This is Tisha Farhana, a final year student from the Department. of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Daffodil International University (DIU). Recently I have completed one semester (Fall 2019) at Karabuk University, Turkey; as an exchange student under the Mevlana Exchange Student program.

I am really overwhelmed to express my gratitude to my university, as the university is continuously putting effort to make us globalized as per the market demand. It goes without saying, I am here because of DIU that gave me the opportunity to apply and get the full funded scholarship to study here in Turkey. I would like to pay my gratitude to my beloved university and also to my department, because without their help and encouragement I wouldn’t have been here.

Reason of choosing abroad

As my graduation period was coming to the end from the department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I planned to begin at least one dedicating year for travelling, before it’s done and over. And when I learnt that the Turkish Government offered an exchange semester abroad via the Mevlana program, I didn’t think twice about putting my name forward. I was really excited to venture outside of Bangladesh, and combining my education with living in a new country seemed like the ultimate learning experience.

The best parts of being an international student in the Republic of Turkey

It felt fantastic to live and study in such a country which has a cultural mixture of Europe and Asia. I had a longstanding interest in the art, history and culture of Central Europe and I soon discovered that Turkey was the hub of all three. I was fascinated most by the city’s architectural variety. From Aya Sophia to Anitkabir, each street seemed to tell its own tale from the Turkey  Republic’s divergent past.

In terms of accessibility for an international student, the difficulty I had with getting to grips with the Turkish language. I found public transport, food and world famous Turkish delight to be very reasonably priced too. Deliciousness!

Perhaps above all else, the greatest pleasure was sharing my experience with other international students and getting the chance to make friends from all over the world. It didn’t take long to feel part of a vibrant international community, and we found no end of interesting things to do during our spare time both in Karabuk and beyond. Every moment outside of study presented the opportunity to visit a new gallery, bar, restaurant, market, park or historical site. I also participated in student trips to Cappadocia, Izmir, Istanbul, Ankara, Konya and all of which were accessible by bus and train within a few hours.

Study in the Republic of Turkey

Student life at Karabuk University was fast paced and varied both inside and outside of class. I had the chance to pick up credits in subjects outside of my chosen degree, and it was exciting to be granted the freedom to jump into something new. I took classes in Management and Economic Organization. Adapting to the different methods of assessment and teaching styles in each class was challenging but a very rewarding experience overall. More and less they are always focussed on developing presentation skills which are really appreciable.

A highlight was having my final class of the week in a room with an idyllic sunset view. The biggest challenge was staying focused on the lecture!

Impact of studying abroad on me and my career

Aside from looking great on a resume and providing a valuable discussion point in interviews, studying abroad has given me the confidence to continue pursuing opportunities that lie outside of my comfort zone. I also feel a new appreciation for different languages and the importance of communication. On my return to Bangladesh I have begun to work on the skills and knowledge that I gained from my 5 months experience in Turkey!

Advice for students who are considering studying Turkey or other countries

Be prepared for both ends of the weather spectrum and don’t feel too disheartened if you struggle to master Turkish! You will find that most Turkish people are proud of its difficulty and don’t expect foreigners to try it out. However, picking up the basics and using a few words of Turkish in everyday life is worthwhile, and likely to bring a smile to the face of any native you meet!

My personal suggestion for everyone is to visit abroad at least once in student life to gather the multicultural perspective of life and to have a broaden view of knowledge, mindset and thinking capabilities.

I have enjoyed my time a lot and had immense pleasure to stay and study with people from different countries. The thing I learned most importantly is there is a world beyond our country and we must  explore it to broaden our mindset.

I will request my fellow mates at DIU please go ahead and apply to such kinds of programs like Mevlana, Erasmus and So on. Trust me this will be the best opportunity for getting cross cultural experiences and enjoying a different Environment.

To get such a scholarship, I would request my friends and mates from DIU in short; just work on three things, Firstly develop your communication, networking and presentation skills, Secondly know to prioritize the needs of the market and work accordingly,  and thirdly be  enough conscious about what is happening around us.

And last but not the least, keep your eyes on the emails from International Affairs of DIU not to miss such golden opportunities.

Do apply and grab the opportunities to study abroad!