Thursday, July 5, 2012

Exchange report Turkey

I made an exchange report after my exchange year in Spain and also after Turkey I Wrote one. Also this time I translated it from Finnish to English for you . By clicking "read more" below you can read the whole report.

Leaving and orientation

I decided to do my second exchange year on fifth year of my studies. The only thing what was missing from graduation was master thesis. I wanted to go for another exchange year because I find going abroad easier during studies than in the working life and hopefully experience in foreign country gives me a competetive advantage in the job market. I went to exchange through program called Campus Europae and chose Turkey because it was the most different and exotic country compared to my home country and my previous destination Spain. Also some Turkish people had recommended me Turkey.

I arranged my exchange by myself by sending email to the Erasmus cordinator of Gazi university. She replied me fast and adviced me to fill in the necessary docments for exchange year and welcomed me as an exchange student to their university. Before going to exchange I terminated the contract of my student flat in Joensuu because I was not planning to return to Joensuu after finishing the exchange year. I did not look information what courses Gazi university was offering before going because I knew from my previous experience that it would be easier to make the studying plan when I arrive to Ankara. Also I had freedom to take any courses because I had already completed all my obligatory courses and I could be writing my master thesis.

I arrived to Ankara a bit late because I had to complete my Erasmus internship in Spain first. Other exchange students told me that they had an orientation day but coming late was not a big problem. There was less than 30 exchange students in the university of Gazi but in other universities of Ankara there were more exchange students. Generally exchange students were treated better in other universities than in Gazi university but we got also some help from our university. I guess the biggest difference was that Gazi university did not have ESN which organizes activities to the exchange students. Before arriving I managed to find a tutor from a facebook group to which Campus Europae student representative had invited me. My tutor helped me especially in the first day and we also hanged out later.


Before arriving to Ankara university had informed me about the possibility to stay in student dormitory. I was not attracted about that option because in Turkey there are staying 2 – 10 students in the same room, you cannot bring guests and there are more strict rules what you have to follow. I did not even book hotel before arriving to Ankara. In tbe first day with the help of my tutor I managed to find a flat which I shared with two Spanish guys and one Turkish guy.


Especially the first semester I actively participated to the Turkish language lessons. 30 hours of Turkish lessons were offered every week so after few months I learned to speak some Turkish which I kept improving little by little during my whole stay. My courses at my faculty were supposed to be in English but two out of four were given in Turkish though books were in English. The excuse why professor gave the lessons in English was that students did not have good enough English to follow her lessons in English. In reality her English was weak when she tried to give lessong in English. Other professor's English was good but two professors focused mainly reading material in English instead of explaining in their own words. In Gazi university there were not many courses available in English.


During the whole year I had things to do. I considered starting to play ice hockey in a team but finally it was not possible because training times were bad and getting equipment was not possible. In Turkish many Finnish players could actually make living as level of Turkish ice hockey league is not that high. Naturally I also travelled in Turkey and saw different parts of Turkey. I found many friends in Turkey. Turkish were very interested in getting to know foreign people . Turkey is definetely a different country than Finland but the gap between western countries and Turkey was not as big as I expected. During my stay I did not suffer a big culture shock.

As I had learned Spanish during my first year I integrated to the group of Spanish exchange students. I think that during my exchacge the most I was speaking spanish. I also spent time with Turkish who were not able to communicate in English so I had to get along with them only speaking in Turkish. I was able to communicate well with one person but following converation of a group in Turkish was difficult. Before going to Turkey I knew to expect that getting into a Spanish group would slow me down in learning Turkish but I still got sucked in a Spanish group.

Final words

I am happy that I decided to go for an exchange year to Turkey. I got to know many new people, learned new language and learned new culture. Getting help and feedback for making my master thesis was more difficult than I expected. Getting replies from the instructor with delay and his little interest did not help me much for completing my master thesis.  

1 comment:

  1. But I can say that you learned much more things than the other Erasmus guys and learned Turkish well for short time, That was great time with you I had lots of fun