2015-2016 FALL TERM
Tareq Naschar from Zuyd University of Applied Science / Maastricht, The Netherlands
The fresh breeze, which flies between your hairs, the warm-hearted opening arms that are waiting for you, the bunch of international students and activities and much more unforgettable things are expecting you there. DO IT AND GET THE EXPERIENCE I GOT!
Okan University is a highly regarded university in Istanbul. The varied activities and facilities,which Okan offers you, can’t be find in other Universities in Istanbul. The campus is huge! Inhere, Starbucks offers you a sweet and fruity Frappuccino sitting outside in the sun and enjoying socializing. When the big hunger grabs you, you can simply go upstairs in the student social center (the heart Okan’s by the way) and enjoy a fresh grilled Burger King Menu. But caution, control yourself! ;-) Here is a picture of the view at Mimar Sinan Teras Café next to Süleymaniye Mosque, Fatih. Go there! It is stunning!
Istanbul is a dynamic and vibrant metropolis. I spent about four months there and I am still not done with my sightseeing list. The discovery tour through Istanbul has no end. Just taking the next public freight to change the continent is more than enough to receive a breathtakingly impression of the city.The enormous crowd of people in Istanbul is at the beginning quite overwarming. At the end of my stay I need to admit that I loved the crowd the most. Who says New York is a city that never sleeps, was never in Istanbul!
This is the inside of nearly the most beautiful mosque I saw in Istanbul. It is the Ortaköy Mosque in Ortaköy. Which might seem pretty small at the beginning, is lastly a beautiful and even glamorous mosque. All that chandeliers are leaving a majestic and royal impression to you. Go and discover furthermore the delicious and famous Kumpir, the big baked potato with fresh salty toppings. Additionally, you can make beautiful pictures for your unforgettable memory in Ortaköy. An endless and huge thank you to Okan University and the people who were involved for such an unforgettable and amazing experience!
I am really glad that I chose Istanbul for my Erasmus. It wasn't my first choice and when I received news about going there, I had mixed feelings. Especially when people around me had awkward comments...why Turkey, it is dangerous, they are really different and so on. However at first glance I really fell in love with Istanbul, it is stunning city with a lot of possibilities. During first days I met nice people, everybody was so kind, friendly and helpful. I met nice people in Erasmus office too. My buddy helped me with everything what I needed. I didn't hear from people who took part in Erasmus program in different countries about something like that. In other countries buddies don't care about Erasmus people. Not only my buddy but also people from ESN were helpful with every issue. They organized some events for us and they tried to make our Erasmus life entertaining and full of trips. I was in Antalya Medness, it was really awesome, I can recommend it. My second trip with ESN Okan was to Kapadokya. It is the most beautiful place and when you are in Turkey you have to visit this place. I took balloon tour, quad tour and I rode a camel there. I also visited Efes, Sirince, Pamukkale, Izmir and Kusadasi. Another beautiful place is Princes Islands especially Buyukada. In my opinion Erasmus in Istanbul is the best choice.
On the 14th of September I arrived in Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen Airport. Unfortunally I missed the Introduction Week. So the start wasn’t that good, I thought. But my Buddy took a lot of time for me and showed me Istanbul and how things are going here. Although at Okan, for sure.
So, because of that it was easy to find the right people, with which you will hang out for the rest of the semester. At the beginning you are maybe thinking it can be boring, because you have no obligations in your Erasmus, but you won’t believe, how fast will run away.
The first weeks at Okan University were a little bit unusual. For example, we were supposed to start with our lectures on the 14th of September, but apparently students and teachers skip the first two weeks (Bayram) . Actually that was a really nice start, because you had much time to discover Istanbul more and meet new people.
So the feeling of being a tourist went very soon away.
But it had to come, as it had to.. The courses started finally. But that was okay. That only meant that you had to study from time to time..
Istanbul is a perfect city to do your Erasmus. Really you can’t imagine that. These city never sleeps. Although Istanbul is for a Turkish/Asian city actually really European. Most of the Turkish people are very open-minded and friendly. Even though sometimes they don’t speak English, they are always willing to help you with something. Turkish food is also great. Nearly the whole period here I never cooked. I always went out with my flatmates to eat something. It is cheap and tastes very good.
During the time in Istanbul, there are several organisations who organize parties, meetings etc. for Erasmus students. The biggest and most famous one is ESN.
One thing you can not skip when you are in Istanbul is to visit one of the three top clubs of the city. You can’t imagine the atmosphere in the stadium. There are no words to describe that.
So to sum my time here in Istanbul up: unbelievable. I can recommend this city to everyone. The beginning maybe is not so easy, but in a few days you learn how to work with the “chaos” and different things and then you are used to it. Although you learn a different culture and life-style, what you would never do, I think.
2014-2015 SPRING TERM
Daniel Hegedüs, Pazmani Peter Katolikus Egyetem, Hungary
Erasmus in Turkey was my biggest experience in my life. I knew before I went to Istanbul that I want some adventure. And when I arrived I noticed that "yep, it will be an adventure". I learnt a completaly different culture that i have ever seen. After the first few surprise about the traffic or the fact that Istanbul is not so quite, I have fallen in love with the city. Tessekürler Türkiye!
Angelo Ariesto, Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy
If I had to choose just one adjective to describe this Erasmus experience, It would be the word intense! These four months in Turkey is something that I will never be able to forget! I think that getting to know another culture is the greatest experience that a person may have in his or her life. In turkey I experienced all kind of things: I had been through good and difficult situations, but due to them I became more mature and I am grateful for that. My name is Angelo Ariosto, I am an Italian postgraduate student. I come from Acireale, city in Catania (Sicily). I study Mathematics.
I've chosen Istanbul because of historical-cultural reasons. Istanbul represents a sort of a door between East and West, a bridge between two cultures. Two cultures that may seem to be very different at first sight can be so similar in so many ways! My expectations of this Erasmus is more that satisfied.
I've chosen to live in the dormitory of the campus. It was a good idea, because I got a chance to spend my time with Turkish and international students. I shared my life in a campus and outside of it with them and it was great! Sometimes the time in the campus can be hard but it is totally worth it! Besides, in the campus we had all the necessary things to enjoy (library, restaurants, coffees, a pool, a gym, a sauna, a coiffeur, shops etc)!
