When I used to tell people that Milan was my favorite city in Italy, their confused looks said a lot, I never understood why.
Coming from a big city, Milan was packed with everything I wanted and needed and I had the best memories there. After visiting other cities in Italy as well and falling in love with the country, I was sure that I wanted to spend my Erasmus plus internship there.
As I was searching for EU internships, I came across this friendly organization, Extramus which was located in a tiny town. I was well aware that this would not be Milan, but would be the genuine Italian experience. This time my expectations were different, I knew what I was getting myself into.
But to be honest, my summer internship was way harder than I expected in the first week. Even if you have all the information you need beforehand, it may be hard to adjust to a new environment. In my first week, I did not know what to do or how to spend time here. People were telling me to wait for a couple of days and it will all get better and I would start enjoying it.
And here I am, finishing my 3rd week in Terranova da Sibari, and have no clue how fast the time passed. This is not a holiday, not just Erasmus; but a wholesome Italian experience.
Coming here I did not expect to go out so much since it is a tiny town, and I was happy that I would have time to focus on my studies and do some reading.
While I expected a quieter existence in this small town, Terranova da Sibari had other plans in store. Every day here pulses with life, orchestrated by the spirited locals who never let a day slip by without a celebration. This hospitality, though different from what I’ve known in my homeland of Turkey, has a unique charm.
You don’t need to know a word in Italian, their sincerity and caring are enough to carry on the best communication.
Now I know why they were right about Milan. It’s a big, beautiful city full of energy; but Terranova da Sibari has a real Italian soul. I am getting to know Italy as if it’s my first time and still getting amazed by it. It is the people that make the experience awesome.
No matter where you’re from, what language you speak, or what you expect from here; they make you feel like you belong.