Global Awards 2020 Winner Interview: Aybike Aydemir
Congratulations on winning the members' choice Global Award! How does it feel?
Being rewarded for our efforts was a wonderful feeling. Being rewarded and supported, motivates us Ambassadors and Consuls a lot. It was an honor for all of us, and it made me very happy.
What inspired you to get involved as an Ambassador in your community?
When I first became a member of InterNations, it was my dream to be an Ambassador. I'm happy that my dream came true. What inspires me as an Ambassador is that I love to connect with people from different cultures. I always try my best to prove to my community that we can understand each other and have fun with each other, even though we belong to different cultures.
In your own words, what is the role of an Ambassador?
The role of an Ambassador? Making people come together! Encourage them to build bridges between themselves and with other people who are coming from different cultures, support them, motivate them. Being open to the other cultures, being tolerant, respectful, and exchanging cultures is a good key to create a peaceful world.
The past year has been challenging with the sudden change to online life but you have excelled in hosting many events and activities in your community. How did you adapt to the online experience and keep the community spirit alive?
It was easy for me to adapt to the online experience, because meeting with lovely people from all over the world makes me very happy. Besides, I want to emphasize that my community manager and the head quarters encouraged me a lot. As we had a hard year because of the pandemic, I always thought about how to give people hope and how to cheer them up, when organizing my virtual events. I always tried to come up with different ideas to be able to reach more people. I always tried to be creative. I think that's how I kept the community spirit alive. Getting united beyond borders motivated me a lot and I always believe in our motto "nobody stands alone".
What can members expect from your events?
When people join my events, they always feel the "positive vibes". We talk, laugh, dance, and share with each other. Sometimes we also share our problems. People's expectations and characteristics are different from each other, some people are extroverts, some people are introverts. But they all enjoy their time at the event when I'm singing.
How has InterNations helped you?
I have become more confident. I've experienced that I can make people happy, especially when I'm singing. I have started to sing in many languages. Exchanging cultures through art creates tolerance, empathy, and peace.
What makes the InterNations community so special? Why would you encourage others to get involved as an Ambassador or Consul?
Our community is special because it's an expat community. Wherever we travel or move, being surrounded by our members, will always make us feel like we are not alone. We'll always feel that we are at home. We are a team, and we always will be. I would encourage people to get involved as an Ambassador, because it's a wonderful chance to discover yourself and the hidden "leader" in you.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.