I would really advice other exchange students to live in the campus even if it is a bit far from the centre of the city. You can still find a public transportation to reach all the important places. Moreover, if you stay in the campus, you can follow your courses without stress and you can get up five minutes before your classes!! The department is new and modern, and at least the teachers of my departments are cool! I’ve followed five courses and i loved all of them! I had homework and mid-term exams, so i had the possibilty to study during the lectures period and be ready for the final! This system is very good.
I found really good friends that helped me a lot from the beginning to the end of my Erasmus: my perfect buddy Duygu Kılıç, my best friend Kutlay Yusuf Kaynaroğlu and my schoolmates Emre Asku and Mehmet Altun. I've met a lot of awesome people during my exchange semester, but these were my closest ones! Our friendship is very unique and I’m sure that we’ll keep in touch in the future. With them i learnt a lot of things about Turkey, traditions and religion and I’ve understood a lot! Thank you guys!
Duygu wasn’t just an academic figure to phone every time I had some problems- she became my real close friend! We shared our lifes, our secrets, our adventures! I visited her home, met her family and cooked the most delicious Mercimek Köftesi with her mother ! What a great experience! We have already started to use Skype to talk to each other :)
Yusuf,instead, is a warrior! He taught me how be strong in life, how to fight and how to be a good man! His sense of religion and traditions is strong. We spent a lot of time discussing these topics! Also i met his family, and I’ve fallen in love with them: his father is now my father!
Emre (the Reis) and Mehmet (the laziest) are my mathematician (but not very keen ones) friends, we shared more enjoying time then math time together! I’ll miss the black sea music and Adana Kebab! In the campus i met a lot of international students and I enjoied my time with them. In particular I cannot forget my adventures, excursions and wild experience with my special Russian friends Diana Dimukhametova and Olga Sokolova! We have already decided to visit each other's families: this is what true love is!
I also visited the city with all of them, discovering amazing places, historic and modern places: Yerebatan Sarnıcı (Basilica cistern), AyaSophia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque),
Topkapı Palace, New mosque, Suleiman Mosque, Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, etc.. (all of Eminönü and Sultanamet, that are my favorite districts in Istanbul!) Karaköy(Galata), Beşiktaş (Dolmabahçe Palace and Zorlu center, don’t miss them!), Kabataş, Beyoğlu, Üsküdar, and all of Kapadokya! If you are going to become an Erasmus student, please (trust me) don’t choose any other city but Istanbul, the greatest one! W Istanbul, W Okan!
Toni Karabatic, Sveuciliste u Splitu, Croatia
Time I spent at Okan will always be a lifelong memory for me, both in the academic and recreational way. I remember when I first arived at the campus I was impressed with the infrastructure the University has on their disposal. Furthermore I discovered that not only their infrastructure is good, they also back it up with all the academic staff that works there including the profoessors and Erasmus coordinators and other employees that are resbonsible for making a student life at Okan very easygoing.
What else is there more to say than it was an amazing adventure and certainly I would like to be back here one day and I wish all the best to all Okan employees and students, current ones and ones that are yet to come to this amazing University.2014-2015 Fall Term
Karel Kopecek, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Once I found out that I may go for Erasmus to Turkey, my fate was sealed. I immediately made my decision to go to Istanbul. I was hoping to experience a way of life different to the way we live in western countries. The first thing you have to understand is that Istanbul is huge, it has officially around 12 milions citizens and unofficially even few millions more. You very quickly start to understand why is everyone always late, you just can not always arrive on time in city crowded like this. But once you accept that you cant plan everything in advance and you start enjoying all the stuff that are happening around you, you become somehow happier.
Okan University is not in the center of the city, but I strongly recommend to find and rent a flat in the center (best option is probably Kadikoy), so you can enjoy all the famous monuments and student parties. I study law and most of the classes I attended were for small groups of Erasmus students only and so the atmosphere was friendly. Without one exemption all the teachers were really helpful and friendly. Even though Okan University is further from the city center, you can get there easily by school shuttles and you can at least see something you can not anywhere else in Istanbul – nature, forests, packs of friendly dogs (which will just for fun follow you to the woods, when you go running as they did with me many timesJ). I must accent how much helpful and friendly everyone in the Erasmus office was. They really made my stay in Turkey much more pleasant. Also members of ESN Okan helped me a lot, for example when I lost my valet J.
Travelling across Istanbul may be sometimes difficult but travelling across Turkey is really easy and quite cheap. And I strongly recommend you to travel, wherever you can. Turkey is a big country and you can see there some things you probably cant see anywhere else. The best way how to travel long distances is to go by a plane, you can fly from Istanbul to Antalya for 10 euros! If you travel short distances use minibuses – dolmuse, they are still cheap and you meet a lot of new people. By the short time I spent in Turkey I managed to go to Gallipoli, Troy, Cappadocia, Nemrut Dagi, Diyarbakir, Urfa, Harran and to a lot of other places. So after you have learnt few Turkish words and seen Istanbul, I recommend you to travel across the country. The countryman are even more friendlier that people in Istanbul (and those are much more friendlier than most of the people you meet in western Europe), the food is great and the experience you gain is unique.
There is nothing to be afraid, if you can, go to Turkey and you shall never regret.
Claudia Schütz, University of Innsbruck , Graz
I am a German PhD student studying in Austria. My research is on the Gezi protests in Istanbul, which took place in the summer of 2013, so I knew from the beginning in which city to go. I was happy that the Erasmus team at Okan made the exchange possible for me, as Okan University usually does not host PhD students. That was great - çok teşekkürler!
At Okan University I was welcomed very warmly. The Erasmus team was helpful, competent and quick in processing always. Particularly in my special case as PhD student, the Erasmus team helped finding solutions for everything. I felt in good hands and am thankful for all the support, the reminders and the cheerfulness of the team!
Being in Istanbul to do my research on the Gezi protests and its aftermath, I did not spend as much time at Okan University itself as other Erasmus students. Most of the time I spend in central Istanbul, in the districts Kadıköy and Beyoğlu, talking, listening and doing interviews with former participants of the Gezi protests and learning Turkish. Still, Okan university was like an anchor for me and my research. I was happy to get supervision by Prof. Dr. Ali Tayfun Atay, head of the sociology department. Also other lecturers of the sociology and political science departments of Okan provided great help and advice for my research. All in all it was such a awesome time for me in Istanbul and I am happy to recommend studying at Okan University!
