Erasmus Expat Student in Turkey – Expat Interview
How does a foreign student feel in Turkey? What they like and dislike about Turkey? Read Natalia’s expat interview about her experience as an Erasmus Student in Turkey. Take her tips on how to make the best out of your stay in Turkey.
Here is what she says about herself:
Originally from Serbia, I moved to Italy when I was 19 years old. I have been living in Turkey for my Erasmus Exchange Program and it was one of the most amazing time of my life. So amazing that I would come back any time.
In which Turkish city you lived and for how long?
I was living in Ankara in 2014 for 6 amazing months.
How did you discover Turkey? What made you choose Turkey for your Erasmus Exchange Program?
I firstly came to Turkey in 2007. It was for a volunteer camp in the south of Turkey and since then I am in love with Turkey. When my sister got married in Turkey I was searching for a way to be near her and Turkey, so I was very happy when I found out that there is also an Erasmus Exchange Program between my University (Bologna) and Ankara University.
Was it hard to get residency permit? How did you manage all the paperwork?
Getting the residence was a bit hard…I wouldn’t know the situation now but I had to come in front of the police station around 4 am just to take the number for the appointment that was the same day…Try to get as much information about your type of permit so you don’t go unprepared.
Do you have some tips on moving to Turkey? How to deal with cultural differences, what to expect?
Read, read and read! This doesn’t mean only for Turkey but for any country. Turkish culture is not far from mine so for me wasn’t hard to get used to their way of living.
Did you have some kind of cultural shock experiences when you came to live in Turkey?
I cannot think of any cultural shock or big adjustment that I had to do when I arrived in Turkey.
What did you enjoy most about Turkey?
What did enjoy least about Turkey?
Was it easy to make friends as a foreigner in Turkey?
Since I was there as an Erasmus student and I had my sister there, I had lots of friends from the beginning..but Turkish people are usually easygoing and it is easy to get inside of Turkish community.
Did you feel accepted by Turkish people?
From my first visit to Turkey, I felt accepted..they are very open, ready to help if you are in need and they are happy to meet new people and new cultures. Turkish people are one of the warmest people that I have ever met.
How did you find art scene and museums in Turkey? How did you spend your free time? Nightlife in Turkey?
In Turkey, you can find everything. They have an amazing history so museums are a must in Turkey..and not only in Istanbul but also in smaller towns (and these towns are actually some kinds of museums)…Also for the nightlife I think that you can find every kind of going outs-gatherings in homes, night clubs, chilling out in parks, high-class rooftop parties…Turkish people like to talk especially with boiling glass of tea, so don’t miss this one! You can find really everything!
Generally, how did you feel in Turkey? Did you feel safe/unsafe, happy/unhappy?
I was feeling happy, even though because of some protest I was feeling unsafe in some moments. But overall I felt great, welcomed and loved. I wouldn’t change anything.It is great just as it is.
How was your experience with Ankara University, professors and what do you think educational system in Turkey?
My experience about education system was great. Professors are open, ready to teach in an innovative way and very approachable. They use American system of studying that I personally liked. I had European scholarship that was enough for me…Turkey is not that expensive country to live in (it also depends on the lifestyle you have.).
Anything else you would like to add about your expat experience in Turkey?
I adore Turkey! I love that they gather all the time, they are very sociable and it is a question of culture. I love that they didn’t get too much into western way of life even though you can find some very modern parts in all country, but important thing is that people didnt change and they are still warm and amazing humans. I would go back any time.People are great, food is amazing, culture is rich-What else would you look for. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this Interview with an Erasmus student in Ankara and her experiences in Turkey. Did you find out something that might be helpful for you?
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