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Comenius – mobility in Turkey 17.11.2013 – 23.11.2013

Sunday, November 17th

We set off very early in the morning to catch a minibus to warsaw Airport and then to catch a plane to Istanbul. On the way we think and talk about what is to come. We have some worries but also expectations. There are three of us – students – and three teachers. After a pleasant flight we land in Istanbul. From here we are taken by bus to Eskisehir. While entering Asia on Bosphor Bridge, we could see an endless stream of vehicles of every kind goin to or from Istanbul. Although we are a bit tired, the breathtaking view keeps us awake.
On the bus we are able to meet students from other countries (England, Romania, Bulgaria and France). During the three-hour ride we try to get to know them. When we arrive in Eskisehir it’s about midnight, and we are taken by our host families to their homes to spend our first night in Turkey.

Monday, November 18th

On Monday morning we are driven to TED Eskisehir Koleji, that is the school which will be the venue of our meetings and activities during the stay. Here the school authorities welcome all the participants of the Project. And then the first activities begin. For a start, each country made a short presentation of their own country, region and the town they come from. Thanks to those presentations we could grasp some idea about the differences and similarities of the foreign culteres and people.
Before lunch we had an opportunity to see how the art of marbling is performed. It’s a special kind of painting where water paints are used and the picture is made by immersing a sheet of special paper in the colourful water.
After a tasty lunch, we were shown around the school building. This made a great impression on us because the school is new, large, with lots of space and very well-equipped. Afterwards we went to the center of the city to do some sightseeing. There we were able to visit a muesum of meerschaum (kind of stone mined in the area) and objects made from it and a museum of glass. We could also admire the city centre with its River Porsuk. Then we went to our host families to spend the night.

Tuesday, November 19th

The second day of Project activities consisted in presentations of regional dances and singing a song typical of a given country. At first, we saw a show of a traditional Turkish wedding dances and customs. The lively and energetic music made almost everybody join in dancing. After that, each group made presentations of their own traditional and national dances. Each group presented one song from their country.

Wednesday, 20th November

The third day of our stay. We meet in the school building early in the morning. The day of the competition for the best logo of our project. Each nationality prepared their own ideas of the logo. Eventually, the Turkish concept is the winner. After that each group presented small exhibitions showing cuture and folklore of their homelands. After the presentations it was time to have lunch, which we had in a park resteraut in the city centre. During the lunch we could taste a Turkich traditional dish – ciborek. Afterwards, representations of each group went to a meeting with the local authorities, while the others could enjoy a stroll around the park.
In the afternoon we all went to the local planetarium, where we had an opportunity to see a display of models of some of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions. After that we went to see a short film about the beginnings of space explorations. The visit to the planetarium in Space House ended the day’s programme at school.
However, that was not the end of our day. After a short relax in our host families’ houses, we went out and, together with our Turkish friends, visited the city enjoying the atmosphere of local pubs and cafés and tasting some of Turkish delicacies there.

Thursday, 21st November

This is the fourth and last night we spent with our host families. At school, on this day we were given an opportunity to attend three lessons led by Turkish teachers. That was the time when we could see how splendidly the school is equipped. We were able to see Geography, English and Mathematics classes in progress.
After that everybody could take part in sports activities. Some of us played football, some basketball, others played tennis or table tennis. Still others went swimming in the school two swimming pools. Unfortunately, it was time to complete the project. At this moment all participants honored with the presence of the scool authorities took part in the ceremony of receiving the certificates of the Project. Sadly, it was the last moment we could all be together again.
After the events in the school we went back to our homes to get ready for our journey back home. While packing we said goodbye to our host families, for we had to get up very early next morning to leave for Istanbul.
We are absolutely sure that we will remember the time spent in Eskisehir till the end of our days. We will never forget the great hospitality of our Turkish friends, how kind they were to us and the exceptional culture of this beautiful country.

Friday, 22nd November
Friday began very early because we were leaving Eskisehir at 6 o’clock a.m. Before we got on the coach, with tears in our eyes, we said goodbye to our wonderful host families with whom we spent a lovely week. A few minutes past six we were on our way to Istanbul. At about 8 o’clock we had breakfast, and eventually arrived in Istanbul at about midday.
We started our sightseeing tour in Istanbul with visiting Hagia Sophia – a church from the fourth century, which later was changed into a mosque. But since 1935 it has been a museum so we all could go inside and admire its beautiful architecture. The guide told us the history of the place. After that we went to see the Cistern, a very interesting place which in the 6th century used to serve a well providing water for the city. After a traditional meal in a lovely, though crowded restaurant, we went to see the Topkapi Palace. This is the place where the rulers of the Ottoman Empire – sultans – lived and ruled the country. After a two-hour visit to the Palace we went to our hotel where we unpacked our luggages and had a short rest. In the evening we went out to take a look at the streets of this enormous metropolis. There we did our final shopping, had something to eat in a restaurant and returned to the hotel to spend the last night on the Turkish ground.



Saturday, 23rd November

We got up around 8:30 a.m., had breakfast consisting of another portion of Turkish delicacies. At the hotel we said goodbye to other groups who were leaving for the airport or coach station. Having a few hours before our flight back, we decided to soak in the atmosphere of Istanbul for the last time and took a walk along the streets, took some more pictures and returned to the hotel to finish our packing. At 12 o’clock we got on the bus to the airport. At the airport we had some time before we boarded the plane to Poland. It was time to review the photos we took during our stay, exchange opinions about the project. Time went past quickly and at 5:20 p.m. we were flying back to Poland leaving wonderful Turkey behind with a big regret and hoping we could return there soon.

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1 During my stay in Turkey I loved the openess of the people there. They are very helpful – whenever you needed help they were ready to offer it and did it with pleasure.
2 I like everything there.

3. The only thing that could be added to the mobility in Turkey is more sightseeing so that we could enjoy the atmosphere of the country in a greater extent.

4 The greatest benefit for me was the opportunity to develop my language skills. I started using my English for everyday communication. I was able to use my English to really talk to people in ordinary situations.