Tomas Stanek, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic
Turkey? Why Turkey? Are you crazy? Everybody has the same question. And I answered to all people who asked the same: I don´t know. I just looked at the map with Erasmus destinations and had the feeling, that Turkey is the right place. Then the city. Something deep inside me said me, that Istanbul will be awesome. And the feeling was right.
According to what everybody who was here before said, people are not friendly, city is dangerous, everyone wants to kill me or some other much more worse ***… After four months I have to say, that they were totally wrong. I have never seen so friendly and hospital people in my life. If you have some problem, you can ask and all men, women, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, child, old, whoever else and they try to help you every time. This is the thing, what quite surprised me, because in European culture and mentality there is nothing like this.
You do net need to talk Turkish but when you try to, locals will love you. The most important thing is, that you will learn how to communicate without using any words. And in my opinion that is the most important thing you need to learn in this life. Next thing what Istanbul gave me are the feelings that even I am from another country, I am welcome here. This is what you usually don´t feel in most of European countries.
If you are afraid of coming to Turkey, remember, that there always be people who want to help you. Especially ESN Okan and International department of the Okan University. There are lot of friendly and helpful people and when I had problem in past, they always helped me. For these people nothing is impossible and this quality is for me the most honourable in our world.
There are some things, which I didn´t like on my Erasmus journey. First thing you will hate is traffic, because Turkish drivers are absolutely crazy. In first days I was thinking that I will die here because of traffic, but after few weeks you start to think, that it is funny. Second think is, that if you want to have party, you have to travel there first. A lot. For me it was around three hours just to get there and this sucks. But it depends in which part of Istanbul you live of course. The last thing is, that there is not much places you can go to do some sport or where you can be alone in the nature and just enjoy the loneliness. But life is short and it is important to live it.
After this unforgettable semester I know, that I will come back. And if you hesitate, just don´t think and go there. You will love it. If you will have any questions contact me on mail address: email@example.com Go and live your Erasmus!
2013-2014 Spring Term
Rafał Rejzerewicz, Poznan University of Economics, Poland
I honestly admit that my time in Istanbul went so fast that it felt like a beautiful dream. When I woke up at the end, I wanted to live it through one more time. Some of the best experiences in my life come from this Erasmus trip. Wonderful adventures, extraordinary places, new culture and some of the best parties that I've ever had. Not only did I learn a lot at Okan University, but I also met so many new friends. I'm sure we'll keep in touch with them and I will cherish our shared memories for a long time. I can highly reccomend Istanbul and Okan as places that will change your life for ever.
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest
About my Erasmus I can tell it was a very rich experience for me.
For this semester I wanted to choose a totally foreign city and country. At Istanbul I knew about its size, the fact that it is meeting point of many cultures, the significant architectural values. This was almost all.
Before, I couldn't imagine what am I going to do here in this place, starting with zero friends and almost zero idea about the life here.
I was lucky to make some really close friendships and connections; to meet people from literally all around the world. USA, Brazil, Portugal, Estonia, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, South-Korea just to mention a few. We spent time together, exchanged ideas and made awesome experiences and parties at the most special places.
By time I learnt how to buy things in bazaars for half price speaking in Turkish language; where to find best atmosphere pubs and cafés; to cross 4 lane roads with moving traffic in centimeters distance from cars (still safe); to choose the fastest way to go from A to B in the shortest time in any part of the day; the words of çay sellers on ferries (Buyrun buyrun portakal suyu var tost var çay var çay çay çay şu!! ); that Turkish ten minutes is half-an-hour. I became a turkish coffee, ayran and yoghurt addict amongst many other friends I know.
I will remember that I can buy almost everything in maximum 10 minutes walking distance; the common decision "Let's drink some çay." with friends; stopping on streets to listen to the street musicians; the sound of prayers 5 times-a-day; Turkish people yelling and selling their goods on streets without stop; the ability to always say "Let's go to a new place to do something new."
I will miss to say "Ne haber kanka??" and all the şerefes.
At Okan university I studied at the Department of Architecture. All my teachers were very helpful with me, I was happy that I could learn from them. The ESN team is doing a very good work for us, they are always up-to-date and ready-to-help. They organized lots of events for erasmus students during the semester as well. The campus has everything students need even including game-room; outdoor theatre and lots of relaxing places for breaks.
I went to awesome bus trips in Turkey, to cities like Cappadocia, Efes, Kuşadasi, Fethiye, Pamukkale. I could take part on boat trips on Bosphorus and Marmara sea in perfect holiday weather.
This was some part of my four months in Istanbul, I hope it helps making the decision easier.
Danuta Bomba, Opole University of Technology, Poland
I learned about Erasmus program when I was in high school and I decided straight away that this is a perfect opportunity for me. Indeed, now when my Erasmus passed I see that it was the best decision in my life to take a risk and go for adventures! I’ve never met as many amazing people as I have in Istanbul. I have friends not only from Europe but from all over the world, I came across various cultures and great people with fascinating personalities. You will never learn as much about different countries from books or other sources as you will benefit from meeting all those wonderful people you can meet during Erasmus. Obviously it’s the best way to improve your language skills because what will help you more if not long and fascinating conversations with friends?
While considering the best destination for me to spend the greatest semester I had plenty of alternatives to choose in my mind but eventually I made my decision. With a little doze of uncertainty and concern I picked Istanbul. On that day I didn’t know that in the future this city will charm me so much! First impression of Istanbul was that it’s enormously big and that I will never work out how public transportation works. Needlessly, with help I received from my Turkish friends (who are really willing to help with everything, anytime and no matter what) everything became clear and easy. Istanbul is a city with interesting history, combining two continents - a thing you won’t find anywhere else. Stunning views and landscapes, center of Turkish culture and combination of various nationalities this is only a bit of what you can discover in this place. A thing that can bother some people is the crowd present everywhere so sometimes you will have to find patience in you and just try to burst through people. But it’s a thing that can be easily got used to.
Istanbul is a perfect city for student life, there is no way to get bored, it offers so many places and attractions you can visit and nicely spend your free time. Places such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque or Dolmabahce Palace will let you taste a bit of the city’s history. The likes as Taksim, Aquarium, Dolphinarium or Bosphorus Tour will satisfy your entertainment needs. The Bosphorus Bridge in the night will make you want to stare at it all night long. The view in the daylight, though is not less attractive. It’s hard to express in words the charm of Istanbul, you just have to go there and experience by yourself.
