Traveling Around the World. First Stop: Türkiye

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Open your Instagram. What do you see? If your feed is flooded with people in the most exotic and far places, it means that you are one that aspires one day to travel the world.

This has been the case for Aydan, too.

Today we present to you the story of Aydan, and her story during the Global Volunteer exchange.

Choosing Global Volunteer

Aydan is a 20-year old student from Azerbaijan studying in Baku. Her major is in State and Public Relations. Her ambitions for choosing this course to study is so that she can improve the state of her country, by playing a key role in the development of Azerbaijan.

But how to achieve that?

Aydan was aware that the first step in improving the place you live starts with improving yourself. This is when she decided to go on a Global Volunteer project with AIESEC.

This sort of experience would provide her with many new opportunities and challenges, such as traveling for the first time by herself, experiencing culture shock, but also learn about another country and how they are dealing with challenges.

A key factor that Aydan was following was: Innovation.

Dealing with the local problems as always will not promise improvement. This was clear to Aydan. She wanted to see something new, and eventually be inspired by the solutions another country came up with, to implement later on in Azerbaijan.

Choosing Türkiye

When it came to choosing the place where Aydan would have her exchange, she chose Türkyie.

Aydan did her homework and researched about all the places she could go with AIESEC in Azerbaijan. Throughout her research, she concluded that Turkyie would be the best fit for her.


The first thing that caught Aydan’s attention was the beauty of Türkiye, and more precisely, the beauty of Izmir, the city she volunteered in.
She wanted to convince herself about the true beauty of the region, and explore what Izmir had to offer.

Additionally, since Türkiye and Azerbaijan share some cultural and linguistic similarities, Aydan assumed the cultural shocks would be minimal and she would have less surprises.

However, despite the shared number of cultural, historical, and linguistic ties Azerbaijan and Turkiye have, differences don’t fall short.

Aydan was, therefore, taken by surprise regarding some rules in Turkiye, and food customs.

But these were not her biggest challenges.

Choosing the project

Thanks to AIESEC, Aydan learned more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and its implications.

If you, too, want to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals, check out our blog here.

Her knowledge about the SDG determined her to choose a project dedicated to Quality Education, as education is something Aydan strongly believes in.

Educating the children in the center she had sessions in, was not an easy task. For someone who isn’t used to delivering sessions for children, it can be a big task to grab everyone’s attention.

Yet, as time passed, Aydan grew more and more confident.

“The center has been of great help. The people there were very supportive, and I found ways to reinvent myself. I was doing things I didn’t believe before were possible.” – says Aydan.

Another support group for Aydan was the other exchange participants with AIESEC.

“I met many new friends through AIESEC. I was a bit afraid in the beginning. It was my first time traveling abroad alone, and I had no idea what to expect. The other volunteers with AIESEC became, however, in this short period of time close friends of mine, and suddenly, I wasn’t afraid anymore. We later on explored Izmir and the surrounding areas, and it felt liberating. I was in a foreign country, making foreign friends, getting familiarized with everything around me. But the one thing I got familiar with the most, is myself. As weird as it sounds.”


Aydan finished her Global Volunteer exchange achieving all the points she targeted. From exploring a new country, learning new ways of dealing with issues, discovering her potential, and marking a new stepstone for the children she educated during her project.

“I am glad I took the opportunity, despite the unknown being a source of fear for me. I am happy I didn’t let this fear dictate the direction I was going for,” said Aydan. 

If you want to experience a similar exchange story as Aydan, just like her, don’t let your fear stop you. Instead, follow your dreams. One step at a time.

If your dream is about reinventing yourself, improving your country, and expanding your horizons, why not start with Global Volunteer?


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