still it was ending. I fell asleep while dreaming the week. Today we were going to the capital of Latvia, Riga. Again, there was a tripping bus waiting us at school. We boarded it and got some rest. At there we saw Bremen Statue. I was seeing it for the first time. It was awesome. After that, we had some free time, we ate fast food with my friends and then went to shopping mall to take shoes. Having your own money and spending it without someones permission was wonderful. Anyway, we came together again and walked alittle more to the buses location. And then we went to Urte’s once again. This time, it was a goodbye party for us. We were leaving tomorrow. We just sat down and talked about the week. When time got late, we had to go. I hugged some of my friends that I will not see tomorrow, and then we left. At home, in the kitchen we had some conversation with Kasparas and his dad. He asked about Turkey, about the week. Answering all the questions made me relive the whole week. I was so emotional. Anyway, we talked, we went to our rooms and Kasparas gave me a gift for me and my family. I thanked him. Gathered all my stuff and prepared my bag to leave. And then I slept. We got up, had breakfast and went to school. My friends and their hosts was there. We walked into the school and tried our best to not cry. But we failed. Once they were leaving to their home, they said goodbye. We hugged, we took a last photo and then hugged again. After they’ve left we cried so hard that our hands were shaking. We calmed ourselves hardly. I mean this was the whole week and my emotions time by time. I just want to say that I want 1 more week. This is one type of experience that everyone should live.

Name: Yiğit Berat Yılmaz

My name is Yiğit Berat Yılmaz.I am 16 years old.I am Turkish.I am from Gaziantep.I live in Gaziantep.I am an 11th grade student at Yasemin Erman Balsu Anatolian High School.I traveled to Lithuania with the Erasmus Plus program.This trip was for 1 week.The flight dates covered 2 days.During this time I saw Lithuania and Latvia.I had the opportunity to see Lithuania 4 days and Latvia 1 day. In this feedback, I will tell you what I experienced in this whole process. My achievements, my feelings and what I learned. First of all, I was very excited and nervous on our flight to Istanbul. There were no problems with our plane departing from Gaziantep and we landed in Istanbul. After waiting for a while at Istanbul airport, it was time for our flight to Riga / Latvia. We arrived in Riga after a long 8hour flight. We waited for the driver to pick us up from the airport for a while. After finding the driver, we arrived at the town we were going to go with a 2-hour drive. The name of the town was Joniskis. The journey took 13 hours in total. The people who would host us were waiting in a parking lot. Everyone had met their host before. But I did not know him. It was very dark around. When I asked why, they said it was because of the war. I felt sorry for this situation. We put my suitcase in the car and took me to my house. We had a little chat with my new friend at night. He said he was tired and he was going to sleep, so I said okay. The first night was really hard. I couldn’t sleep in that bed because I was a little too clean and the house was cold. I hardly slept at night, bad Although I was in a bad mood, we went to school in the morning. I joined history lesson there and it really interested for me. We met other friends. Lithuanians showed us around town. We went to the basketball museum. It was interesting. They had cleaned the house when I got home. The house was not that cold. Mom and Dad were really nice people. Mom made a great meal. I was full at that dinner for the first time. I woke up early the next day . We went to the Vilnius. We saw churches and historical buildings. It was great. We came back to town at the end of the trip. In the evening, all the groups had dinner together. We spent time with other friends. We danced and had fun. We showed each other the games of our own culture and played. Everyone was very happy. I went to math class on Thursday. It was easy for me. Roman people were leaving that day. so they handed out our diplomas early. Their departure was really sad. After the novels had gone, we went to the halloween celebration in the square in the Evening. We carried the pumpkins we made earlier there. I carried them because there was no one to carry the pumpkins of the novels. It was really emotional. There were some games set in the square at the celebration. I played in one of them they gave me candy when i won .it was really nice behavior.we gathered at a friend’s house after was very fun.we went to Riga/Latvia on was a really great had excellent streets and avenues.I and my friends did some shopping there.I bought some very nice shoes. We arrived at the meeting place on time and saw beautiful streets. We had dinner at a restaurant in the evening. Then we returned to Joniskis. Friday evening was really sad. I loved Lithuania and especially my friends. It was really difficult to return. On Saturday we said goodbye to them and set off for Riga. We waited for our flight and I came back to my country with great experiences, great friendships and lots of memories.Thanks for everthing Lithuania <3