The only struggle I had to handle with was resident permit but of course, every problem can be overcame. But still, this is an issue I would like to forget about…
Now few words about Okan Universitesi. When I first passed the gate of the campus I was really impressed. It is a big and spacious place with lots of restaurants and cafes where you can grab something to eat, study or simply hang out with your friends while waiting for classes. Lecturers are nice, understanding and always opened to help students. In my courses there was no special treatment for Erasmus people, all students in the class passed the course under uniform conditions. It wasn’t hard to pass exams, though, so no need to worry. Generally, the atmosphere at Okan is nice, you can count on help from Erasmus office what is relevant aspect for me. The nice impression that Okan made on me may stem from the fact that in my home university everything looks different so I liked the change and took advantage of all benefits that Okan offers.
But not only Istanbul influenced my decision to choose Turkey. I knew that this country hides in its borders plenty of breath-taking places such as Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Efes and many offshore cities. My friends and I couldn’t resist to visit these places and so in our free time we hit the road and went for little sightseeing. We chose hitch-hiking as a mean o
f transportation and though kind of risky way of travelling, it was the greatest adventure of my life. To sum up, I have to admit that I’m really glad that Istanbul became my home for these four months (probably best months) in my life. The only thing I regret is that it passed by so fast because there were still so many things to do and see. My crush for Istanbul makes me miss this city every day and every time I watch photos and recall all nice moments I had a chance to experience there I become sentimental but I’m sure that one day I will come back there and visit the places I enjoyed so much.
My little advice to everyone one who considers Istanbul for Erasmus – don’t hesitate! Come and I’m sure you won’t regret it!
Kornelia Ziolkowska, University of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland
ERASMUS seems to be one of the best opportunities to study abroad and cognise new culture simultaneously. Undeniably, Istanbul is the most proper city not only to exist as a student but also to realize the differences between Polish and Turkish way of perceiving the world.
Although Okan University is located in the suburbs of Istanbul, it is equipped with all facilities. The coordinators guarantee their help in all kind of issues connected to official documents and ordinary queries regarding for example public transportation. What is more, the lecturers are very friendly and understanding. They provide their lectures on a high level and explain students' inquiries. I met there also very polite and friendly students who were interested in Polish culture and helpful in many situations.
Secondly, Turkey is regarded to beunrepeatable country.
I wholeheartedly agree with it. I met there so many kind and helpful people. Even though not many
Turkish people can speak English, it does not seem to pose a barrier to help another human being. If I asked which bus goes to Uskudar or the way to get somewhere, they always tried to explain or show the way.
Thanks to my visit in Turkey I could fulfil my blog with numerous of unforgettable memories and photos korneliaziolkowska.blogspot.com
I love Turkish food, Turkish delights, Turkish culture, Turkish people, Turkish traffic jams, Turkish crazy bus and car drivers and
Andrea Marzullo,Marco Vitale, Universita Degli Studi "Suor Orsolo Benincasa", Italy
Thomas Akgun, Hogeschool Zuyd, Holland
We are three Erasmus students who stayed in the dormitories of Okan University. First of all, we would like to thank everybody who has been very close to us and supported us in any possible way, especially all the friends we made in the dormitories; in fact, the best thing the dormitories of Okan has to offer is the chance to meet people from all over the world. This has allowed us to have nice discussions and to have an insight into the different cultures, values and attitudes of people from a lot of countries and regions, we would like to mention the following countries in particular; Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, Nigeria, Nepal, Syria, Libya, Tanzania, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Afghanistan, Somalia and The Emirates. We would also like to acknowledge all the hard work the Erasmus Office has done during these couple of months. Besides this, they offer the students the possibility to work in the campus during the academic year. Another important thing that we would like to underline concerns all the special projects Okan University is participating in concerning the cultural exchange (Sports management, Consumer Right Law and many more), where again we have had the opportunity to meet people also from Europe. Finally we appreciated the fact that the sport facilities Okan University has to offer are for free for all the students that live in the dormitories. This has kept the sportspeople between us fit also during their Erasmus program. Hereby we would like to thank everybody yet again, and also the people who we didn’t mention in this testimonial, for this amazing period we experienced.
Best wishes to everybody from Okan University,
Martyna Brodkorb, Opole University of Technology
When first thinking about studying abroad, I never even thought about Turkey, but it was the best decision in my life! Istanbul is the most unusual city i have ever seen, all this culture places, so important for Turkish people, amazing... Before i decided to come to Istanbul i was a little bit scared, about culture stuff, but when i arrived here i realized that there was nothing to fear.
I stayed in Istanbul for 4 months, not far from school, but far away from the centre of city. I had a private flat; i was living with 4 polish people. I met a lot of international students, thanks that i improved my English skills, i hope so:)...
We were traveling a lot, we used our free days and we saw a lot places, like Antalya, Efes, Olympus, Izmir, Cappadocia and many other. We were traveling by hitchhiking, a lot of people said to us, that is dangerous, but we were lucky :) nothing scared happened.
About school- Okan University was also a good choice. Okan has a nice campus, it offers a variety of entertainment like gym, swimming pool, cinema, you can find there also a lot of restaurants with Turkish food, amazing... I am happy about all subject that i have chosen, also about teachers, there were so friendly for. If you have a problem you can feel free to approach them and talk. I tried to learn Turkish... it's the hardest language.
There is nothing to worry about Turkey... Wonderful people, places. I recommend Istanbul in 100%! After 4 months i learn so much, not just about Turkey, but also about another cultures. I was sad to leave this beautiful city, i relived wonderful moments. I won't forget this Erasmus; i hope that new student will enjoy Istanbul so much as i :) I'd like to come back.
I have to say: ''teşekkür ederim'' everyone, have a nice time there and şerefe.
Saskia Van Belkum, Hogeschool Zuyd, Holland
When I had to choose for my exchange destination I was in the middle of a very hectic and uncertain phase of my life. I could choose strategically and improve my language skills in Europe or I could go for a more adventurous option and choose for a country like Turkey which obviously was the more exciting choice. I ended up going to Turkey and I have never regret for a single moment!
