“It was 17th of June, 2017 when I boarded the flight from Karachi to Istanbul. I was already quite excited about my exchange internship in Eskisehir which is a small city in Turkey. At the same time, I was ecstatic to meet the people with whom I had recently interacted on social media. After 12 hours of constant traveling, I finally reached my destination where I was greeted by two AIESEC members. By that time, I had already started getting hints of the warmth and hospitality that the local people of Turkey possessed.
My project required me to work with people differently abled than us. I had to work four days a week. To be honest, I did not like my workplace in my first few days there. This was because I felt like I was having a hard time in adjusting and adapting to the new environment. However, gradually things changed. I started feeling more at home especially because of the hospitality of the people there and soon, a special bond was built.
On weekends, I used to visit different cities. On my first weekend, I visited Ankara and Cappadocia. Next, I went to Izmir and Pammukale. After that, I went to Bursa to visit my best friend Bilal whom I haven’t had met in many years. Meeting him after a while was truly an inexplicable feeling.
Now I will talk about the people I met there. I made some amazing friends like Firdaus, Rajae, Ijlal, Shoaib, Amal and Laila. In a short span of time, these people became practically like my family. Apart from this, Buket, Nadia, Burken, Hazal, and Ozgy are some other people I met through AIESEC who grew really close to my heart. The number of people I have named is an underestimation of the actual figure of people I have met through this journey while each of those have left a mark on me in one way or another.
I loved the culture and the people there. They tend to respect Pakistanis quite a lot. Moreover, their food is also pretty scrumptious especially Iskender, Durum, Doner, and Kebap.
I now call Istanbul my second home and I would absolutely love to visit it someday soon. This journey has given me some great memories that I will always cherish and remember. In the end, I would like to thank AIESEC for giving me this wonderful opportunity to represent Pakistan at a global level. I was wonderfully able to convey my local culture while simultaneously absorbing so much about the other cultures.”
Author: Shehzad Nisar Sheikh