My Journey from Turkey to Sweden with ESC

– Ezgi Basaran

Life has a way of presenting us with unexpected opportunities at the most crucial times. My journey with the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) began during a period of uncertainty and pressure in Turkey. Working for my family’s software and design agency while studying at university, I felt the weight of an unfulfilling career path looming over me.

Discovering ESC
It was during a heart-to-heart with a friend that I first heard about the ESC programs. The idea of stepping away for a year to explore different cultures and career paths was immensely appealing. I wanted to find what truly resonated with me in life, and ESC seemed like the perfect avenue to do so.

Applying and the Waiting Game:
Excited, I returned home and immediately started searching for opportunities. That’s when I stumbled upon an opening at Öppna Kanalen Kronoberg, which perfectly matched my skills. I sent my motivation letter and applied. During the waiting period, another project caught my eye – SIP Practical Team. Little did I know, both were under the same umbrella.

Acceptance and Challenges
Soon after, I received the life-changing news: I was accepted as a volunteer at Öppna Kanalen Kronoberg. But as a Turkish citizen, the journey wasn’t straightforward. Unlike my peers who only needed a visa, I had to apply for a Swedish residence permit, a process that typically takes three months.

Supportive Systems
Thankfully, the procedure went smoothly, thanks to the helpfulness of both the Swedish Migration Office and the consulate in Istanbul. Their guidance was invaluable, and after three months, I received my permit.

Arrival in Sweden
Upon arriving in Sweden, I was eager to immerse myself in the EU culture and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

A Pleasant Surprise
As I write this blog post, I’ve received yet another exciting piece of news. Martin, the leader of SIP’s Practical Team, informed me that I would also be working with them for three weeks in the summer. It turns out, I’ll be experiencing not just one, but two ESC programs that I had only applied for.

In the picture a glimpse of Karlskrona captured by Ezgi.