The experience has shown me a totally different perspective on a society like Turkey, which is located in South-eastern Europe and partly in Western Asia, forming the crossroads of Europe and Asia. I could never imagine how spectacular the remaining historical highlights that survived from the Ottoman Empire could be, how open and hospitable the Turkish people with their warm culture are and how complicated but inspiring and interesting today’s political situation is. To live in between Turkish society was such an amazing and eye-opening experience. The streets are never empty and the people are almost always helpful and certainly less individualistic than in Europe. The amazing view on the Bosporus and buildings like the Aya Sophia and Blue Mosque together with the improving transportation system in a city as big as Istanbul make it really spectacular! Its a miraculous idea that you are living on the Asian side and only 20 minutes away from the European side where there is so much on offer; numerous shopping malls, bars, clubs, bazaars and much more... I can only recommend you to find out yourself.
At Okan we received a warm welcome and help from our buddies to get around. They offered very interesting subjects within my department International Relations. Subjects like History of Political Thought, International Relations Theory, Comparative Politics, Politics and Society in Eurasia and of course Turkish. I really enjoyed going to class and I specifically have to notice that my teachers were very competent and friendly. However, the system is different from what I am used to but the level was about the same. Furthermore, there are many facilities and the environment surrounding the different departments is very pleasant. The only disadvantage is the fact that Okan University is rather far from the city centre, which nevertheless has almost never caused any problems as Erasmus is a period in your life in which you’ll get to know so many new friends which ‘ll be willing to travel with you or offer you a place to stay. In short, Erasmus is going to be one of the best times of your life in which you want to live, experience, learn and develop yourself and choosing for Okan University in Istanbul is more than worth it!
Lisa Andersohn, Europa- Universitaet Viadrina Frankfurt(Oder)
2012-2013 Spring Term
Spending my Erasmus year in Istanbul was actually the best decision of my life! Welcome to one of the most amazing cities in the world!!! At the beginning I was quite afraid of living in Turkey, a country and culture that I absolutely didn’t know, where everybody speaks a language I couldn’t understand but, finally, Turkey is a really welcoming country.
Living in Turkey means discover a culture that is so interesting and so different than other ones in Europe. You can stay here for months and always find something to do and discover!
You also have a chance to live with people from different countries and cultures (for example I lived in a building with 2 American, 2 Spanish, 2 French, 1 Turkish, 1 Italian and 1 Polish people) who are living the same experience so you will always find someone to travel with you all around Turkey, to organize parties and to simply share some time together.
There are so many things to see in Turkey, so many different landscapes, so many people to talk to. And don’t worry about language! If you don’t speak Turkish, you will always find a way to make you understandable and, after some time, you will be able to say all you need in Turkish!
Okan University was also a good choice as all the teachers are really good and friendly with us. If you have any problem, any question you just have to ask them and you will always find a solution to your problems. Also, if you have any kind of problems (not necessarily about studies but for example to buy a phone or to have your resident permit…) you can always ask someone from the University. I’d like to thank my university buddy Abdullah Cem for ALL he did for me at the beginning and during all the semester.
Finally, after my 4 months here, I’m so sad to leave Turkey and Istanbul because I know I still have SO MUCH things to do here! I will never forget this semester and I hope students will continue to come here and spend the best time of their life.
I went for a trip to Istanbul when I was sixteen years old. Even though I stayed there only for the weekend, I got stunned by its beauty and spirit and I promised myself to be back there one day. When I saw the name Istanbul on the list of my University's Erasmus partners, it was obvious it is the only place I want to go to. And fortunately I was lucky to get it! Istanbul as a city has probably everything you need and even more than you can expect. It combines European lifestyle and Islamic culture. For me personally it is the most enticing city in Europe. Many European people may be scared and uncertain before coming to a Muslim country, it is a kind of an unjust stereotype - I think. You have to obey certain rules and get used to new habits, but when it comes to Turkey - it is probably one of a few Muslim countries in the world in which you can live 'freely'. What would be city itself without people living there? I don't even know if I am able to find appropriate words to describe what I have experienced. Turkish people are the most hospitable, helpful and friendly people I have ever met. At the beginning I was surprised and concerned about reasons of their warmth. With the time that passed by I got 'used' to that, but I didn't change a thing I was still amazed and grateful for all goodness received. I gained incredible friends there, people who taught me a lot, who were extremely polite but also honest when necessary. It is not only a student exchange I had there, I created a period of my life in there, in every aspect. The only thing I regret is that it didn't last longer!
Okan University, Tuzla Campus is situated unfortunately far from the 'city centre' but it makes up with its beauty. It is modern, spacious campus surrounded by nature, well taken care of garden. It offers great background for sport facilities as well. It is a pleasure to study in such an environment. Teachers were very pro-Erasmus, which means they treat exchange students equally to domestic ones but they are also very tolerant and helpful.
Erasmus - the best time of my life.
Why should I recommend Istanbul? It's the only city which unites two continents Asia and Europe together. Every day you have an opportunity just to get to the other side by ferry to catch a glimpse of this amazing city. It's hard to say when it's more beautiful at night or in daylight, in summer or winter? The sun will show you the beauty of Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque and other monuments. The moon and lights of two bridges make Istanbul even more spectacular thanks to their changing colours, especially when you are at the boat trip. With this city you can never get bored, because there are so many things to do : going to Istanbul Aquarium, Fatih, innumerable parks famous for tulips during spring time, admiring walls of the castle on the European side, Bağdat street, nightlife center - Taksim, which is also a great to be visited during the day and take the oldest tram ride. The sunset you can admire sitting on the cushions, smoking shisha in Uskudar looking at Maiden’s Tower and many many more.
But there are more places in Turkey worth sightseeing and having fun with your friends like : Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Efes, Izmir, Antalya, Bodrum ,those places are just incredible.
On the other hand, in the Erasmus program the most important are PEOPLE. You will meet a lot of them form different European countries and thanks to it you can improve your English, which is the global language. Some of them will become your real friends. You can spend amazing time together. I travelled a lot with my Erasmus team, we used different kinds of means of transport - cars, planes, trains. We met a lot of Turkish inhabitants who helped us, gave us accommodation, at the same time some of them became our tour guides, they showed us traditional cuisine, folk dances, culture. Turkish people are really helpful, even sometimes without the ability to speak English they were doing everything just to make our trip easier.
Okan Universitesi is a good place to study with its nice campus. The lecturers are really kind; they will help you if you have any troubles. Except for studying there you can also hang out with friends drinking coffee in Starbucks, playing basketball in the gym, relaxing and chatting with them. The Campus and University itself has a really friendly atmosphere.
Personally, I think that Istanbul as an Erasmus place to study was my best choice. Spending there almost nine months taught me a lot. I got to know the Turkish culture really well. It's hard to express what I feel thinking about this time, you just must experience that yourself.
