They say you cannot spell challenge without change. Well, in February, this year, I faced a really great challenge with lots of changes both in my life and in my environment, as well as in my comfort zone. This was my Erasmus+ experience in Turkey that I gladly share.
To begin with, my name is Erzsébet Janka Kiss, and I’m a third-year student at Partium Christian University, in English Language and Literature Major. I’ve always wanted to benefit from the aforementioned great program, and I wanted to visit a country that was far enough from my familiar environment. That is why I chose Turkey, Pamukkale Üniversitesi as my receiving country and institution.
It was the 12th of February, 2015 when I firstly entered Turkey. I had to wait five “short” hours in Instanbul because of the delays of flights from Budapest to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Denizli. Needless to say, I really had a great five-hour long period. For the first time I experienced how a Turkish conversation sounds like, how a Turkish family looks like, how this absolutely different, amazing culture’s atmosphere is.
And I spent a whole semester in this kind atmosphere. Not only my classmates proved to be so kind and curious about my country and my university, but also the teachers were extremely helpful, friendly, and open-minded. The time I spent in the Campus also included lots of experiences, memories, and friendships with students from Turkey, Spain, Latvia, Italy, Poland, France, South Korea, and Slovakia. This mixture of nations created an always loud, curious group of people, a small community full of life.
Pamukkale University is in a big city, Denizli, from where Hierapolis, Laodikeia and Pamukkale of course, are not very far. My Erasmus-group from the university made up by Turkish students organized several tours, trips, and small visits for us to explore parts of the country. These were trips to historical and sightseeing places of Efes, Dalyan or Cappadocia, for example, or to events hosted by the university like concerts, theatre plays or folk dance festivals. To be honest, being on the ground of the campus itself was amazing for me because the area is bigger than my entire hometown, and also it has more students than the population of my hometown.
Thanks to Erasmus, I could meet thousands of interesting people and I also learnt how to save money. I am no longer afraid of embarking on the unknown, since I’m familiar now with new gastronomy, trends and customs from different cultures. I highly recommend to everybody to benefit from Erasmus, to go abroad and live for a while in a very new country and community.