The Agora in Bucharest will definitely be exciting for Zeynep Ozan. The AEGEE-Ankara will not only visit her first Agora ever, but also run for a position on European level – for the task of Civic Education Working Group Coordinator. Zeynep will however not be the only candidate: also Aynur Hasanzadeh (AEGEE-Leiden) and Izabella Khanzratyan (AEGEE-Yerevan) are competing in this particular election.

Golden Times: Where would you be now if you hadn’t joined AEGEE?
Zeynep Ozan: Well, first of all I wouldn’t be able to meet amazing people all around Europe and be a part of good projects. I am sure that I would be looking for other social responsibility or youth projects and continue to do academic stuff.

GT: How did you join AEGEE exactly? How did you find out about it?
Zeynep: In my campus I have always seen flyers of AEGEE-Ankara for their regular meetings at the beginning of semesters. Although I have always wanted to join a year earlier, because of my projects and internships I just couldn’t find the right time and I joined AEGEE in October 2018. Since then, I am an active member.

GT: How long did it take you from the first moment until you signed the membership form and joined AEGEE?
Zeynep: It took only a couple of days until the next project group meeting.

GT: What’s the typical drink and food you bring to European Nights?
Zeynep: Of course Rakı as a drink and Leblebi as a snack. It is like an unspoken rule among Turkish people.

GT: What was your first position in the local board?
Zeynep: My first task in my local was to organize SUPS. I was in the coordination team as a secretary, but assisted the project in every aspect. I haven’t had a position in my local board yet.

GT: What was your first Agora and how did you feel there?
Zeynep: Agora Bucureşti is going to be my first Agora.

GT: Have you ever hitchhiked to an AEGEE event?
Zeynep: Hitchhiking to an event sounds exciting! I did it a few times during vacations, but did not consider it for an event. I can give it a try.

GT: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Zeynep: Fruits, cheese and tuna.

GT: What do your parents think about the idea that you are so active in AEGEE?
Zeynep: I am so happy that they have always been very supportive of me. They really enjoy when I share my tasks and experiences with them about AEGEE.

GT: In a typology of members there are the three aspects fun member, career member and idealist – to which percentage are you which of these aspects?
Zeynep: I am a fun person – at least this is what my friends are saying. I like to talk to people, hang out and make jokes, but when it comes to work I am an idealist since I want to do things properly. So I am 50% fun, 35% idealist and 15% career oriented member, I would say. I like it that we are developing soft skills for our career in the background during our work in AEGEE and it is how I like it, not as the biggest concern but naturally in the background we equip and develop good skills.

GT: What other hobbies do you have aside from AEGEE?
Zeynep: I do love sports and the arts! I love to swim, visit museums, take photographs and to paint.

GT: Did you consider joining a political party or maybe want to do it later?
Zeynep: Actually, I was participating in panels and discussions with party members when I find chance. In Berlin I also enjoy listening to the candidates for the EP elections for instance. But for now, I do not want to do more than that. Maybe later I can take some action, who knows.

GT: What do you study – and why?
Zeynep: I do study International Relations and I choose to study in this field to develop myself constantly in understanding the changing world around us and to interpret and critically think about the social, cultural and political dynamics in it.

GT: What’s your dream job?
Zeynep: I can’t describe my dream job with a title. I just want to be in something, which touches on people’s lives and helps them to realize their capacities. When I worked with children and young people, to see how they developed in terms of their abilities and soft-skills made me always very happy. In this sense, I think NGOs or policy-making bodies regarding to my concerns are the best places for me to work in to be a part of the change and progress.

GT: What’s the favourite city or place on this planet you ever visited?
Zeynep: There are still too many places I want to visit in our beautiful world to decide on this. But to be in the Mediterranean cities always makes me feel good.

GT: And where would you really like to go?
Zeynep: I want to visit Egypt and also want to see the Great Barrier Reef. When I was a kid, I was a big fan of National Geographic magazine and whenever I see the pictures of these places I mesmerized. I want to visit South America as well. I am especially curious about Argentina and Brasil.

GT: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is for me…”
Zeynep: AEGEE is for me more than just a student organisation. It is a big family.

GT: How would you describe yourself in a few keywords?
Zeynep: I like to take responsibilities and I am paying attention to details. I also like to motivate and encourage people in their works. I love to listen to and share experiences and learn from people.