And if you are upset about saying goodbye to your Erasmus people? Don't be. Erasmus never ends, it’s just the beginning of your travel around Europe to visit your old mates..
Magdalena Rewers, UAM in Poznań, Poland
I chose Turkey as my Erasmus-destination because of one main reason: I wanted to experience something different. Everyone is speaking about Istanbul like a city which is in between West and the Islam and traditions. And indeed I experienced a different culture, a different way how persons meet on the street. I share the flat in Kadiköy- Moda with two Turkish women, who are already working. I feel free and comfortable with them.
When I walk along the streets to my flat I stop at many corners to have a little conversation with persons I got to know. In a 17 Million-city I became the feeling of a warm neighborhood. I had it never before. On the other hand I often realize that not many women are alone on the street of Istanbul. Sometimes I feel watched when I am sitting alone in a café. I have the bitter feeling that the street is for the men and the house for the women especially when the sun goes down.
In the first semester I had mostly Erasmus-friends. Everything seems to be a big party. Every day I invited persons to come to my flat. In the second semester I met more Turkish friends and distanced myself from the party-community. All in all, I got to know also friends for the life. Beside Istanbul I saw many other places in Turkey like Bursa, Izmir, Efes, Pamukkale, Cesme, Cappadocia, and Olympos. It`s not important where I am in Turkey, everywhere someone cares about you. I appreciate the hospitality and generosity within the Turkish society and the beauty of the country.
The Okan University differs very much from my German University. First of all, I really appreciate the work and presence of the Erasmus office. I felt comfortable with my classmates and with the professors. But sometimes I missed a higher academic level and I nearly every Erasmus student I know had to struggle with the police concerning the residence permission.
In the end I can say that I spent a wonderful time and that I am glad that I had the possibility to come to Istanbul.
Gonzalo Arana, Universidad del Pais Vasco Sarriko, Bilbao
My Erasmus year has been the best experience in my life. Not just because of this amazing country and its culture, also because of its hospitable and always helpful people. I felt always welcome, wherever I went.
My year was split in two great different parts. The first semester I was living in the dormitories of Okan University. It let me know so many kindly people from all around the world. For the second one I moved to Kadiköy in an international student flat. We were 6 different nations living together as a big family. The flat and the people made me not missing my home country and saying goodbye was really hard. Together we made a lot of trips to Belgrade, Cappadocia, Efes, Pamukkale, Bodrum, Sile and Ölüdeniz. Furthermore we shared so many great moments for example experiencing the other cultures while cooking, partying or sightseeing.
I really appreciate the teachers and coordinators of Okan University. They were always helping to make our stay as easy as possible. The campus of the university is, except that it is far away, really beautiful with a lot of leisure time possibilities.
The Turkish people and the variety of culture and places made me fall in love with Istanbul and I will always come back here to visit my friends.
En Büyük Fener! Cok tesekkür ederim, Görüsürüz kankitos!!!
Sept. 2012 - May 2013
Henriette Schmidt, Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus
Istanbul, Son Askim -Istanbul, My last Love
After one year living in this amazing metropolis, I can definitely say that Istanbul is the best and greatest city I have ever seen. When I decided to go to Istanbul, I didn’t have any idea what it means to live in Turkey, all was new for me. I was really interested in this culture and I adopted a lot of habitats and manners quickly.
My Erasmus-year was kind of separated, in the first term I lived together with a Turkish couple (graduated students from Okan University) in Atasehir, it was amazing how they integrated me in their life, their families, their friends. The second term I lived in a multi-cultural Erasmus flat in Kadiköy. As we were 2 Italiens, 1 Spanish, 2 Germans, 1 Turk, 1 Czech and 2 French, our spirit in the two opposing flats were great. We spent a lot of time together such as making trips through Turkey, going to parties, cooking together typical meals of our home countries or sight-seeing. I will never forget my time with these amazing people and I hope to stay friends for the rest of my life.
Also my time in school, in Okan University, was special. The University has a beautiful campus and a lot of activities for students. As I am studying Business Administration, I just can tell something about the Faculty of Economics. The faculty is well-organized; the teachers are really friendly and care a lot about the students, they try their best to arrange everything as good as possible for the students. The courses I have chosen were interesting and (for Erasmus students) not that difficult. I can also admit that the Erasmus Office was really into in making our stay here more exciting, the coordinators and the buddies helped where they can. My Erasmus buddy for example became one of my best friends here and I will never have missed that.
Turkey as a country with such a huge variety of landscape and places is great to explore. That is why my friends and I made a lot of trips. We went to see Cappadocia, Efes, Pamukkale, Cirali, Olympos, Ölüdeniz, Fethiye, Bodrum and Sile. To visit all these places, made me fall more in love with Turkey and its amazing, always helpful and friendly people. Turkey and especially Istanbul has so many spaces to make the best experiences of your live.
For me it is definitely the story of my life, I regret nothing and will never forget anything of the time I spend here.
2012 - 2013 Fall Term
Aleksandra Nykiel, Viadrina European University Frankfurt
When I decided for Istanbul as my Erasmus destination, I wanted to try something special, exotic. Of course, I didn´t know what is waiting for me...But now I must say that time I spent in Istanbul was the best time of my life, without a doubt. During that wonderful five months I survived many many amazing things, I met a lot of great people (now- my friends) from the whole Europe, I got to know a lot of beautiful places and I have totally fallen in love with whole Turkey. I must mention that Turkish people are really kind, they all are so positive, they smile all the time and are willing to help anytime not depending on person who needs help. I was convinced about it many times during my stay in Istanbul. To sum up, I will never forget to my Turkish Erasmus experience, because everything (quality of school and professors, great people, beautiful city) absolutely exceeded my expectations. I am really thankful for the opportunity to spend perfectly amazing semester at Faculty of Law at Okan Universitesi. It was the best choice I could do.
2011 - 2012 Spring Term
Ireneusz Wochnik, Opole University of Technology
What captivated me in this city is the number of mosques, culturl extremes and the variety of the public transport: from a modern subway, the ferries, to the primitive public buses, local services for passengers over the entire surface of this vast netropolis. I already know why it is said that the Turks are the best drivers in the world. Such moves on the streets have not been observed so far in any other country!
Walking the streets of Istanbul see two oppsing extremes - on the one hand Muslim women, often dressed in burqa from which you can only see their eyes, on the other hand women fully European, fashionable and sometimes eve provocatively dressed, decorated with a sophisticated collection of jewelry.
