Kübra in Bremen / 1st Report

Under the influence of the culture I was born and raised in, I always felt that I had to finish school first and foremost; high school, university, then master’s, doctorate, business life…

Like every Turkish student, I was unintentionally getting lost in the future-oriented career plans I was making. Yes, I loved my life there. At an early age, I left my family home, my

hometown and went to a big city like Istanbul to study at a boarding school. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. It made me the person I am today, changed my

approach to things and created a person who learned to stand on her own feet. Right after that I started university. I learned German for a year, I was exposed to German language

and German culture for a year with the influence of German professors. So it was already clear that I would live in Germany at some point in my life. But of course I did not expect it to

happen so fast. After the preparatory class was over, I started my major, but when I started to the second year, I thought it would be good for me to take a break and take some time for

myself and I discovered volunteering projects abroad. Of course, I was very proud to be accepted from the first project I applied for and especially to be able to do the interview in

German 🙂 Thus, my journey to Bremen began. I had a lot of question marks in my head before I came, I came knowing very little, but this uncertainty excited me a lot. A new

country, a new language, new home, new friends… I was so excited and felt so special to be selected for such a project.


Although I have been involved in a number of activities and projects before, Friedehorst, the organization I work for now, is my first official and serious job. I work with people with

disabilities in a leisure center and we have a lot of fun together playing games and also I help organize events in there. We only speak German at my workplace and this is a big

challenge for me, because even though I learned German in Turkey, speaking German is like nothing else. I think I have overcome the shock of not being able to speak German when

I first arrived and my German has improved a lot -although I am still struggling-. And the initial shock taught me that speaking the same language is not the only way to get along with



The people where I work, my colleagues, my boss, I get along well with everyone and I am so happy to work with them. They support me and help me in everything. They are also

curious about Turkish culture and ask me questions all the time.


There are many volunteers in Bremen besides me. Everyone comes from different countries, different cultures and one of the things I enjoy the most is having conversations with them:

“This is how it is for us, how is it for you?”. It excites me a lot to see the similarities and differences of our cultures. We spend time together, we go to the park by bike, we have real

movie nights with our projector, we cook together, we share a lot. For example, we celebrated New Year’s Eve together. Four different countries gathered around a table and everyone cooked their traditional food. It was one of my best days here. I also had the opportunity to travel a lot since I arrived. I went to Amsterdam, Gröningen with my friends, we visited the small towns near Bremen, I had the opportunity to visit big cities in Germany like Munich and Berlin. I have many more travel plans in my mind. Fortunately there is time for everything.

One of the most beautiful things that volunteering has taught me is that there is always time for everything. I met many people both here and at the events I attended and I realized that

everyone comes from very different cultures, has a different background, has different goals in life and everyone is striving to realize their dreams. So it is not a problem to go outside

this “typical career plans” I mentioned at the beginning. Life is my life, and the best question to ask is “If not now, when?”


Of course, everything may not always go well. Everyone has their ups and downs. When I first arrived, I felt lonely and honestly I didn’t expect to be so alone. But then I turned it into

an advantage and learned how to be alone. Then I met other volunteers and I realized that if you have friends who can make you laugh even when you are depressed, everything really

works out.


Big changes always excite me a lot. The first day of university, the first night in my tiny apartment in Istanbul, a new job, visit a new place, start to learn a new language… I have

been in Bremen for three months and every single day I discover something new, meet people, learn German words. I especially like the fact that every day is different from the

previous ones.


As a result, I am glad that I took a break from school and made this very spontaneous decision, that I defied the typical career plans and threw myself into the unknown. One of my

favorite words in German: Fernweh. I learned this word in my prep class and it translates as longing for far away. I am proud of myself being here and encouraging myself to explore far

away and I am looking forward to read Kübra’s new experiences in the next report in a few



Bis später,



Kübra is hosted by Friedehorst Teilhabe Leben gGmbH on our project financed by the European Solidarity Corps and Jugend für Europa.