My EVS experience transformed my personality

Being an EVS volunteer was not only living in another country and meeting new people, but it was also a spiritual journey to find out who I am.

My name is Nadia. I am from Armenia. I couldn’t imagine that one year in the Turkey  will change my life from inside out. I strongly believed that my decision to accept the challenge to be an EVS volunteer  was the best decision I ever made and the best investment. Now when I can reflect everything that I learnt and the changes I experienced in my personal and professional development because I was determined to do it, I can only confirm that the experience as an EVS volunteer exceeded my expectations.

I spent my EVS in GENCTUR, Istanbul. Istanbul: The city of my dreams.  When I started to learn Turkish I just dreaming to live in this city. And I tried to do my best to find an EVS in Istanbul. City which has a  amazing historical places, museums, palaces, where you can feel past and present.




I’ve been so lucky to work with such great people: people that are such hard workers and have such a respect and appreciation for one another. We were like a small family in the heart of amazing Istanbul.

GENCTUR is active in voluntary field for 38 years.  Main activity area is short term international voluntary work camps.  Our work is with camps and EVS. The first months were mainly dedicated to this, getting to know the place, the people, the way people work and of course, how we organize our working time. With my volunteer colleague  Sakina from France  our first move was

  • to learn how to interview with youngs who wants to be EVS volunteer, to give them information about EVS, how to write CV and Motivation Letter.
  • Later we started to work with camps as well. I was responsible for replacement of teenage camps.


  • Apart of all these I also volunteered in other things, supported my colleagues in their works
  • Went to universities  to present EVS program and work camps.

  • During my EVS I also leading English speaking club in the sister organisation of Genctur YASOM.

Yasom became my second hosting organistation and I took part in different kind of activities with YASOM volunteers. Which gave me some opportunity to meet new people and make a lot of friends.



  • The best part of my EVS was the summer camp in August called “East-West Camp” in Izmir, Afacan. Afacan is like a heaven. When you enter into the gates of camp place you should leave everything behind you just  enjoy your time in Afacan.



  • This camp five me very nice opportunity to be as member of coordinator team and gain such a good experiences and meet amazing youngs all over Turkey and from Europe. I have a dairy and maybe 30 pages I wrote about my camp experience and my feelings.


And of course I took time to travel around the Turkey, meeting new people during our seminars and travels and discovering places I would have never thought to go to!

Turkey is a  country where you have a lot of places to explore and even my one year was not enough for me but I tried my best.





Turkish national garment.

The next great day in my life during my EVS was in 11 of  November  Istanbul 40th Marathon, where all our colleagues  took part in for one project called “Childhood Dreams”. This was my first long race 10KM and I never forget about it and also we run from Asia to Europe and it was  also nice experience.


It is really very hard for me to write here all my experiences and feelings just I highly recommended all youngsters never escape this opportunity. If you really want to improve your abilities and discover new horizons, EVS is certainly the best choice. This is because, from my experience, my EVS changed my life, helped me to  somehow change my way of thinking and also to improve my English and Turkish  skills and to develop my personal skills.My EVS experience made me to be more tolerant, to listen and understand people much better, to understand and to learn new cultural differences, to learn from people with different backgrounds and different kinds of perspectives. EVS is an experience that impacts your whole life. Now I know better what diversity of the world means. I have a new vision and perception about it.


I really like to say  that – “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving”. I did it, you can do it as well. Move always, as much you can, as far you can go, trust in yourself and believe in your dreams. Take a risk, take all the good opportunity that comes to you and never regret. Meet new people, make new friends, think global and never limit yourself.