The places that I can recommend are the famous Hagia Sophia and Błękinty Mosque. The richness of these two buildings is enormous, the sheer volume of the evidence of their greatness. Going through the streets of Istanbul, you can easily lose the track of time, and get lost in the sounds, smell and charm.
Okan University is a university where I can study throughout my studies. It is a modern university where you will not only learn but spend nice time between the classes with a wide range of activities.
Click for the photos.
Dominika Puszczewicz, Opole University
Best time in my life.
When I chose Istanbul and Okan Universitesi I didn't know that it would be one of the best decisions in my life. When you are choosing country and later university you are thinking how it will be. New Education, different language, people and finally culture.
Okan Universitesi was good choice. When you are coming to school you are feeling like you are going to some park :) People are sitting on the grass and bench drinking coffee from Starbucks. Everybody are friendly, helpful and almost all of them want to be your friend. It’s nice feeling when you are going to school with pleasure not because u must.
Finally heart of Turkey – ISTANBUL, for this city I have special feelings :). Once when I was thinking which place I should choose, my Turkish friend said to me that; “go to Istanbul because there is everything”. He didn’t lie.
I don’t know that there are some words which can describe how beautiful and amazing this city is. Istanbul and people that I met there will always have special place in my heart and I will never forget what they did for me BIG KISS FOR : Batu, Ismail, Turan, Yuksel, Yasemin, Banderas and Daria, Monika:* Seni seviyorum :* Dominika
Rafal Walek, Opole University of Technology
I can’t keep apart a single day or event from the other in Turkey. My whole stay of Erasmus is one, huge, never ending interesting day, which allowed me to meet other cultures, people and more. We visited wonderful places that we will never forget. Each photographer will be here like in a paradise on earth. So I had some of my own photos, I hope you like it. Enjoy! Hoşgeldiniz!
Rafał Wałęka (Rafal Walek)
Click herefor the photos.
2011-2012 Fall Term
Przemyslaw Rojkowski , student of International Business and Economics Department at Poznan University of Economics
Istanbul? Fascinating, multicultural, vibrant, colourful, wherever you go in there you realize that it's the city which never ceases to surprise and amaze. Strangers offering you çay, bus drivers stopping in the middle of their way just to buy simit, or kids jumping from Galata Bridge to Bosphorus- you can see all of those thing and many more in Istanbul. And four months in this marvelous city is definietely not enough to enjoy to the fullest all that it offers to you, especially when you are an Erasmus student. You need to plan your time wisely to manage to combine partying, travelling and studying(yeah, you need to study as well, but Okan University is extremely friendly to foreign students and there are always people ready to help you), but it's all worthwhile.
Four months passed so quickly and before I realized it was time to say "güle güle" to Istanbul and come back to Poland. Tough I love my country, I miss many aspects of life in Turkey - parties in Taksim, travelling between Europe and Asia in less than ten minutes, hitchhiking all over the country or even muezzins calling for the prayers or ubiquitous Ataturk and Turkish flags. But of course, most of all I miss all great people I met in Turkey, because of them my stay in Turkey was so delightful and I have the the reason to come back there. So I'd like to say "çok teşekkürler" to all of you my friends and I hope to see you again. :)
Dominik Rybka , student of Department of Physical Education, at Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego we Wroclawiu
My Erasmus in Turkey was a bit by accident. Our university made an agreement with Okan after the recruitment process and I was asked if I would like to change my mind. I changed and landed in Turkey. I don’t regret that. Whereas Turkey has many commonalities with Poland, it is also very exotic for people from Poland (I believe for other European country also) in many respects.
Okan is quiet far from city centre, so make sure you would not need to go to university every day. Most people had courses three times a week; it gave them long weekends every week. There were a lot of courses in English so it would not be hard to find one. Don’t expect that Erasmus Office will predict all your problems. When you face a problem, go and ask for help.
What to do in free days? Before going to museums, make sure to buy “muzekart” which allows you to visit most of the museums in Turkey free. After you visit all attractions in Istanbul, the best option is to travel. Flight tickets are cheap within Turkey (Pegasus airline) and bus transport is also in good condition. If you like, you could also hitch-hiking – I chose that way- . We slept under open sky and ate canned beans every evening (It not so bad when you are hungry: P), but it’s up to you if you like staff like that. Point about food: meat is expensive (Turkish people do not eat pig and beef is expensive everywhere); rest have normal price. My favourite Turkish fast-food is lahmacun (Turkish pizza) I even brought some to home. In the beginning I had problem with bargaining. It took me a while to known what price is normal, but it was a problem only in Bazaar. Anyway I’m happy to have the chance to visit Turkey, it was a real mix of west and east culture and you will also be happy.
2010-2011 Spring Term
Pawel Rozumek, Poznan University of Economics
Before coming to Istanbul for Erasmus I visited the city three years before. That time Istanbul charmed me as much as no other city in the world; that's why I decided to come here to study on Erasmus programme. But only while studying and living in the city did I discover its real charm. Istanbul is the most vibrant, diversified and interesting city I have ever visited. It has so many different sites that I did not feel the need to go somewhere outside the city.
But Erasmus Experience isn't only about the place. It is mostly about all the new friends. I didn't only get to know other Erasmus people, but lots of other students from Okan University. Turkish people are very hospitable and friendly and with them I could see the city from a different perspective and discover the culture and delicious Turkish cuisine. They also helped me to learn the basics of the Turkish language, in which I was also took classes at Okan. It was very helpful in daily life because all people in shops, public buses or on the streets were even friendlier when they heard I spoke some Turkish words or simple sentences.
For all those who are looking for a room to rent in Istanbul I recommend the website http://istanbul.en.craigslist.com.tr/roo/ in which I found quite a cheap single room in Uskudar with great flatmates. In the website you can see different offers, some of them quite expensive but you can also find cheaper ones.
Besides all the advantages of studying on Erasmus in Istanbul, it has also one disadvantage. It finishes sooner or later.
