Earlier this month, as part of our annual Job Fair event, Spirit paired up with our partner agent Yero in Turkey for an exciting evening of socializing and networking. Read more about this great event below!
Spirit has been of the cultural exchange community for seventeen years, which means that we have former participants from as far back as 2002 all across the globe! In an effort to bring some of these alumni together to connect and share their experiences, Spirit and our partner agent Yero International Education hosted an alumni event in Ankara, Turkey that attracted roughly eighty former participants.
This event was also attended by Yero staff, Spirit representatives Hope and Tina, employers from Noah’s Ark Water Park, Safeway, Wilderness Resort, and Wilderness at the Smokies, and two members of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.
The employers enjoyed having a chance to reconnect with their former J-1 participants and hearing about what they’ve been up to since returning to Turkey.
Davut K., who attended Spirit’s program in 2008 and again in 2009, brought his wife and two kids. In fact, there were many kids who attended the event with their alumni parents!
Two alumni, one Turkish and one Moldovan, shared their story about how their met on the Summer Work Travel program, returned to their respective countries, stayed in touch, and are now looking to train in the hospitality industry on Spirit’s J-1 Internship Program.
There was also a former participant who went on to become an English teacher in Turkey after gaining confidence and experience speaking English on the Work Travel program.
Maggie, a representative from Wilderness Resort, visits her former participants every year during the Job Fair and enjoyed seeing alumni both old and new all in one place this year!
Attendees enjoyed snacks, coffee, tea, a drawing for a Fitbit, and plenty of conversation upon entry. Spirit representative Tina gave a speech welcoming the alumni and explaining our long history of cultural exchange partnership with Yero, who created a slideshow of pictures from all alumni in attendance. Even the alumni had a chance to take the microphone and share memories of their J-1 experience in the U.S.
It was a great way to strengthen the cultural exchange community in Turkey, and it was exciting to learn how our alumni have used their experiences on the Work and Travel program to achieve a bright future.
Special thanks to Yero for getting the word out to our alumni and for helping to make this event special for all who came!