The majority of Erasmus+ students in FH Kiel are planning to leave or already left Germany. One of the students decided to stay in Germany for longer and continue his studies. His name is Samet and this is his short exchange studies story.
Why did you chose to go for exchange studies?
I saw an Instagram account in Turkey when I was studying in High school. This account shared stories of students who studied Erasmus and their experiences, challenges some details about the studies of Erasmus. When I saw these posts I decided to go for it for new opportunities, travel across Europe, meet international people, and experience other universities.
Have you noticed any differences in North Germany’s culture compared to your country’s?
Yes, In Turkey people are more extroverted, you can meet random people anywhere, even at the bus stops and make friends with them. And in Germany, making friends is harder because people don’t prefer to speak with others who they don’t know. And the good side of North Germany is the high percentage of the community is available to speak English. In Turkey, it is nearly impossible to communicate in English.
What would you say to a person who is thinking about going to Erasmus studies to your country?
Absolutely you need to go to Turkey because we have the best climate in the world, and you can eat so many kinds of vegetables and fruits which are also fresh. 3 sides of Turkey have seas, those seas are the Mediterranean, Black and the Marmara Seas. You can have a perfect time in summer, also in Turkey we have a gigantic kitchen, you can eat the best meat foods, great vegetarian and vegan food. Everything is really cheap compared to European countries, because of the currency. Also, universities have big campuses. Turkey has a perfect nightlife, Istanbul has 20 million citizens. Turkish party never ends.
In Istanbul, we have so many historical places from old Rome and Ottoman Empire, because it was the capital of those 2 countries, you can see big castles, old churches, mosques and water canals. There is an old water canal system in Istanbul from Rome Empire. We have plenty of museums, because of the huge history and tourism to entertain people. Universities are super active with student clubs. For example, at my university (Yildiz Technical University) We have a race car club, that competes with international universities, and in the last competition, they got the 3rd best race car prize. Also, I was a member of the business club, we were organizing events and organizations. In the last organizational year, we gave prizes to the best person in their own area (the best actor, the best singer, the businessman, the best businesswoman).
Would you recommend your course studies buddies from Turkey to go for exchange semester?
I would absolutely recommend Kiel because it has a good student life, and it is cheap. People are open-minded compared to the South of Germany. Also, university study quality is better than in Turkey, You can make so many good friends from all around of world and Germans are so beautiful and attractive. There are good parties in Germany, alcohol is cheap and when you are in Erasmus you usually drink with your friends. When you are a student in Germany you have a work permit. Due to this, even though you don’t have a scholarship, you can feel enough financially. Also, neighboring countries of Germany are touristic, so you can reach them and travel easily.
There is some stereotypes about Turkey. Actually, we are not an Arab country, a lot of people think that Turkey is not safe, but actually it is more safe then they think.
So you have used that opportunity to travel?
In nearly one year I visited Gdańsk, Kraków, Warsaw (7 times), Prague. Also I’m planning my next trips after this semester.
What was your favorite day/experience during Erasmus+ studies?
Before coming to Germany I was in a relationship with a Polish girl, and we had been in a long-distance relationship for 1 year and we haven’t seen each other for 1 year and after that when I came to Germany I went to Poland, because I already had a German visa. I will never forget the first time when I held her hands and kissed her, but now we are not together anymore.
Also a very memorable day for Samet was
On my first day in Germany when I was on an airplane in Turkey, I was so excited because Germany is going to be my first country for me abroad. I started to ask people how can I go to Kiel from Hamburg. Four of those people said that they are from Kiel and one of them is an old soccer player from Stuttgart (Bundesliga). They brought me to Kiel from Hamburg airport, they helped me so much from me to adapt to Germany, they gave me a bike as a gift and we are still in contact till now.