Roberta Auriemma, Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli
Ah, it has been so full of sensation and different things, that i even don't know from where i should start! I think that Istanbul is a huge city, and that is amazing, beautiful and great, but at the same time, in my opinion, sometimes it's hard to live in. Is one of the most charming city i have ever seen, with the colors, the amazing architectures, il bosforo, the food, the smeels in the streets, and it's so alive, so rich in art, expositions, galleries, concerts, cinema, theatres...it's incredible! At the same time, i must say that it can be really too much chaotic. It's sometimes so grey, and there are not that parks and spaces where to go just to have a break from the city! The islands are close, but i think that there should be relaxing places easier to rich in the daily life! About the people, i must say that they are KIND! but really! so helpful, always! And they try to make yourself comfortable, the are smiling, i love it! Unfortunately they don't speak that much english, which gives to a stranger, sometimes, the impression to live in a bubble plenty of sound, in which is impossible to create a real communication.
Okan is a very good university! I loved it. Especially my department (industrial design) was so alive! It was good even just to go there and to see the students exposing their works. It's a space where you have the feeling that you want to work, to create something and to product! It's for sure not a lazy place. And the teachers I met were amazing. So helpful, and i find that all of them really wanted to teach something to us. It's good to see young people working with passion. To see somebody who loves what he is doing gives students energy and motivation. The only thing i can say was not too good at Okan is the food in the restaurant, it can improve. THANK YOU for the good time you gave me!
Aneta Szarama, University of Rzeszów
I am a student from University of Rzeszów in Poland. My faculty is Law. Now i finished my erasmus trip and I chose Istanbul, Turkey. My host institution was Okan University and it was the perfect choice. The university is very modern and I found all English courses very interesing and liked to work for them. Our teachers were from England, Germany and Turkey. The lecturers were very helpful and nice. But why Istanbul? First of all I wanted to do something unique so I did not consider countries from European Union. I heard about my school's partner institution in Turkey which i found very interesing.The second reason is that Istanbul just oriental and European culture together in the biggest city in Europe. I experienced Istanbul as a very modern and beautiful city. If you want to feel like a native, you should choose a part of Asian. I recommend it because I lived in Kadikoy(Asia), where access to college was much easier. I saw monuments of the Ottoman Empire, Greek expansion, spme ending of the culture of Egypt. But such a short time was to see them all. Best food and Turkish sweets I ate with relish. My best food : Balik ekmek,borek, baklava and Tulumba :) Ihad a great time here in Istanbul. I found many friends from other countries and learned a lot about the Istanbul culture and history. Your dream can begin there!!!
2010-2011 Fall Term
I arrived to Poland yesterday. I feel happy to be at home but at the same time I feel very depressed and sad because of leaving İstanbul and all inspiring places and people I have met. It is said that University time is the best time in your life, and I want to add that being an exchange Erasmus student is the best part of University. Erasmus is a chance not only to study and read books, but also to study life. Turkey is the best choice I could make. I enjoyed every minute in İstanbul, I fell in love with Turkish life, people and food. What I will remember the most from my Erasmus life are Turkish hospitality, beautiful views and lot of fun in Taksim. I recommend İstanbul as a city to Erasmus students in which it is impossible to be bored. Also, Okan University has helpful coordinators, talented teachers and amazing campus! I especially liked the Turkish course I've taken, which helped me a lot in every-day life while living in İstanbul, I hope to continue studying it.
Coming to Istanbul was like a big chance for me. I’m really glad. Turkey is a beautiful country with completely different culture, and I could experience that during my stay. Now I know İstanbul and its important historical places very well. I like other Turkish cities and the countryside, too. What about Okan? It’s a new university with really good equipment. There is also a good kitchen of the Gastronomy department where I had lessons of food production! I like the campus and surroundings and Turkish mentality – everybody wanted to help us. It will be really good memory for me and I hope to come back to Turkey in the future.
Before coming to Turkey I was a little bit scared because I have heard a lot of stereotypes about the country and turkish people, the Muslims... My fears are gone after a few days here. I didn’t know that I would experience such an adventure. First day at Okan University made me sure that I made the best choice. First meeting with all the coordinators, teachers and Erasmus students was quite funny because we all were vey interested in each other. We didn't know that we would become friends forever. For me Istanbul is a fantastic city with a lot of opportunities. A breathtaking landscape, cultural heritage, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace will be memorable. I remember the first trip with the ferry, I was so excited! Then it became a daily means of transport for me. I love drinking tea in small cups at the ferry in the morning and at night Istanbul looks even better, more beautiful. It's so funny to be able to get to another continent in 15 minutes!!! I travelled a lot in Turkey and I have never met with such hospitality in my life. With my friends we overcame the distance of 3000km in 14 days... We were hitchhiking from the south part of Turkey to east and then to the north. In two days I have seen the Mediterraean Sea and Black Sea, something impossible! I visited beautiful cities, villages in which I could touch the pure turkish lifestyle.
Especially in the south- east part. The best place for me is Hatay. There you can feel like in the end of the world, especially sightseeing Titus Tunnel. :-) I recommend it to everyone!
School...First turkish lesson seemed to be a disaster but lesson after lesson I started to be more and more interested in Turkish language. It was great to practise it during my trips with turkish people who didn't speake another languages..only turkish! It was very helpful, they were so happy seeing that I was trying to speak in Turkish. I would like to improve my turkish skills when I come back home...but in everyday life, the best is just to practise it, that is why I want to be a mentor for Turkish students who will come to Poland and will study at my University!
To sum up, I want to say that being an Erasmus student in Turkey was the best period in my life and I will come back here as soon as possible..
Ana Raquel Martins
I really appreciate all the time I spent in Istanbul, and especially in the great University I was in – Okan University. I was very well received, loved the teachers, the people, the conditions, everything. Okan is a very beautiful and complete University, full of diversity, things to do, green areas, great buildings and with everything you could need inside, everyone is always in a good mood and trying to help (even the ones who couldn’t speak English!) I´m sure I will miss it! Will also miss the teachers and my Erasmus coordinator, they were all always very available and helpful, friendly, I totally felt at home. Everything was much more than I was expecting, Istanbul is the most beautiful cities I´ve ever been in, big, çok güzel, colourful, happy, just AMAZING, I was impressed and enthusiastic each and every day that I stayed there. And I´m really glad that I chose Istanbul for Erasmus and had the opportunity to be there for those months, and really glad that I chose Okan University that made everything even much easier. I am very happy that I´ve been there, it was a great experience that I will never forget. Would like to thank all of you at Okan for welcoming me in such a positive way, for all the help, the conversations, laughs, for making me feel like in a big family. I will obviously recommend (always!) Turkey and especially Istanbul and Okan University to everyone who wants to study abroad.