Can you please introduce yourself briefly? How long have you stayed in Turkey? Where do you live in Istanbul?
Hey, my name is Stan and I studied Business Administration at the Yeditepe University in Istanbul. I came from Netherlands and my university there was Windesheim Flevoland. I lived in Kayisdagi close to my University. I stayed around 6 months in Istanbul.
Tell us what made you choose to attend Erasmus in Turkey?
I didn’t actually plan to do Erasmus in Turkey. So, it was a gamble to choose Turkey. But the main reason for choosing Turkey is different culture and adventure.
How were your thoughts before coming to Turkey?
I didn’t have much thoughts about Turkey. Before I came to Istanbul, I only had been to Bodrum. But I knew Istanbul would be much different from Bodrum.
Did you undergo any culture shock in Turkey?
Yes, somethings were of course different than those in my own country. For example, the Turkish food. Also, I had to remind myself constantly to put my shoes off when I was entering someone’s house.
How was your first week in Turkey and at the university?
The first week was a kind of chaotic week but also a very nice week. It was chaotic because my courses where unknown. Also, I moved from the dorms to an apartment close to my University. It was a nice week because I met a lot of nice people.
What do you think about education facilities in Marmara University?
It was different than my University in Holland. At the Yeditepe University, the campus is bigger and the facilities are variable.
When comparing two universities’ academicians, (former college and Yeditepe) are there any differences in terms of their approaches to students?
I think in both university’s the teachers are approachable.
How do you find the courses you take during the program?
I think the courses were quite easy. Because my English level was fine so I could manage all my courses.
Can you communicate effectively with local people? How did you manage to solve the
I was taking some Turkish language courses at my university. Beside those courses, I was also trying to learn some Turkish. Because I put some afford in it so I was able to speak some basic stuff with the local people.
Did you get used to the transportation system of the city and the place you stay in terms of accommodation?
I always used the bus from my University to Kadikoy. I went a lot to Kadikoy to hang out with my friends. In the weekends, we went to Taksim with the dolmus. It was really fun to travel by dolmus with that many people.
“I noticed Turkish people are calling each other a lot.”
Can you tell us some cultural and social differences between your hometown and the place you live in?
There are many cultural differences. For example, if a Turkish man meet each other they give each other a kind of kiss on the cheek. Besides that, I noticed Turkish people are calling each other a lot.
What do you think about Turkish cuisine?
I really like Turkish food now. In the beginning, it was kind of strange for me. I really liked the Turkish breakfast. Also, I liked a ‘Islak Burger’ after a party. And the most delicious food was ‘ballı dürüm’. Ballı dürüm is a dürüm with honey. It sounds strange but it’s really nice. There is only one place that was selling this dürüm. There were also things I didn’t liked. For example, ‘kokorec’ and ‘mantı’ (the thing with the yogurt).
How is the city in terms of living conditions as an Erasmus student?
I think it’s good. Only to buy alcohol is kind of expensive.
“There is always life in the city.”
What do you think about the social life in Istanbul?
It is really good. There is always life in the city. For example, in Kadikoy there are a lot of bars and restaurant to hang out and meet people.
How is the social life in the university campus?
Most of the time you can play ‘tavla’ or watch a football game inside the university. So, there is no need to be bored.
How is the city for sightseeing?
For the night life, Taksim is the right place. There are also places with a lot of international students. For example, ‘Eskibeyrut’.
Which cities and places have you visited in Turkey so far?
I have been to Pamukkale, Bodrum, Antalya and I made a road trip from Istanbul to Trabzon.
“I really liked the freedom I had there.”
What are the things that you like the most in Turkey as an Erasmus student?
To meet a lot of great people. I still have contact with those people I met. I really liked the freedom I had there.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Istanbul?
Advantage is that it is a big city with a lot to do and a lot of opportunities. The disadvantage of Istanbul is that it is not an organized city.
What are the difficulties you encountered and the happy moments you experienced during the program? Can you tell us about a memorable moment you went through?
A memorable moment was our trip to Antalya with 600 other Erasmus students. In Antalya, we stayed in a big hotel with unlimited drinks and food. It was one big party. I also went to a Besiktas football game. It was a great experience. It was the game against Liverpool. Besiktas won with penalties so all the Besiktas fans went crazy.
How did Erasmus in Turkey change your life?
I changed my life because I will never forget the good times I had there. Beside that I still have some really good friends that I didn’t know before Istanbul.
“It totally exceeded my expectations.”
Did the Erasmus Program meet your expectations, why do you think so?
To be honest my expectations were kind of low. So, it totally exceeded my expectations.
Do you have any recommendation for those who are planning to attend Erasmus in Turkey?
Attend all the events that are organized by ESN.
Tell us why the others should choose Erasmus in Turkey!
Because you really get to know another culture!
Please complete the sentence: I love Erasmus in Turkey because …
It’s a life experience.