Hey lovelies! It is time for another tag! Currently, I am on an Erasmus exchange program. I thought it would be fun to make a tag about this!
In February 2017 I decided I wanted a change. I had no motivation to do anything at all. I didn’t like going to school, I totally ignored this blog for a good year. I felt very useless. That’s why I thought I needed something different in my life. I needed to leave these people and this country and I craved something completely new. So, here I am writing this post in a cafe on campus in my university in Turkey, Eskisehir!
I thought doing a tag was a fun idea so, I came up with a few questions about studying abroad. Enjoy!
Q1. What country are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Turkey. My family and I moved to The Netherlands when I was 4.
Q2. Why did you decide to study abroad?
To be very honest the idea of studying abroad never really interested me. I wasn’t really into traveling that much. However, last year in December, I went to South Korea to visit a friend of mine who was studying there. She also has a blog, so if you are interested in knowing how she experienced studying there make sure to check it out!
I wanted to visit South Korea for 8 years and I was so excited to finally go there. Once I arrived, I fell in love. I traveled alone for the first time and I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t interested in traveling before. It opened my eyes to a new world and then I was like, I have to grab this change to study abroad!
Q3. In which country are you studying and why there?
I am currently studying in Eskisehir, Turkey at Anadolu University. My first choice was actually South Korea, but then I changed it to Turkey. I don’t remember the time I used to live here when I was a child, so I wanted to go back to my roots. Also, I have dual citizenship, (Dutch & Turkish) but I never actually really experienced living here. I wanted to know and understand how it would be like if I lived in the country I was born.
Q4. How do you experience the language barrier?
Funny fact, I do speak Turkish, but I am not fluent. At all. I understand 80% of what people say, so following a conversation is no problem at all. Talking, however, is a bit hard for me. When I moved to The Netherlands, I couldn’t speak Dutch, so I had to learn. People only spoke Dutch to me, so I forgot my Turkish. Another reason why I chose to study here, is so I could improve my Turkish.
Q5. What do you love and what do you hate the most about your host country.
Turkey is such a beautiful country and I forget that sometimes. The country has such beautiful sceneries and places to visit. I come here every year, yet I still discover so many new places. I love the culture. People are genuinely so nice. They always want to help you. I love how laid back life is here. In The Netherlands, I feel like a robot. Everybody has their daily routine and if that gets messed up, people panic. Here, nobody really has an agenda. We yolo our way through the days most of the time and I love that.
What I hate about Turkey is the traffic. There are no rules. Green light means go, yellow light means go and red light means go if you are sure you won’t die. People are impatient in traffic and honk at every little thing. There is no such thing here as waiting in line. Everybody just does whatever they please.
Q6. How is the food?
Let me tell you something about Turkish food. It is the most delicious shit ever. It’s amazing and I was planning to lose weight when I came here, but no. It’s not happening. Turkish food has a lot of carbs. We eat bread with E V E R Y T H I NG. Also, you will have a hard time finding vegetarian restaurants here. Turkish people are meat eaters. SO MUH MEAT. Have you ever seen Turkish breakfast. It is the most delicious thing ever.
Q7. How did you find your apartment?
We had to fill in a housing application send by Anadolu University. Students who would like to host Erasmus students also have to fill in one. There are requirements and preferences you have to fill in and by comparing the wants and need of both parties, the school links you with the most suitable roommates. It’s really nice. I live with 3 Turkish girls and we get along pretty well. We have movie nights all the time.
Q8. How do you deal with homesickness?
To be very honest, since I have gotten here, I have not been homesick at all. I thought I was going to miss everybody and that I was going to cry for days, but that did not happen. I met amazing people right at the beginning, made friends right away and got myself busy. The school organised activities and I attended them all. I talked to fellow exchange students even before school started, so I wouldn’t have to be alone on the orientation days. Just kept myself busy. Before I knew it, I got comfortable here and feeling homesick wasn’t needed.
Q9. How did you make friends?
Making friends during an exchange is the easiest thing ever. Seriously. All the exchange students feel the same, they want to make friends and feel comfortable. It’s also easier to make friends with them, because without even knowing them, you have so much in common already. You like to travel, meet new people and discover new cultures! Everybody is very social because come on, I would not have done an exchange program if I didn’t like meeting new people. What I also did was try to hang out with people before the orientation days. Have a coffee and visit places. You will have friends right away and it will be less scary.
Q10. What are the things you have to arrange before studying abroad and do you have any tips?
So, the most annoying thing about studying abroad is the paperwork. you have to get so many signatures from people. Learning agreement, resident permit, (not me) online application form, financial aid form, insurance and all the Erasmus papers. It literally doesn’t end so, make sure you get that done as soon as possible. You have to look for an apartment if the school doesn’t have space in their dormitories or a roommate matching program. Getting a Visa is also very important, it can take a long time before you get one, so apply for one when you are sure you are going to study abroad. Same for resident permit.
Tips I have is learn the language. You don’t have to be fluent, but know the basics. In Turkey, not many people know English and not knowing any Turkish will be problematic. Get to know the culture. Some stuff that seem normal to you can be rude in another country. Educate yo self. Do not forget to exchange your money. Look at the weather before you arrive! I got sick the first week, because I didn’t know it was still freezing in Eskisehir. Finally, stop worrying about not fitting in, feeling homesick and all that bullshit. You will have an amazing time and you will meet so many amazing people. You will make unforgettable memories and you will regret not having done this sooner. Believe me!
I hope you enjoyed this studying abroad tag! Let me know if you are interested in studying abroad!
Good Vibes Only~