Name: Ceren Çevik

Actually i dont know where do i have to start. Seeing another cultures,countries,peoples were such a good experience for me. Lituanian culture was so different for us. Maybe because of the location of Lithuania, or maybe people i dont know. Lithuanian people was more aloof and unhospitable than Turkish people. But that doesnt mean they are not good. They were so kind to me. For example, my host were so kind and polite to me everyday. She helped me a lot. First i came to their city, she and her mother welcomed me nice. Their house was cute and tiny, and they have one dog and one cat. I loved their home and pets, they were so pretty. My first day at Lithuania was actually not that good. Because it took a litte time to get used to the weather,foods,people,country and the prices. Lithuania’s location is norther than Turkey so the weather was colder for Turkey. And all the Lithuanian person are blonde. First i couldn’t get use to it because generally Turkish people are brunette. Anyway; first day we went to school first. My host had a dance practice lesson or something so she brought me to their dance class. There was another girls to get ready for the dance show and they were knitting their hairs so i wanted to help them too and i knit two girls hair. That was funny actually. Then we came to the auditorium (which we had a lot of time here). They prepared for us like a welcoming ceremony. Lithuanian students sang a song, danced and did some another things like that,which is so thoughtful i think. After that they did us a school tour. I think their school was so cool and nice, I loved their school and education system. School had a big place to hobbys. Then we played some games which is special for our countries. We taught they our cultural games and dances, and they did it too. And then they showed their city,Joniskis. Joniskis is so tiny city i think because their population is 11.000 people. But Joniskis was so friendly and cute. Then we went to basketball museum. Basketball museum was so different experience for me because there was a man who is old and he was so funny and a little bit crazy. He gave us some clothes and balls then he took some photos of us and that was so crazy and funny. Then we saw some synagogues but because of there weren’t any jewish people, synagogues doesnt work now. After school my host Atene and some of her friends, we went to Urte’s home to hang. We ate mac and cheese and that was so delicious. And then i fortune-telled to every girl. We listened music and watched something. After that Atene’s mom brought us to their home and we slept. Second day we went to Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. Seeing Vilnius was really good experience for me. Because i think Vilnius reflects Lithuania better. We saw a lot of churches and they were so fancy. And i liked Vilnius’s city

plan because one side is modern and one side is more cultural and old. Vilnius is mix in two opposite sides. After tripping to Vilnius, we went to a fancy mansion for dinner. Food was okay, I didn’t liked Lithuanian cuisine actually so much. They eat chicken and pork so often and in our cuisine we dont eat any pork, sometimes chicken maybe. And because of the Lithuania’s location; most of the vegetables and fruits can’t grow in Lithuania, so they must take this food from abroad. In Turkey; we can farm most of the fruits and foods so we have so much choises and different foods.But in Lithuania they eat the same things again and again. For short; our cuisine is richer than Lithuania’s. But even they have few foods; the foods and meals weren’t that bad. Anyways, go back to the mansion. Mansion was so fancy and luxury I think and foods were fine. After dinner we go back to houses. On wendesday we entered some lessons and classes and that was pretty fun actually. I entered to chemistry class and we learnt some new things with in English. Then we did some pumpkin workshop for halloween. We had so much fun of this part of the day. After that we went to a swamp and walked like 7 kilometres. Actually when they said us that we are going to go a swamp, I said what? Because you know its a swamp, how can it be beautiful? But swamp was better than i expected. It was peaceful to walk in swamp for first 2 kilometres but after that it became boring i think. Because all we saw are just some trees that they cant grow enough. In the evening we had a party. We had a lot of fun in party and we played some games. We did the goodbye party on Wednesday because Romainans’s plane was on Thursday so we had a middle party actually. On Thursday we had a goodbye ceremony for Romanians and school gave us our certificates. We did our last presentations and say goodbye for Romanians. That was sad because we cant see each other again for the rest of our lives. After they left, we had a free time so we went to the big garden of school and played volleyball. And then we watched school’s volleyball tournament. That was fun too because we saw a lot of students and their daily lifes. Then we went to Urte’s home to sleepover. On friday we went to Riga, which is another capital city. Riga had more German effect on the city and buildings I think and i liked Riga’s buildings more. These were more developed city for Vilnius. We had a free time to eat and we went to mcdonalds and it was different from Turkey. I liked mcdonalds in Riga more. In Riga we went to baltic sea and the sea was so peaceful and pretty. Then we go back to our houses. And the goodbye morning. I cried a lot because i really gonna miss everything and everybody. Everybody was so kind and friendly to me.That was my week. I had a lot of fun, and experience. I saw a lot of culture and that was so beatiful to see because we had a lot of subjects to talk cause we are so different between us. We thaught each other our cultures. I learnt some Lithuanian, Italian and Romainian words and sentences. And I learnt these countries culture, lifestyle. I think every person should do erasmus+ at least one because I cant live an experience like this again in my ages. I wish i could go again. I will miss all of things in there forever…