One of the many great things about studying in Turkey is the possibility of going on an exchange program!
Hi, we are Sara from Morocco and Hussam from Kenya, two students of the AGU Department of Business Administration. Last year we were lucky enough to have been selected to partake in the oh-so-famous Erasmus+ mobility.
We compared the different receiving universities, matched our courses, prepared our documents. The whole process was buttery smooth & unlike our colleagues who generally face difficulty in getting the visas as some embassies want all documents translated to their native language, the Romanian Consulate was extremely understanding. They took documents that were in Turkish, English, even French!
Next thing we know we are on an airplane heading to Romania.
One of our biggest concern was the language, but it was also the reason we selected Romania. We wanted to be in a country whose language we didn’t speak to feel foreign again. Since we speak Turkish, Turkey no longer feels like a foreign place but more as our second home.
We knew very little about the country and we most certainly did not know how to pronounce Iasi, the city in which we were about to spend the next craziest four months of our lives by far, attending the university of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. It’s a State University named after the late Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza a year after the Romanian state was established in 1860.
We arrived at night and we hit the jackpot with the best taxi driver on planet earth, he was dancing to Moroccan and Kenyan music the whole drive from the airport to the University.
The University has 4 buildings and about 13 housing to cater for the 40,000+ students. They even have a Campus map to help students & Professors move around!
There was something about life in a big university, everything seemed to be vibrant and, well, loud. We ended up changing our learning agreement completely after discovering the intriguing and diverse courses offered specifically for Erasmus students. We got to work with amazing professors one on one. We got into debates that went on for hours about calm technologies, sustainable development, tax policy in Turkey and more.
We took part in a symposium for young researchers in which we got to talk in front of and listen to talented students from different countries and backgrounds. We also participated in the international week in which students and professors from 6 universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Moldova and more got together to discuss challenges in managing talents in a globalized world.
We lived with amazing people, whose friendships will forever be dearest to our hearts. We planned our next trips to visit their hometowns and are already expecting them in ours. Cipriana’s love for life and craze for adventures, Doina’s love for travel and Catan (a board game on strategy), Emma’s kindness and compassion and Coni’s hard work and drive will forever define our four months in Iasi.
As we are writing these meters above the clouds on our way back to our beloved Turkey, we reminisce on the excitement we felt and the expectations we had when starting this journey. Our mobility was nothing like we expected and while many would think that’s a bad thing, it was the best we could have ever asked for. With academic success, lifelong friends, life lessons, a new way of thinking and a huge craving for Halal food, we both agree that if we were to do it all over again we HAPPILY would.